Jul 21, 2016

DPAC’s Eighth Season Welcomed More Than Half a Million Guests

For the first time ever, the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) entertained more than half a million guests in one season, setting new records for attendance, sellout performances and total events during its recently completed 2015-2016 season.

Total attendance hit 511,073 guests – nearly a 14-percent increase over last season. DPAC’s eighth season of operations under the direction of Nederlander and PFM also saw an increase in total events (249 events) and total sellouts (119 sellout performances) compared to last year.

DPAC Places among Nation’s Top Theaters in National Attendance Rankings

While its showcasing of high-profile Broadway, concert and comedy events has made DPAC the unequivocal center for live entertainment in North Carolina, the theater also has been nationally highlighted as one of the country’s most highly-attended venues.  Pollstar Magazine – one of the top entertainment trade magazines – ranks DPAC as third in attendance among reporting theatre venues in America.

Pollstar National Attendance Rankings - Theaters: *(January 1-June 30, 2016)

1. Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
2. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
3. Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC
4. The Axis at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV
5. Beacon Theatre, New York, NY

With a 40-performance run, Disney’s The Lion King headed the list of the highest-attended Broadway shows at DPAC, followed by The Book of Mormon and Beautiful with 16 performances each.

Top Five  Broadway Shows
2015 / 2016 Season*
1. The Lion King
2. The Book of Mormon
3. Beautiful
4. The Illusionists
5. Sound of Music
*July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

In addition to Broadway blockbusters, DPAC presented 51 concerts, comedy shows and special events. Concert sellouts featured The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, along with R&B icons such as Patti LaBelle and Mary J. Blige, pop veterans including Duran Duran and Hall & Oates, award-winning jazz singer Jill Scott, and rock legends Mark Knopfler and The Moody Blues.  Jerry Seinfeld’s two-night comedy performance led a strong comedy season that also featured John Cleese and Eric Idle, and special events included sellout appearances by Alton Brown and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Top Fifteen Concert Events
2015 / 2016 Season*
1. Aretha Franklin
2. Duran Duran
3. Mark Knopfler
4. Hall & Oates
5. Frankie Valli
6. Mary J. Blige
7. Jill Scott
8. Jackson Browne
9. Gladys Knight & The O’Jays
10. Patti LaBelle
11. The Moody Blues
12. Ricky Martin
13. Faith Evans & Mase
14. Yanni
15. Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
*July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

Top Five Comedy Events
2015 / 2016 Season*
1. Jerry Seinfeld
2. John Cleese/Eric Idle
3. Jeff Foxworthy/ Larry The Cable Guy
4. Ron White
5. Brian Regan
*July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

Top Five Special Events
2015 / 2016 Season*
1. Alton Brown
2. Neil deGrasse Tyson
3. Wild Kratts
4. Dancing with the Stars
5. Dan & Phil
*July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

Bob Klaus, General Manager of DPAC, said, "At DPAC, our focus is to give every guest an outstanding live entertainment experience, and we are glad that our audiences continue to grow. Every year, DPAC is able to offer one of the best Broadway, concert and comedy line-ups of any venue in America, thanks to the booking strength of Nederlander and PFM. Durham’s vibrant downtown – with great hotels, restaurants and easy parking – has helped DPAC earn its reputation as one of the nation’s top theaters.”

Rachel Traversari, Senior Director of Marketing, added, “We appreciate the support of our guests and are honored that major regional publications consistently name DPAC as the best place in the Triangle for live entertainment. On behalf of the DPAC staff, special thanks to our fans for sharing in the success of this season, and we look forward to seeing you again next year.”