VAIL, Colorado - While the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival's orchestral concerts take place at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, an outdoor venue rather than a typical concert hall, formal concert etiquette still applies.
"Many of our concertgoers are classical music first-timers," said Nancy Stevens, Bravo's ticketing manager. "With the beautiful Colorado Rockies as your backdrop, there is no better place to have your first live classical experience."
While Stevens said that a Bravo concert might be someone's first classical experience, there's no reason for one to act as if it is their first time.
"We would never want anyone to feel intimated at our concerts," Stevens said. "With a little guidance and a few helpful tips, you'll look like a seasoned concert attendee in little time."
Yes, classical music performances usually have a more formal attire policy. However, Mother Nature always wins. For example, you will see the most loyal Bravo concertgoers, listening intently to the sounds of one of our three resident orchestras, while huddling together under umbrellas and tarps as the rain comes charging in unannounced. Just as well, you will see a couple sitting in the best reserved seats in the house slipping on their ski jackets over their nicest evening attire. To ensure you enjoy your experience, make sure you dress to impress, but always be ready for Colorado weather surprises!
By all means, classical music is to be enjoyed, just in a slightly different manner than your favorite rock concert. There will be plenty of opportunities to applaud, even add the occasional "Bravo!" In fact, most of the time, that's enough to get you an encore or two. However, let's leave out the whooping and hollering.
The pieces you hear at Bravo concerts are oftentimes put together in slightly different ways than those songs you sing along to on the radio. In your program, you may notice many of the pieces of music having multiple parts. A piece of music as a whole is meant to be heard as one constant thought, even though there may be a few different pieces in that whole. If the composer had intended for each movement to be a different experience, he would have titled them all separately and had them played independently of one another. However, in most cases, the appropriate thing to do is wait until all the movements of one piece are finished and then applaud. You will have a much better experience if you hear the music as the composer truly intended.
Unless it is an emergency, concert attendees are not permitted to walk around the seating sections during a performance. Ushers will block the entrance to the seating areas during the performance. In between pieces, they will permit concert attendees to move about, but we request that you wait patiently by the rope until you are permitted to enter or exit the seating areas.
Outside food is allowed at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, whether you are sitting on the lawn or in the pavilion. Please be mindful of others around you while eating. Outside beverages are not allowed at the amphitheater but may be purchased at the concession stand. There's always the obligatory empty wine bottle rolling down the pavilion floor every season, but don't let that be you! Be aware of where your bottle of wine is at all times. Hold it in between your feet, if needed.
The Bravo Vail Valley Music festival is proud to offer some of the best classical music around, and we want you to enjoy it! Study the stage, look for interesting differences in all the instruments, try to pick out different sounds throughout the evening, close your eyes, and imagine a scene or story to fit the music. There are endless ways for you to have the best experience imaginable.