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Symphony Installs $10 Admission For Summer Pops Concerts

The Charlotte Symphony's summer pops concerts are no longer free. Adults will now have to pay $10 admission. The Summer Pops series at Symphony Park is very popular. The grassy field and hillside surrounding the stage is packed. It's a great setting for a family picnic, or a cheap date. It's always been free, after all. Not anymore. With a $1.7 million deficit, the symphony can't afford to keep losing money on the summer pops series. Executive director Jonathan Martin says donations and corporate sponsorships only generate about 20 percent of the $500,000 cost of the series. "Passing the hat does not make a sustainable business model. I think this is a logical first step to try to improve the finances of the Symphony itself," Martin said. Martin says it's too early to project how much additional revenue the admission charge will generate. The symphony's board felt it had to try something different because the old approach of asking for donations wasn't working. He says concert attendance is usually about 6,000, and doubles over the 4th of July holiday. A season pass to all five concerts is available for $25. Admission will remain free for kids 18 and under. The Summer Pops season kicks off June 12th.