Last night, I met two friends at the newly renovated theatre in Loulé for its inaugural concert. The concert had been publicized on billboards and a banner hanging on the outside of the theatre itself, but nowhere could I find any information other than that it began at 21:30. The Town Hall’s web site also touted the concert, but didn’t give any hints on how to attend. A Google search on “Loulé Cine-Teatro” turned up several mentions, but again no info on ticket price, availability, etc. Maybe the concert was free? I even walked past the theatre the morning of the concert, but it was locked up tight and there were no informative signs or flyers in the windows.
That evening I showed up in the theatre lobby a little early, and immediately determined that the concert was not free. Tickets were 6 euros. Fine, but I didn’t want to buy mine and then end up sitting apart from my friends. So I waited, and when they arrived we went up to the counter to buy three tickets.
Which was when we learned that the concert was sold out, other than single seats here or there.
“But you can reserve tickets for tomorrow night,” said the helpful clerk.
We didn’t even know there was a concert the following night! None of the ads indicated that. Oh well, we said, just another example of the challenging nature of learning anything in Portugal. We informed the clerk that yes, we’d like three tickets for the following night. She took down my name and our seating preference, and I pulled out my wallet.
“Oh, you can’t buy them now,” she said. “You have to come back tomorrow, between 14:00 and 20:00.”
Since I’m the one who lives in Loulé, I collected the money from my friends and said I’d take care of it. So I’m headed out now to buy our three tickets. And in a few hours I’ll head out again, for the concert itself. As any expat will tell you, there are many things to love about Portugal but organization is most definitely not one of them.
What I want to know is, how did all those other attendees know when, where and how to buy their tickets??