Ludington Area Center for the Arts building

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts announced on Thursday that two scheduled concerts have been canceled due to a lack of ticket sales, and the arts center took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of buying advanced tickets for events at venues in the community.

The concerts — dubbed “A Very Merry Motown Christmas” — were scheduled to take place on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. LACA and concert promotion company Big Round Sound had tapped Muskegon-based R&B group the Ultimate Taste Band to perform.

“Unfortunately, advance ticket sales for these events were not strong enough and promoters had to make the tough decision not go through with the concerts,” LACA Operations Manager Andrew Skinner said in a statement. “A lot of time and money go into planning high-quality performances and with minimal advance sales we didn’t feel hosting the concert was a wise financial decision."

Skinner said that a lot can hinge on early ticket sales for local venues like the arts center.

“Buying tickets in advance really helps us gauge an event and how many people to anticipate. It gives us an idea of how many people are coming,” Skinner told the Daily News. “It was a substantial amount of money we were paying for the band, so it’s kind of a big risk for us to take. It was getting close to the time when we could back out with minimal losses, so we (made the decision to cancel).”

Proceeds from events hosted at the arts center are used to fund future activities or to make improvements to the South Harrison Street facility, which usually requires help from donors or fundraisers like the Ludrock concert series.

“We’re a nonprofit, so … we’re just looking to break even. The money we make for events helps put on additional events,” Skinner said, adding that if the center fails to break even financially on one event, that makes it all the more uncertain that something new will be added to the schedule.

“It’s not just this event, but all events, whether it’s (at LACA) or anywhere else,” he said.

Read the full story in Friday's Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition.