Ticket sales for the annual two-week fest of music, dance and theatre were off about 10 percent the week before the event and some performers announced they would stay away because of a tourism boycott by flag opponents.

“The arts generally are another way of addressing social questions and ultimately a more effective way than politics,” festival director Nigel Redden said. “Not hearing artists is an immense loss, and one I personally feel is extremely painful.”

State lawmakers have voted to move the flag from the dome to a Confederate monument on the Statehouse grounds. However, the NAACP said the boycott will continue because it is still too prominent a spot.

The Spoleto Festival’s board of directors earlier called for moving the flag from the dome.

Redden said ticket sales were down at a time when the festival had been setting box office records. Last season, a record $2.2 million in tickets were sold and half of the performances were sold out.

This year, there reportedly have been seven cancellations due to the boycott, including jazz singer Dianne Reeves and the music-theatre production “Running Man.” Choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones also said he would cancel performances of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company unless the boycott is lifted.

The festival runs through June 11.