High School Musicals – Budgets and Other Numbers

Here at TicketPeak, we’ve done a scan of communications and postings across social media on various topics dealing with the business aspects of high school musicals. From that scan, this article summarizes findings on the topic of budgets, revenue and number of performances – the numbers (numeric, not musical) behind the shows.

Budgets for Musicals at High Schools

There is a large range in the budgets available to high schools to put on a musical. Analyzing what the schools mentioned regarding budgets to put on a musical, we compiled the numbers into the chart below. It shows the percent of high schools in each budget category. For example, 20% of the schools have a budget of $1,000 to $5,000. The majority (58%) of schools have a budget over $10,000.

Revenue Generation

Regardless of the budget available, most schools work to recover costs through ticket sales and other revenue generating activities. One source of revenue is the selling of advertising on the program. High schools tend to charge the following amounts for the advertising in the programs:

ColorBlack & White
Back Cover$500 – $800$400 – $600
Inside Full Page$300 – $600$200 – $400
Half-Page$200 – $400$100 – $200
Quarter-Page$200 – $300$50 – 100

Few schools report selling advertising on the tickets. I would argue that is an untapped opportunity. There is no cost to the school since people are printing their tickets at home or bringing them on mobile. Plus, every audience member sees the ad on the ticket since every audience member looks at his or her ticket. Only a portion of the audience see ads in the program. Of course, you need a ticketing system that provides the opportunity to advertise on the ticket. TicketPeak’s E-ticketing software provides that.

Number of Performances

We also looked at the number of performances that each school delivers. The chart below shows the percent of high schools according to the number of performances they deliver. For example, 34% of schools deliver four performances.

Many schools report that they’d like to deliver more, but competition for the auditorium space is the primary factor preventing them from being able to do so.

There is a large dropoff after four performances. That is, few schools perform five or more times. The reason for the dropoff is that four seems to be the highest number that can be performed within the space of one weekend. The schools who do perform over two or more weekends state that it is a great learning experience for students to be able to grow with live performances over time.