Ch-Ch-Ch-Charges: The Brooklyn Museum Offers Private Access to Its David Bowie Show for a Cool $2,500

The museum also raised its regular entrance fee for the blockbuster show.

Album Cover: Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive.
Album Cover: Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive.

At the Brooklyn Museum, deep-pocketed David Bowie fans can now be heroes—just for one day. The museum will offer VIP tickets to its blockbuster exhibition of the late rockstar’s personal archive. Those willing to plunk down $2,500 will get private access to the show and an array of other perks.

The museum is already ditching its regular “suggested” $16 ticket price for the special exhibition by charging visitors a compulsory $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends.

Meanwhile, the special $2,500 tickets include a range of posh benefits. For the full VIP experience, the museum is offering the “Aladdin Sane” ticket—named after Bowie’s 1973 LP. The package includes private access to the exhibition when the museum is closed to the general public (for two), a David Bowie merchandise package, an exclusive print edition, a museum parking pass, a pre- or post-visit talk with a private guide, and a one-year museum membership.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn Museum president and chief operating officer David Berliner said this was the first time the museum has offered a special-ticket option. “We charge… when the cost of the exhibition demands additional revenue,” he told the newspaper. The museum also rolled out compulsory entrance fees for last year’s popular Georgia O’Keefe show.

Like many museums, the Brooklyn Museum has survived its share of financial struggles. Raising entrance fees for select exhibitions is one way of keeping prices in check for the rest of the year. At one point in 2016, the museum was running a projected deficit of $3 million and had to introduce emergency cuts to staff and spending. The measures appear to have worked as the museum finished the year in the black, with a slight surplus of $184,787, the Journal reported.

While the special admission policy has garnered some criticism, the museum has thus far avoided permanent price hikes embraced by other institutions like the Met, which will charge out-of-state visitors a mandatory $25 entrance fee starting in March.


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