LumenoCity 2014 organizers plan to release more tickets via drawing, will add live broadcasts

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will expand access to its LumenoCity event via a live broadcast and several thousand more free tickets.

The CSO said Thursday that the Aug. 2 performance will be carried live on CET. In addition to that, 90.9 WGUC will air the Aug. 1 performance on the radio.

Patrons will also be able to watch a live simulcast on Sunday at Fountain Square and Riverbend Music Center. All three performances will be carried live via a webstream as well.

RELATED: All tickets to LumenoCity 2014 at Washington Park reserved within 12 minutes

The CSO also plans to make 5,000 tickets available for the dress rehearsal on July 31 and an additional 3,300 tickets for the performances on Aug. 1-3 via an online drawing.

Registration for the drawing will be available on www.lumenocity2014.com from Thursday through July 15. There is only one entry allowed per household.

The winners will be announced on July 21 and winners will receive their online redemption codes on July 30.

Winners will get up to four tickets per household for one of the three showings or the dress rehearsal.

Tickets will not be available via the CSO or Music Hall Box Office.

The 12-minute online sellout of free tickets for the LumenoCity 2014 three-day concert in Washington Park sparked a minor furor, forcing officials to find a way to make the free show available to more people.

“From day one, LumenoCity has been guided by a spirit and character of equity, access and generosity,” CSO President Trey Devey said via a release.

The organization said demand for the event far exceeds the capacity of the Washington Park viewing area and that several partners and sponsors stepped in to help.

Devery said P&G Design and The Johnson Foundation helped make the event free for a television, radio and online broadcast.

“It is our goal to reach as many people as possible with LumenoCity and highlight the extraordinary creative energy of our community,” Devey said.

The CSO said the live radio broadcast will allow people in the downtown area to hear and see the performance either from hilltops, rooftops or from a distance.

CET will air the second half of the Aug. 2 performance live starting at 9:30 p.m. That portion will feature the CSO lead by music direction Louis Langrée, performing five selections in Washington Park set to visuals projected onto the façade of Music Hall.

The live broadcasts at Fountain Square and Riverbend Music Center on Aug. 3 are free and patrons are encouraged to bring picnics and lawn chairs to either location.

The live web stream will begin at 8:30 p.m. for all three days (Aug. 1-3) and is available at www.lumenocity2014.com.

“We’re of course committed to having as many people as possible experience LumenoCity live in Washington Park, but given the overwhelming interest and demand, the CSO is delighted to bring this unique concert experience to many thousands of people locally and around the globe through our media partners,” Devey said in a release.

Within minutes of their availability on Monday, June 9, online tickets to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's free LumenoCity concerts, Aug. 1-3, could be found on eBay, listed for as much as $100 apiece.

The quick sale and scalping sparked a city council hearing and much debate amongst fans of the show. And just a month after those tickets sold out, LumenoCity organizers announced Wednesday they have found a way to make more room for people to see the show.

In a release, LumenoCity officials wrote:

"Due to overwhelming demand for LUMENOCITY®, a stunning free-to-the-public Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra concert paired with image mapping to take place in Washington Park August 1, 2 & 3, the Orchestra has explored and confirmed several ways to expand accessibility to this free community event."

The quick grab of tickets and their appearance for sale online in June prompted an avalanche of comments on the orchestra's Facebook page from people who were originally out of luck to attend. It also led Cincinnati Vice-Mayor David Mann to introduce a motion asking the city to investigate how tickets were distributed.

"Maybe there needs to be a better way to distribute the tickets," Mann told WCPO. "In all cases we don't want people selling something that's free that has to do with an event on public property."

Mann said he was able to reserve tickets early because he is a CSO subscriber.

During his initial motion, Mann said he was glad to hear the city and LumenoCity organizers might simulcast the event on the Fountain Square video board.

LumenoCity pairs the symphony in Washington Park against the backdrop of a computerized light show on the facade of Music Hall. At its premiere over two nights in summer 2013, the light-and-sound extravaganza drew about 35,000—more than triple what organizers had anticipated.

RELATED: Museum Center might stage LumenoCity-style show

In bringing back LumenoCity this summer, vice president of communications Chris Pinelo said orchestra officials wanted to control the number of people who could enter the park to better ensure sightlines and safety. Organizers expanded LumenoCity to three nights, and offered 12,500 tickets for each.

Orchestra subscribers and those who had purchased tickets to concerts during the 2013-14 season had opportunities in advance of Monday to reserve tickets to LumenoCity. The orchestra wouldn't release specific breakdowns of the number of tickets distributed online, the number that went to libraries and nonprofit groups for redistribution or the number committed in advance to orchestra subscribers and others who had supported or purchased tickets to the symphony last season. 

RELATED: Lots in store for OTR during LumenoCity 2014
PHOTOS: LumenoCity 2013 at Washington Park

WCPO reporters Matt Peiken and Jesse Folk contributed to this report.

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