It just wouldn’t be summer in Charlotte without CSO Summer Pops. But before you go, keep these tips in mind.
1. The basics: Have a question about tickets, parking, seating, the music program, or anything else Summer Pops related, there’s a good chance the CSO has covered it here.
2. Connect: Follow the symphony orchestra on Facebook and Twitter. The good people behind the CSO’s social media are constantly providing weather updates and sharing behind-the-scenes pics. The CSO tweets @CLTsymphony.
3. Stake your claim. Gates to the park open at 5pm. The best plots go fast, so get there early, put down your blanket, and then head out for a nice air-conditioned dinner in the SouthPark area. The CSO will issue you a wristband for re-entry when you pick up your tickets, so there’s no need to brave the elements – baking sun or pouring rain – before the music begins.
4. Bike in: The happiest people I’ve seen attending Summer Pops are those who depart on a human-powered vehicle. Casually weave through the inevitable post-concert crush of traffic. Plus, there’s no better way to work off the calories from the half-dozen cupcakes you bought from the “mobile cupcakerey” food truck.
5. Prelude to an evening on the lawn. Most Summer Pops concerts have an opening act that goes on at 7pm. The “prelude” acts are wide-ranging in style (beach, folk, classical, etc.) and provide the perfect bridge between your wine-induced nap on the picnic blanket and the main act.
6. Bring the wine and cheese, but leave the main course at home. Remember in 3rd grade when you learned that sharks can smell a drop of blood in the water from miles away? Well, food truck operators are like sharks equipped with a V-8 engine. That’s good news for Summer Pops-goers who now have a number of mobile dining options, including a decked-out Whole Foods truck. My personal favorite, Maki Taco’s lo-carb hibachi basket. Now if only there was a beer truck.
7. Wine is great, but don’t forget to bring water and sunscreen. Seriously, you’ll regret it if you do.
Your turn: What are your favorite tips for attending the Charlotte Symphony Pops?