The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest

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Bayreuth Festival

Each summer Wagnerians from around the world make a pilgrimage to Bayreuth, Germany to attend the Bayreuth Festival. The opportunity to hear performances of Wagner’s operas in a theater designed by Richard Wagner himself is a rich experience.

A person may request tickets through the Bayreuth Festival Box Office. However, a person typically must re-apply for tickets for many consecutive years before receiving tickets, due to extremely high demand through the Box Office.

A person may join and make annual donations to the Society of Friends of Bayreuth and request tickets through the Society.

A third option is to request tickets through RWSUM, typically with less waiting and without the need to donate. Each year RWSUM requests tickets for a package of Bayreuth Festival performances for resale to its members. The following rules apply in order to insure that every member who wishes to attend the Bayreuth Festival has an opportunity to do so:

Bayreuth Festival Ticket Rules

  1. A person must be a member of RWSUM on September 1 of the year preceding the Festival year in order to request tickets for the package of performances.
  2. A Regular member or the co-members of a Dual membership may request at most two seats for every performance in the package.
  3. All ticket requests must be in writing and include a deposit of $300 per seat requested for the package of performances.
  4. When Bayreuth provides us with the number and prices of tickets allocated to RWSUM, we will offer the tickets to the member(s) with the highest Bayreuth ticket priority (see below). If the member accepts the tickets offered by the Society, full payment to the Society is required within two weeks. If the member with the highest priority declines the offered tickets, that member’s deposit is forfeited to the Society and the tickets are offered to the member with the next highest ticket priority.
  5. Ticket invoices include a 10% surcharge to cover expenses, which is a tax deductible contribution to the Society.
  6. If a member receives tickets for 2 seats for the package of performances and the second person is not a member of the Society, the second person must immediately become a member of RWSUM.
  7. If a ticket holder is unable to attend the Festival, the Society will assist the ticket holder to resell or return the tickets. However, a refund is not guaranteed.
  8. Travel and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of the member.

If the Society receives fewer tickets than requested, then these additional rules apply:

  1. Tickets will be offered first to those with highest Bayreuth ticket priority. Bayreuth ticket priority is based on a rotating system affording every member a chance to attend the Festival. A priority list is maintained, initially constructed by listing members in the order of joining the Society.
  2. When a new member joins the Society, their name is added at the bottom of the list. When a member is offered and accepts tickets for a Festival, the member’s name is moved to the bottom of the list, after those joining the Society that year.
  3. If a member allows his or her membership to lapse and later rejoins the Society, then the member re-enters the Bayreuth priority list as a new member when he or she rejoins the Society.
  4. If the Society is unable to offer tickets to a member who requested tickets, the member’s deposit is refunded.

Please email for further information.

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