Why are Wednesdays the worst night of the week?

Wednesday evenings suck.

That simple.

If it wasn’t for the more successful Wednesday matinees, most shows would take the whole day off.

But why are they so bad?  Ok, it’s the middle of the week.  It makes sense.  You’re sitting on the hump, so who wants to go out and see a show?

That’s not the only reason, though.

Our friends at Telecharge shared some more data yesterday that helps us understand one of the reasons why a show’s Wednesday mats might be strong and the evening weak.  Take it away, Telecharge!

We look at a lot of data on theatergoers whose addresses indicate they’re from out-of-town, but we often neglect the fact that they may not be overnight visitors. Many of them are from nearby metro areas within the Northeast Corridor, who are traveling into the city just for the day. And while most overnight visitors arrive closer to the weekend, these day-trip visitors come to the city, see a matinee, and return home — many on weekdays. Almost three-quarters of the people who arrived on a Wednesday saw a show on Wednesday — the highest percentage for any day of the week — and nearly 80% of those out-of-town customers live within the Northeast Corridor.

If we take a closer look at the habits of these Northeast Corridor day-trip buyers, we see that 70% of these visitors who attended a Wednesday show saw a matinee; on Saturdays, 60% of Northeast Corridor visitors saw the matinee. This is probably not surprising, but it helps us understand why some shows struggle to sell Wednesday nights. If most of the Wednesday tourist audience are day-trippers who leave town after the matinee, then are shows who depend on tourists trying to paddle upstream by playing Wednesday nights?

Visitors from the Northeast Corridor have buying patterns similar to suburban customers.   In fact, the performances preferred by Northeast Corridor visitors in order of sales are:  Saturday Matinee, Saturday night, Sunday Matinee, Wednesday Matinee, and Friday evening.

So next time you think about how your show markets itself to buyers from Philly or Hartford (or even Boston and D.C.), consider that those folks may just be here for the day.

Good stuff, right?  I love these reports and was happy to see this one arrive in my inbox, so thanks T-Charge.   Looking forward to the next!

But back to the Wednesday nights for a sec – if we all know they suck, and since it’s really hard not to play them, shouldn’t we try to figure out a way to make these performances more special?

Should Wed eves be cheaper than other performances?  Should Wednesdays be like bat-day at Shea Stadium and every ticket holder get a piece of merch?  Should it be Wednesdays at 7 instead of Tuesdays at 7?  Should we work with the unions to figure out an easier way to play the Wed mat without the Wed eve (playing it now means you also have to play Tuesday night, which is another night when tix are in less demand).

We’ve isolated an issue.  And thanks to the Telecharge data we even understand why it is the way it is.  Now we have to address it.


(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



– Enter to win 2 tickets to The Illusion Off-Broadway!  Click here.

– Seminars in Chicago, the weekend of July 9th.  Click here!


  • You have to have an earlier curtain.
    1. Look at the data for what percentage capacity you are selling the Wed. night show.
    2. Figure out the average ticket sale revenue for that show.
    3. Do the math to find how much you could discount the ticket price for the Wed. performance so that you could put more butts in seats but make the same amount of money that you normally would with full price tickets and a smaller audience.
    You now have the potential for a larger audience without losing any money on the show and now have more audience members to sell merch to as well as intermission cocktails and snacks. Also the more people that see the show, the better chance for word-of-mouth ticket sales.

  • Roger says:

    Finian’s Rainbow tried half-price Wednesday evenings 2 years ago. Didn’t work out for them, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.
    Why does playing a Wed Mat mean you also have to play Tues Eve? You could do Mon @ 8, Tue Dark, Wed @ 2, Thu @ 8, Fri @ 8, Sat @ 2&8, Sun @ 2&7.

  • Joe says:

    I have had this idea for decades now
    Why not have an Acoustic Wednesday
    NO amplification at all

  • Bert says:

    i’m afraid that idea will not work, since Wednesday matinees are popular with seniors, who have enough trouble hearing as it is. Were your suggestion to take effect, producers could, however, make a fortune by charging big bucks for listening devices.

Leave a Reply to Joe Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *