Sundance Hikes Ticket Prices

There’s no way to sugarcoat the news. Sundance Film Fest ticket prices are going up…33 percent. The $20 ticket charge for films that may go straight to Netflix has more than a few Park City locals miffed. “That’s called gouging,” Tom Richardson posted on The Park Record Newspaper’s Facebook page. “Just ridiculous. We should just wait till they come to the Park City library when they’re a lot cheaper.”

Sundance organizers added $5 to the face value of last year’s $15 ticket in order to offset their operating costs. They seem to be keeping the increase on the down-low though. You would have had to visit the website to notice. The hike comes on the heels of a summer press announcement that the 2013 Festival generated an overall economic impact of nearly $70 million for Utah.

Individual tickets won’t go on sale until January but with the busiest time at the box office starting with the locals-only purchasing period.

Linda Pfafflin, a Sundance associate director, told the Record that it’s been seven years since the last increase. “The funds generated from this adjustment will help us meet rising costs associated with putting on the festival,” Pfafflin said in a prepared response. If it’s any consolation, a waitlist ticket will still be $15.

In comparison, tickets to screenings for the Toronto Film Festival are $21 and those for the Telluride Film Festival taking place this weekend are $25. Sundance organizers say they price tickets competitively but that news won’t take the sting out of those already hard-to-get Sundance tickets. So why pay $20 instead of waiting for Netflix? You’re paying for the experience, the filmmaker question and answer sessions and the chance to spot a celebrity.

Sundance 2014 runs Jan. 16-26. www.sundance.org/festival/tickets.

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