Overall the Birchmere is a good venue and has lots of really good entertainers. In fact, you could just go without knowing the acts and be assured that whoever they are .... they are good. Last night, we saw Todd Snider with Marshall Chapman and the show was incredible.
The only reason we don't go more often is because of the seating. They do not have assigned seating, so if you want to pick your seat, you have to arrive at 5pm for a "line number" for when the doors open at 6pm for a show that doesn't start until 7:30. In other words, you have to arrive 2 1/2 hours before the show starts! This is not a good way to treat ones customers.
They may be attempting to get people in the doors early so they can spend money at the bar or this system may have been designed to keep people from spending a lot of time standing in line. A simpler solution would be to institute assigned seating either by table assignments or by individual seat assignments.
As others have mentioned, some seats face the stage, some are catycorner to stage, and some have their back to the stage. These issues are generally solved by simply turning one's chair to face stage. The issue is having to arrive 2 1/2 hours early to get a "good seat".
Great entertainment, poor seating solution.
BTW... food service was very fast and food was good. I had Fish taco and hubby had grilled salmon.... both excellent.
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