We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

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

The Birchmere
Ranked #1 of 11 Nightlife in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Glen Allen, Va
Level 6 Contributor
349 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Nice, smaller venue for music”
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
Thank loist51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

288 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“If you like the Act you're going to see, a great venue and experience”
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
1 Thank PrincipessaDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“This is a very special place”
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
1 Thank Shamus01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Top music venue - helps to know the logistics!”
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
Thank Randall B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
1,228 reviews
309 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 310 helpful votes
“Nice Music Venue”
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Birchmere also viewed


Been to The Birchmere? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing