A Fireside Chat With George Wein
AAJ: Future sounds grim.
GW: That is not necessarily true. If you go into little clubs where you have a social scene and they are playing jazz and the price is not too high and it is a five or ten dollar cover charge, you will see young people. Young people cannot afford to go to Carnegie Hall. We get a lot of young people at Newport because it is a good bargain for the money. It is a big day, five, six hours or music. Our concerts at Carnegie Hall do not draw a lot of young people because we are charging sixty or seventy dollars a concert. The cost is so incredible that you have to do that. When we first came to New York, I rented Carnegie Hall and the ticket prices were six, seven dollars and we could pay for the music, pay for the hall, and pay for advertising, and break even. We could stay alive and keep the festival going. You can't do that now because when you have a union venue like in New York, the venues cost a tremendous amount of money. The stagehands bills can be ten to thirty thousands of dollars depending on whether it is a special show. Advertising in New York is very expensive. We spend over a quarter of a million dollars advertising a festival. That is a fortune.