We need to accept our audiences for who they are. Although we usually intend our performances for a specific group, sometimes an altogether surprising group becomes the primary group attending. We can either accept that we now serve this group, or we can change what we’re offering to attract the expected audience.
Maybe the intended audience does, in fact, come by the droves--but they come with unexpected wants and needs. Perhaps all those former musicians with jobs also have young children. Or maybe those college students can’t pay $30 a ticket each week or month.
Either way, we must be responsive to the audience we do have--not to the audience we want or anticipate or accept. (In the same way, we have to work with the ensemble we have, not the one we want or the one that could be.)