San Francisco Performances announced their upcoming season today. Their offerings are varied and interesting and high-quality as usual (check them out here), but right now that's not my reason for saluting them. My reason for saluting them is their new start times for evening performances: check them out; nary an 8:00 start in the bunch, but all 7:00 or 7:30.
I have already mentioned before and described at length why I feel the once-standard 8:00 evening start time is outmoded, at least in the Bay Area, so I won't rehearse all that again here except to say that BART's recent announcement that for the next year and a half or so, due to retrofitting in the tube, all transbay trains after 10:00 PM on weeknights would be delayed by an extra fifteen-twenty minutes added some urgency to my feeling that weeknight 8:00 start times just weren't working for me anymore (most people I know had given up on them years ago). An 8:00 start time puts all the BART riders right into the delays; with 7:30 starts the problem is avoided.
Live performance is up against a lot of competition in this age of downloadable and otherwise instantly available entertainment, so organizations need to cast as wide a net as possible for their audiences. Forget the social-media flavor-of-the-month; this move to a more accommodating hour is the sort of innovative approach and fundamental rethinking (and the sort of adaptation to present realities) that organizations need.
So San Francisco Performances, consider yourself saluted. I look forward to seeing who else follows their lead.