Since TDAC took over theatre management at The Bailey in 2013

Record sell-out for Barenaked Ladies

So many people wanted to see the Barenaked Ladies: Canada 1 Five O tour in Trail this fall, the online ticketing system crashed

So many people wanted to see the Barenaked Ladies: Canada 1 Five O tour in Trail this fall, the online ticketing system crashed.

That likely frustrated avid fans, but such an appetite for live entertainment only re-affirms the message Nadine Tremblay hears time and again locals want to see headliners and lesser-known performers on stage in The Bailey Theatre.

“It was definitely a record sellout,” Tremblay, The Bailey’s guest services manager, told the Trail Times.

Tickets for the Nov. 7 performance opened last Friday at noon, and about a half hour later, the computer system went down for 45 minutes.

“We are still investigating the source of the issue but I imagine that it had something to do with the sheer amount of people wanting to buy at the same time,” Tremblay said. “We thought we had fixed the problem after Tom Cochrane as some people had similar online trouble then as well, but it is really hard to re-create thousands of people buying at once and the problems that can occur with it.”

Theatre Manager (the ticketing system company) provides tickets for much bigger venues all over the country.

“And they are very helpful in figuring this out,” she added. “We will get there.”

Tickets for Shawn Hook, a popular artist originally from Nelson, also went on sale that day.

“Unfortunately we cannot tell renters like these two (Barenaked Ladies and Shawn Hook) that they can’t go on sale the same day,” Tremblay explained. “We advise them not to but they are launching massive cross-country tours that require a lot of logistics and it is simpler to all go on sale at the same time.”

Shawn Hook sales are at 590 for his April 24 show, so tickets still remain, but not many.

Tremblay confirmed all regular admissions for the Barenaked Ladies are sold out. However, 96 total tickets designated silver and gold “VIP are still up for grabs.

However, VIP tickets can only be purchased in person or by phone.

Tremblay’s job is to attract new renters and provide more diverse programming such as the kids series, Jazz at the Griff, youth events like the recent Talent Slam and the off-beat performances of E2=Experiments in Entertainment.

The good news is that audiences continue to grow and shows often sell out, but keeping up with the demand is becoming a challenge.

“It is overwhelmingly popular,” Tremblay shared. “We are struggling with the success; it is very, very busy and we are only three part-time staff to do it all.”

Staff will keep trying to attract these acts, Tremblay assures, adding that many factors impact whether performers will come to the Trail stage.

“Such as where else are they touring, do they need to fill dates, is there a market here, can they load in all the gear, (load-in is tough at the Bailey as it wasn’t designed as a roadhouse but a school), and do we have sufficient sound and lighting?”

Since installing online ticketing, inquiries for rentals are way up, Tremblay said.

“I think this is huge contributing factor. Increase rental income also means increased expenses and the theatre business is not a money making endeavour; in fact it is somewhat subsidized. Until TDAC (Trail and District Arts Council) takes over theatre operations from the regional district, we won’t know how much exactly.”

In 2013, TDAC presented a business plan to the East End Service Committee (the facility’s regional district service participants) to increase usage of the theatre. The following year, the RDKB entered into a three-year agreement and hired a Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator (Tremblay) for the 719-seat venue.

Increased ticket sales as well as an increase in the number of rentals (shows) are reflective of significant advancements such as the online ticketing system and other capital improvements. Notably, overall tickets sales in 2013 neared 3,800. Two years into TDAC’s business plan and ticket sales hit almost 9,000.

The arts council recently asked, and received, a two-year business plan extension by East End directors.

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