Whenever I’ve managed to drag along a non-classical music junkie friend to a classical music concert, their first frantic whispered remark after taking our seats usually go something like this: “There’s a lot of old people here” or “We must be the youngest people in the audience” or “Are you sure we came to the right place?” And so on. You get the picture.
Now, in no way do I mean any disrespect to our elderly music lovers – in fact, I hope to be among them one day – but it does draw attention to the widespread fact that the bulk of classical music concert goers are rather, well….old.
But this situation isn’t limited to classical music.
One of the reasons that helped propel this year’s Anywhere Theatre Festival in Brisbane into action was the desire to make theatre more accessible to the everyday person. Young or old. Rich or poor. Actors ranging from various theatre companies performed in sometimes unusual and always non-traditional venues – be it an elevator or a swimming pool – all in the hope of making theatre more accessible and appealing for people who wouldn’t normally be inclined or able to fork out the money to get all dolled up and head to the theatre.
Now, perhaps if we could continue to do more of that with classical music, the world would certainly be a better place!