Hudson -- For the first time in its 53-year history, the Hudson High School Marching Band is changing its tune -- on ticket sales that is.
Advanced ticket sales for the Oct. 5 Parade of Bands event 7 p.m. at Hudson Memorial Stadium went online in August.
Tickets are only available at www.showclix.com/events/17476 or by calling 1-888-718-4253. Unlike in years past, advanced tickets can no longer be purchased at Acme Fresh Market or the Learned Owl Book Shop.
"It is a big change," Jeffrey Jones, co-chair for the Battle of the Bands said.
Tickets can also be purchased through a smart phone using a QR code, Jones added. Seats purchased using the QR code option cannot be picked by the purchaser and will only be offered as "best seating available" at time of purchase.
A variety of issues led up to the ticket sale decision, Jones said.
Last year, premium seating was offered for an extra $1, according to Co-chair Don Germano.
The organizers did not anticipate the hundreds of people who showed up at least two hours before the show to purchase premium seating, Jones said.
"That told us there was demand for them," Jones said. "And this is a fundraiser for the band."
Purchasing seats online will allow attendees to pick specific seats, payi with a credit card from a home computer and cut down one some of the lines, Jones said.
The change seems to be working, Germano said. Advanced ticket sales, in the first month, have already surpassed last year's sales. So far the HMA has raised $3,988 in advanced ticket sales, compared to $2,910 last year.
"We are also getting good response from the fans of the guest bands," Germano said. "And as we expected, they are in fact purchasing premium seats."
However, with the move to online purchasing, the price has increased due to a $1 Internet processing fee, Germano said.
"Pricing was very important to use," Germano said. "We wanted to make sure people felt comfortable with the processes we chose."
So far there have been few complaints, Jones said.
This year, the premium seating is being sold on a two-tier basis, with tickets for the better padded seats (tier-1) going for $10 in advance. Purchasers of the advanced tier seats can choose their particular sets, Jones said. Tier-1 seating at the gate will be $14, with a computer choosing seating from "best available," Germano said.
Tier-2 seating, the bleacher seats with padded backs are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate.
General admission will be $6 in advance and $7 at the gate, Jones said.
"Our goal is to sell out all our premium seats before the event," Germano added.
Last year all seating was first-come-first serve and the band was left with about 70 "orphaned premium seats," Germano added.
"We are getting overwhelming feedback from those who have interacted with the call center," Jones said. "We have been very pleasantly surprised."
The Parade of Bands is the largest band fundraiser of the year and funds raised replenish the uniform fund and help with the purchase and repair of musical instruments.
Organizers estimate around 2,000 people attended last year's event.
"We are shooting to get as close to that 3,000 (stadium capacity) as we can," Jones said.
Last year the band event raised $12,481 after expenses, through ticket sales, sponsorships and donations from last year's event.
For more information on the band and other fundraising opportunities visit www.hudsonmusic.org.