You can’t supercharge a dull sentence by drawing three lightning bolts at the end. It makes your copy look like it was texted by a teenaged girl. (OMG!!!) If you want patrons to get excited about your event, describe it in exciting terms. Save the cheap effects for your production budget.
I was being generous when I wrote this. I apply a 50-word limit to my own concert descriptions. The difference is, I know what I’m doing.
You and your colleagues are probably very nice people. But patrons don’t buy tickets for the pleasure of your company. Think of something better.
There are two types of people who whinge about prices: those who can’t afford to pay and those who don’t want to pay. Neither is an easy sell. But they’ll show up in force, if it’s free, and bitch the entire time about street noise or babies burbling in the seats behind theirs. Devote not a single moment of your day to their plight.
Oh, I know. Subscriptions indicate a deeper level of commitment. Subscribers are more likely to be donors: also true. It costs the price of a stamp to renew subscribers with last season’s seats.

That’s where your logic ends and mine begins. To produce a handful of well-heeled subscribers, you must cultivate them from vast fields of single-ticket buyers. This is not an inexpensive proposition. And yet, the people who buy single tickets pay full price for their seats. They can also be guided into deeper forms of engagement that don’t involve handouts or entitlements. Which means they’re extremely valuable to you and your organization. Treat them well.

You’re training patrons to think of your art in terms of volume and discounts. In fact, they should be thinking of it as a one-of-a-kind experience, well worthy of the funds they’ll dispense to acquire it. Include a gift certificate to one of your partner restaurants. Throw in a trial VIP club membership. Offer free tickets to a limited-access event. It doesn’t cost much to add value. It’s infinitely more expensive to incentivize thrift.
If I read one more classical music brochure with Scriptina as the headline font, I’ll retch. We’re concert promoters, not funeral directors. Punch it up a notch. And please, I beg you, consider something in a sans serif.
I mean everyone: patrons, colleagues, artistic director, board members, sponsors, donors. They all know how to do your job better: accept it. Accept also that they’ll try to committee your work to death. They’ll interfere with your productivity and mess with your chi. It’s part of the job. The professional marketer delivers, regardless. This is your area of expertise. Kill for it.
You want patrons to know you’re proud of the fact that you did your job. You paid an artist to perform in front of a live audience, and now you think people should buy tickets to validate your feelings of self-satisfaction.

In what other industry is this phrase so persistently used? It’s one thing when teacher hands out ribbons for every little non-achievement; it’s entirely another matter when you have to award them to yourself.

Of course you’re proud. Who wouldn’t be? But patrons don’t hand over their hard-earned cash so you can feel sniffy. This is their experience, not yours. Write it that way.

Don’t get all bent out of shape. I’m sure your self-sacrifice is the stuff of local legend. But if you’ve been doing it longer than the organization’s executives, and they want to change the way you do it, and you think it should be done the way you’ve always done it, then you’re a problem.
The question isn’t whether the glass is half empty or half full. The glass is too big.

Same thing with your venue. Program into the right space and people will be gushing about your full house, not tut-tutting poor ticket sales and lamenting the future of your art.

This is way too complicated to explain in a paragraph or two. I’ll write a full post on the subject, when I’m so inclined. (Update: I was so inclined.)
Arts presenters have trouble with ticket sales, in part, because ADs rarely mingle with their minions. Collaborate. Your AD has a vision. Much like a performing artist, you are its interpreter. The way you express that vision is an overture to the main event. Success starts with an earnest discussion, as equals.
If you believe earned revenue minus artist fees and production expenses equals profit or loss, then you’re in the wrong business. If you don’t know why, then you’re in the wrong business.