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“Poor customer service”

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Ranked #38 of 141 things to do in Sarasota
More attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Poor customer service”
Reviewed April 1, 2014

I am certain that this auditorium attracts top talent and shows. I, however, didn't have the opportunity, nor was I encouraged to see any of them. A rainy week in Sarasota left me and my husband to look for indoor options. We stopped at Van Wezel and were treated with a sense of distain. We were looking for options and recommendations and instead were thrust a brochure. When we asked if we could keep it, we were told no. Options were not offered, explanations not given, except to inform that the current evening's show was sold out. We walked out empty handed and disappointed. So sorry that our inquiry was such a bother to the box office staff. No worries, we won't stop by again. There are other venues in town that will be happy to take our money.

Visited March 2014
Thank adeleeuw473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level Contributor
649 reviews
362 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Great Venue”
Reviewed March 26, 2014

My wife and I attend performances at the Van Wezel several times each year while we are spending the winter months in Florida. We love the venue. The theatre is not too large so even the seats in the rear are pretty good. Nonetheless we always try to get seats no farther back that row 12. These are in the Golden Circle or just to the left or right of it. Parking is free and just outside the theatre. I think they have about 2500 seats so it is pretty intimate. We fine it is always easy to come and go. I do not think you will be disappointed with the theatre.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nokomis, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not A Bad Seat in the House”
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.

Visited March 2014
Thank Annie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
40 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Who Planned This Place?”
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.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank EnjoyingLifeinTampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burtonsville, Maryland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Horrible seating layout designed by idiots”
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...

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

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