Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival concert etiquette 101 |

Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival concert etiquette 101

Megan Norman
Vail, CO Colorado
Chris Lee/Special to the DailyBravo! Vail Valley Music Festival concert attendees brave some rain during a past concert. Festival organizers suggest concert-goers "dress to impress, but always be ready for Colorado weather surprises."

VAIL, Colorado – The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival’s orchestral concerts all take place at the outdoor venue of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. While the venue differs from a typical concert hall, concert hall etiquette still applies.

“Many of our concertgoers are classical music first-timers,” says Lynne Mazza, Bravo’s associate artistic director. “With my insider-guide to concert etiquette, you’ll look like a seasoned concert attendee in no time.”

1. Dress appropriately … for Colorado weather

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 the 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 jacket 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.

2. No talking, singing, or yelling out requests

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, or to 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 hooping and hollering.

3. Hold your applause

The pieces you hear at Bravo! concerts are often times put together in slightly different ways than those songs you sing along to on the radio. Many of the pieces have multiple parts. A piece of music 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 played them independently of each other. However, in most cases, the appropriate thing to do is wait until all the movements of one piece are finished, then applaud. You will have a much better experience if you hear the music as the composer truly intended.

4. Please, stay seated

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 festival organizers request that you wait patiently by the rope until you are permitted to enter or exit the seating areas.

5. Food and beverages

Outside food is allowed at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, whether you are sitting on the lawn or in the pavilion. Please be mindful to others around you while eating. Outside beverages are not allowed at the amphitheater, but may be purchased at the concession stand. Numerous times you will hear an empty wine bottle roll down the pavilion floor. Don’t let that be you.

6. Relax and enjoy the show

The Bravo! Vail Valley Music festival is proud to offer some of the best classical music around, and festival organizers want you to enjoy it! Study the stage, look for interesting differences in 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.

Megan Norman is Bravo’s festival internship coordinator.

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