While many people think that lawn rushing is only for the hardcore concert-goers, it really should be a priority for all. Getting the right spot on the lawn, the one place where your seat is not reserved before the show, can have a larger impact on your concert experience than you think. To help you out, we’ve laid out some tried and true Dos and Don’ts for the Wolf Trap lawn that we've learned from experience.
1. Show up on time
- This is one of the most important rules to follow if you want a good spot on the lawn. Better to be early than on time. The lawn opens 90 minutes prior to the show, and, depending on the performance, people start to arrive about 30 to 60 minutes prior to the gates opening.
- Unlike most venues, at Wolf Trap you can bring food. And not just a backpack of chips and water, but an entire spread. Bring your favorite wine, gourmet cheeses, pasta salad, but stick to things that can be served cold and are easy to eat. If you don’t have time or you forget to pack, that’s fine too—we have plenty of options, including wine and liquor, at our on-site concessions stand.
- Many people rush in and grab up the first place they find that’s closest to the stage, but you should be more strategic about it. Next time you’re on the lawn, walk around and decide where you think the best place is for sights and sounds, and plan to rush to that spot in the future. You’ll be surprised; the best spots might not be the closest.
- How important is it to see the stage? How close do you want to be to concessions, restrooms, or the exit? Do you plan to do a little dancing or would you rather lay back, close your eyes, and enjoy the music and the breeze? For some, live music is simply about the sound (though some acts put on a pretty phenomenal spectacle—Cirque Dreams, anyone?)
5. Bring a blanket/tarp or rent a comfy cushion
- Bringing a blanket might seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Having a blanket out—even if you brought a chair—ensures that you have a comfortable amount of room for you and your friends. And speaking of blankets, have yours out BEFORE you go through the gates so you can throw it on the ground quickly. Pulling your blanket out of your bag in a rush and seeing all the other contents fly out onto the lawn with it is not fun (been there, done that). And did you know you can also rent cushions for a small fee and extra comfort?
1. Wait for your friends
- Ok, this sounds mean, but let us elaborate. If you’re there early with your blanket and tickets and your friend is running late, go alone, stake out your spot, and have them call you when they arrive. You can always leave your blanket later and deliver their ticket to them at the gate. Better to get a good spot on your own than a bad spot because you waited!
- Let’s be honest. You’re not running on solid level pavement—you’re running on a grassy hill. It’s not flat, but your shoes should be. Wear sandals, sneakers, or something sturdy, and you won’t have a problem. You’re on the lawn, not at the ball—stilettos need not apply.
- While I’m not saying you should bank on getting dirty, we will admit that it’s more likely than if you were sitting at home. You don’t have to dress like a slob, but be conscious and wear something that’s cool and comfortable (and easy to move in—they don’t call it “rushing” for nothing!). I think we can all agree that we’d rather look casual and be happy than get heat stroke because we decided to layer for the sake of fashion. Additionally, it might rain! While we all wish summer was full of 90 days of sunny, 75 degree weather, it’s not. Check the forecast that morning, and if it might rain, bring a jacket, umbrella, or a tarp. If tickets are available, you can also upgrade your lawn tickets to in-house free of fees—you simply have to pay the difference in price from the lawn ticket to the in-house ticket.