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Plan Your Visit: Tips for Summerfest Beginners

Welcome to Summerfest!

If you are a first-time visitor to a North Carolina Symphony Rex Healthcare Summerfest concert, it may help to know a bit about what to expect (and what’s expected of you) before you go. Here are some of the more common questions our first-time patrons ask and, more importantly, the answers.

What is the best deal for buying Summerfest tickets?
Summerfest Lan Flex Passes are the best value when buying lawn tickets, saving you up to 20% when compared to single-concert tickets. The Flex tickets are flexible and can be used in any combination. You can use all the tickets for one concert or spread the tickets out amongst a number of concerts. You can also share them with your friends and family. The choice is yours.

What should I wear?
Dress for summer, and bring a wrap in case it gets a bit chilly after the sun goes down.  You will also want to bring a poncho or rain coat in case of a sprinkle, because our Summerfest concerts happen rain or shine!  

What should I bring?
You can pack a supper, or purchase food to enjoy right at Booth Amphitheatre. If you enjoy making picnics an event, you can enter the Lowes Foods “Picnic of the Week” contest. Beer and wine are allowed for Summerfest concerts. 

When should I arrive before a concert?
The gates at Koka Booth Amphitheatre open at 5:30pm for each Summerfest concert (except for our annual free Independence Day concert, when the gates open at 3pm). Parking lots open one hour earlier. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the concert. This will give you plenty of time to park, walk, visit the restroom, perhaps grab a beverage or snack and find your seat, whether it is on the lawn or in the covered Crescent.

When should I clap?
Out of courtesy for the musicians and conductor, it is considered proper concert etiquette to applaud only after a work is complete and the conductor has lowered his hands. If the work has multiple movements, please wait until the end of the last movement. Usually there is a 10-20 second pause in between movements. Simply refer to your program book to see the number of movements in the work, or you can simply wait until the rest of the audience begins applauding.

Do I need to know the music before I attend a performance?
No. One of the great joys of going to a North Carolina Symphony concert is being introduced to a great piece of music you've never heard before.

May I bring my electronic devices?
All electronic and mechanical devices, including pagers, phones, tablets and wristwatch alarms should be muted before the concert starts. Beeping cell phones and pagers can spoil a concert.

Is there an intermission during the performance?
Most concerts do have an intermission, but you can find out by checking your concert program listing. Intermissions are 15 to 20 minutes.

May I take pictures?
Flash photographs are not allowed, and recording, whether video or audio, is strictly prohibited. However, non-flash photographs are fine, and we hope that after you like us on Facebook ( and follow @ncsymphony on Twitter, you will post photos and let your friends and neighbors know about the fun you are having. Use #NCSummerfest when you post.

Can children attend a North Carolina Symphony concert?
Absolutely! Kids 12 and under are admitted free on the lawn! Summerfest is a marvelous, family-friendly way to expose children of all ages to the power of live orchestral music, and we are always happy to see our younger patrons. 

What handicapped facilities are available?
Booth Amphitheatre is completely accessible to all areas of the venue for our guests with disabilities.

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