Live Nation recently introduced its “Club Passport”. For $49.99, you can go see unlimited club shows for the rest of the year in a participating Live Nation venue in your city. In Los Angeles, that means any of the House of Blues venues, the Wiltern, the Palladium, and Avalon. If you’re a music fan, this seems like a great deal.
For years, I’ve felt that this could be done with comedy. Why not lower the barriers for people to go see more live comedy and get them into the venues with an annual pass? For $50 (or whatever the amount may be), people could go see any show at a particular club or set of clubs (i.e. Improv Hollywood, Irvine, Brea, Ontario) they wanted.
In reality, how many of you go to see more than 1 or 2 live comedy shows a year? Probably a small percentage. More things need to be done to get people into the clubs more often and spreading the word. An annual pass is a great option. Amusement parks have been doing this for a long time. “Buy a day, come back for the rest of the year”-type of deals. Because they know it’s about getting people in the venue, having them purchase other products, and bringing their friends.
Special shows could be made available only to the annual pass holders. Create exciting exclusivity like the inside tip on club performances by Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock. At the end of the day it about creating buzz and word of mouth hype.
This is also a much better option than offering free tickets. Free tickets devalues your product. It basically says, “I know my normal prices are too high for people to pay and I haven’t done a good job promoting the product to create any demand.”
Now of course there would be some set of rules governing shows you can see, as I’m sure there are with Live Nation. I believe there might be a wait list for certain shows. And I can imagine clubs would have to work out any situations where comedians get a portion of the “gate”. But this can be done.
I wonder how many of you would be interested in buying an annual pass for live comedy?