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“Nice, smaller venue for music” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Birchmere

The Birchmere
3701 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
1-703-549-7500
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Ranked #1 of 32 Activities in Alexandria
Type: Bar/ Clubs, Performances
Activities: Nightlife
Attraction details
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
297 reviews 297 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Nice, smaller venue for music”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

I had not been here for decades, and went Dec 28 to see Southside Johnny. I had a very nice experience, and the acoustics and seating were not disappointing. Overall, a great experience. I would go again! Pricing for ticket was reasonable Did not eat here.

Visited December 2013
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199 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“If you like the Act you're going to see, a great venue and experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

It's all about the venue, which is the right size to enjoy live music from any seat. Many of the artists are on their way up, or old acts past their prime. The food is adequate, not great...but has improved a lot since I was last there. If you are someone who wants to sit right up front or have a large party to seat together, line up early since seating is first come. Disclosure: this place is a mile from my house so perhaps easier to please me.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“This is a very special place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

500 seats - and great music - we are so fortunate to have the Birchmere - we get great acts and get to enjoy them in a small venue - you should sign up for the newsletter so you stay on top of who is coming. You do need to go over and wait from 3-5 on the day of the show to get an entry number so you can sit close to the stage - but it is worth it!

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Top music venue - helps to know the logistics!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

I have been to this place literally 101 times since 1997 (I have all the ticket stubs). It is one of the best places in the country to see and hear music in terms of size, sound system quality, and sightlines. The logistics are a tad quirky but work well if you understand them and are willing to come early and have drinks and dinner before the show.

Shows always start at 7:30 pm and are usually over by 10 to 10:30. To get a good seat, at least one person in your group needs to arrive before 5 pm when the outer doors open. You get a "number" that determines what order your group gets to go in and choose seats when the inner music hall doors open. It holds around 600 I think.

From 5 to 6 you can have drinks and snacks in the large outer bar area and watch music videos on the TVs. There's a full bar.

At 6 pm you go in and choose a seat. For music I prefer the upper area in the middle. You get better sound and can still see fine. If you really want to be up close to the performer there are tables right up to the stage, but the sound is really not as good there.

You can also opt to show up at 7:30 and just find a seat wherever you can fit in. Doesn't work well for large groups but one or two people can fit in somewhere.

From 6 to 7:30 you have dinner, drink and talk. There is fairly diverse menu which changes often and they sometimes have specials. The food is generally pretty good but some things sound better than they are executed. Note that water only comes in bottles for $2.

One downside is the waiters drop off your table check before the end of the show, when it is all dark, and people fumble around and try to figure out how much each person owes, talking and using their phone flashlights, right when the performer is doing their big finale or encores. I wish they could come up with a better way.

There is also a large store and the performer usually has CDs, tshirts, etc for sale. And some performers will come out after the show and sign CDs and meet fans.

Also note that some shows (very few) are held in the "Flex Stage" (formerly The Bandstand) which is the outer area. Those can be all-standing, so keep that in mind.

A lot of performers love and respect the Birchmere and staff and will give a shout out to them during the show. This is really a great place and a regional and national treasure.

Visited November 2013
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BERGEN COUNTY,N.J.
Top Contributor
494 reviews 494 reviews
99 attraction reviews
Reviews in 123 cities Reviews in 123 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
“Nice Music Venue”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Made a baseball music weekend,seeing two of our favorite Irish Bands the day after seeing the Nationals play.Very interesting venue,not from the area so I was surprised of the location.Excellent sound system with great views of the bands.Easy parking and exiting.Very nice gift shop,and a lot of history in this building.

Visited May 2013
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