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“Not A Bad Seat in the House”

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Ranked #41 of 144 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The City of Sarasota's landmark Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been entertaining audiences with a variety of Broadway, orchestra, classical, music, dance, theater and comedy for more than 45 years.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

We recently saw Jerry Seinfeld and Joan Rivers there and enjoyed it very much. The seats are comfy and the ushers are very helpful. They are prompt with the curtain and the lighting is great! And prices are reasonable for such big names.

Thank Annie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 - 128 of 304 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2014

My problem with printing the tickets I purchased online foreshadowed events to come. The box office was kind enough to print and mail the tickets when I explained that the link they emailed led to a broken page. I was the third caller that day with a similar complaint but the info was not passed along to anyone who could fix it. I drove from Tampa to Sarasota to see Jerry Seinfeld. I heard good things about the big purple venue The signage directing cars into the parking lot is non existent. We overshot the entrance, then saw a stacked sign for many different venues a block later. Van Wezel was listed so we turned as indicated.We ended up in a remote lot not suitable for a handicapped person. We retraced our route, turned by the marquee sign and ended up with other out of towners in the valet lot which we were promtly turned away from. What a mess that caused. Eventually we found our way to the valet parking drop off spot. Once inside, it took 2 elevtor rides and a long walk for my handicapped sister to get to our seats. Our seats were good but the long trek to them was not easy for someone who has trouble walking.

3  Thank EnjoyingLifeinTampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2014

My condolences to anyone who donated to the building of this facility. The folks in charge of the interior layout were massively overpaid. You can only get to seats along the side by elevator or stairs. There are no aisles running up and down anywhere except along the sides. The rows are continuous--about 64 seats all in one long row. The seats are numbered 1-32 with the number one in the exact middle of the row. Now, if you enter on the right side and need seat 15 but your seat is labeled left, you have to turn around and exit the row entirely, go back downstairs, yep, then go to the other side of the hall and go back up the left side. That is how it is done. And why in the world aren't there centered aisles???? There is the perfect location for two aisles to run the length. They would have to remove 2 seats all along to make it happen. But, folks, if there were any kind of emergency, about 1,700 people are in real peril. Now, there is a small army of personnel there to read your tickets and to help make sure you ascend on the correct side. Except that the ticket machine printed out incorrect information for some of us....It is a nice enough venue, easy to get to, lots of parking including valet--don't know what that other reviewer was talking about, snacks, a reservation-only restaurant and very friendly staff. The acoustics were great. So be sure you know where you are sitting, and pray a hurricane or fire does not ruin your evening. Having your affairs in order is a good thing regardless...

10  Thank ageingwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

We saw Kenny Rogers at the Van Wezel Feb 14. Like many other reviews, the facility is a little old when you consider accessibility. For those requiring assistance, I would suggest valet parking, as you can go right to the door. The parking lot is large, easy to find a spot. The hall is neat and tidy, nice decor coming into and in the hall itself. The biggest issue is the seating, no aisles so you have to dance your way along the rows of seats, which are quite long. No washroom breaks!! At the end of the show we exited the hall in good time, so if there ever was a fire or other need to exit, I suppose it would work out OK. The show was good, will visit again.

Thank Otonabee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I've been to many concerts at Van Wezel and have enjoyed almost every one. The building is wonderful, the sound system is excellent and the staff is very helpful. They have added a fire pit and more tables onto the patio (which is very nice on cool nights). I am looking forward to my next concert.

Thank gloryfla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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