I've been thinking on it a bit more and it looks to me like the organizers at Bayreuth have figured out a nice way to massively subsidize effort in local Wagnerian societies. In short, the Wagner opera festival isn't there so much to generate a profit for the organizers as it is there to serve as a prize for folks willing to work hard in their local Wagnerian societies.
The stylized facts:
- Tickets are priced far below market price if you're willing to wait for nine years and assiduously fill in fruitless application forms for those nine years; only about 10% of tickets sell through this route.
- Some tickets sold through very expensive package tours (and surely Bayreuth charges those package tour places much higher prices for their tickets)
- Tickets distributed (at face value, but shorter/no wait) through local Wagnerian societies: some countries' societies (like NZ) have call on more tickets than they'd use; others are oversubscribed and must be allocated.
I know nothing about this other than the three stylized facts above. Is my conclusion entirely insane?