The cheap seats are going to cost a little more at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheater next summer.
A split City Council voted 3-2 last week to a list of requests from the city-owned and operated outdoor venue — including increasing the ticket price for general admission lawn seating by $2 for a single show during the summer season. Council members Amanda Rigby and Cody Campbell cast the “no” votes.
Tickets for the unreserved lawn — a grassy hillside above the amphitheater’s main seating area — will rise to $17 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and $22 on Fridays and Saturdays. The increase to the cheap seat prices comes a year after the city OK’d raising all single-show tickets by $3 across the board. Before that, the last price hike was in 2011.
On Oct.11, Moonlight Stage Productions also won permission from the City Council to add one extra performance date to each of its summer shows. The theater group’s staple offerings include a summer season of four Broadway musicals.
The additional four performances could bring in an extra $86,500 each year.
No other ticket prices will increase for the summer shows. Depending on the day of the performance, reserved lawn tickets typically cost $27 to $32, reserved seats are generally $42 to $45, and orchestra seats are $52 to $55.
But there is another increase of which show-goers should take note: the cost for single tickets for 2018 Moonlight Club M cabaret series are going up from $80 to $85. It’s a price, according to a city staff report, that “more accurately reflects the value of the programming for this continually sold-out series and allows staff to contract with increasingly popular acts.”
Council members applauded the quality of the venue’s shows, some referring to the site as a jewel.
But Councilwoman Amanda Rigby said that, while she supported most of Moonlight’s requests — “I applaud your efforts in trying to make it bigger and better” — she did not want to raise admission prices for the general grass seating.
Councilman John Franklin backed the move to bump up some ticket prices, and said it would be better to have “small targeted increases” rather than put it off and later see price spikes.
“My general philosophy is that everything goes up over the course of a year,” Franklin said.
The venue boasts 2,000 seats, 920 of which are hard seats. The remainder is lawn seating, some of which is reserved seating.
The city subsidizes the Moonlight, which also receives money from the Moonlight Cultural Foundation. This year, the foundation was expected to donate $250,000 to the production house, but has since revised that to $200.000.
Increasing the cost of the cheap seats could cover nearly half of that $50,000 funding loss.