7 Ways to Make Your CSO Summer Pops Experience Even More Enjoyable

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.

Charlotte Symphony Pops SouthPark4. 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?

Erich Kunzel Dies at 74

kunzel_long150.jpgErich Kunzel, whose name is synonymous with the classical pops genre, has died in a hospital in Maine where he lost his 4 month battle with cancer of the pancreas, liver, and colon. He was 74.
Kunzel led pops performances in Cincinnati for 44 years, and was at the helm when the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was founded in 1977. He was a revolutionary in the pops genre bringing in jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman as soloists when it wasn’t commonplace for such musicians to perform with symphony orchestras. His concerts were theatrical extravaganzas, and under his leadership the Cincinnati Pops maintained some of the highest concert attendance in the world year after year, week after week. Kunzel will also be remembered as an excellent arranger and often arranged film scores for the Pops to play.
The Cincinnati pops has created a special Web page to remember Erich Kunzel. You can also read more here. We also hope you’ll share your thoughts and remembrances in our comments section.