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“Stevie Nicks.......”

Saratoga Performing Arts Center
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Summertime cultural and entertainment venue features performances in a sheltered amphitheatre or "under the stars." The Center is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Stevie Nicks.......”
Reviewed September 2, 2011

First time going to this venue, but generally prefer ampitheatre style venues in comparision to arenas. But the acostics in this building did nothing for the artist. He voice was totally drained out by the band. Maybe it was her people and the sound guys not doing a good job. But overall for $80 bucks a ticket was far from impressed with the sound quality.

Beer and food was outrageous, $11 for a can of beer? $13 if you wanted a Blue.....it's considered premium. No pre-drinking in the parking lots there. Paid $12 for a philly sandwich, although it was quite good I am not sure it was worth the price.

Washrooms were clean and well maintained. Long line ups though.

Visited August 2011
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2 Thank THEHIPSTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Connecticut
1 review
“An evening of music under the stars is magical!”
Reviewed August 16, 2011

Seeing the Philadelphia Philharmonic with guest performers is a magical experience, especially it one plans a picnic dinner, has chairs, table, citronella candle, and the picnic "accoutrements". Be sure to plan ahead!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank Sea331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Avoid this place like the plague”
Reviewed September 1, 2010

Saw the recent Tom Petty concert at SPAC and was the worst experience I ever had at a concert. First it started with the drive to and parking. They seem to have one open entrance which blocked the road for miles. If I did not cut the line I would of missed the entire show (which would of not been so bad looking back). Because of this we missed the opening act. Next we had to pay $10 to park miles from the venue. It was a 25 minute walk just to get to the ticket booth. Now I can understand charging for parking but not that far away. They should of paid us. Also when we asked how to get back to our car, no one there had any clue.

But the absolute worst part is buying lawn tickets. First on the lawn you can not even see the stage or hear the concert. The pavilion completely blocks it. So we paid $40 to see a concert of a TV and could not really hear it either. The crowd was horrible too, no one was into the show. Just standing around and chatting loudly. They just wanted to drink beer and push around. Never in my life would I ever go back to this hell hole

Helpful?
5 Thank dcrouton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins
Level Contributor
47 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“buyer beware”
Reviewed July 14, 2008

Bottom Line: this is a shaky venue with lots of problems. It is more like a circus tent atmosphere than a performing arts center. Young people will no doubt enjoy the atmosphere. Just don't expect Carnegie Hall.

We went to see Brad Paisley 7/13/2008. Bought tix online a couple of months before the show. Paid for Preferred Parking. ($15). We sat in row 16 of the inside balcony, about 2/3 of the way off center toward the side.

The circus atmosphere is supported by the nature of the infrastructure. The indoor portion is a large band shell type of infrastruture seating many thousands. it is almost a large open sided tent. The shell opens on the audience side to a sloped grassy area again cabable of seating thousands. Unfortunately for those folks last night's rain made that area inhabitable only for ducks and a few (thousands of?) poor humans.

We are seasonal Upper NY state residents. Not having been to SPAC in a number of years, I emailed their customer service department to determine where the Preferred Parking is located.....their site map didn't mention the Preferred in the parking directions. The reply email told me Preferred was a section of the Main parking lot. Last night at least it was not. The Preferred Parking is on the east side of a major highway (Rt. 50), the Main parking on the west. The highway signage gave no clue as to where Preferred Parking was. And getting turned around in show traffic cost 30 minutes of time. then the single attendant checking Preferred tickets had traffic backed up on rt. 50 for many dozens of cars.....took 15 minutes to get in after we got in the proper line.

Very rainy night, very poor drainage on the property. ......lots of puddles on the walkways when we left, some ankle deep, many over an inch deep.

The docents were helpful and friendly. Our seats had no sight obstructions but back around row 25 there were some iron posts which might be problematic for viewing.

If you have to go to the bathroom after you get in your seat you will have to go outside---one set of bathrooms involves a set of stairs even on the main level--available on one side only (not ours)--- the other a walk across the outdoor seating area at the balcony level. Eitehr way if it is raining it means you are going to get wet unless you have rubber boots and raingear at the ready.

Typical rock concert crowd....girls screaming loud enough, and off key and off beat, in the back row to compete with the typically raucous audio system. The girls were obnoxious enough that eventually either the authorities removed them or they lost their voices. It cost our enjoyment of more than one song.

The venue placed the end of the 3 walkdown runways such that most people in the balcony could not see the innermost part of the runway--the part performers walk to. So we watched large portions of the concert on one of the 2 100+ inch TV screens.

BP had truly "shock and awe" graphics at the rear of the stage. The no/lines screen may be as high as 15 feet and as wide as 50 feet (both are a guess). Not sure if the hardware was SPAC's or BP's, but the screen was bright, crisp, and overall made the show worthwhile vs watching a well produced concert show on HDTV. (The show gave BP credit for the graphic content of one of the numbers.)

Re: the circus atmosphere. When one enters the venue from the parking lot there are lots of vendor tents...sort of like the the Side Show of a circus. This is not really a negative, just unexexpected for a "Performing Arts Center". More like a "Performing Arts Center and Crafts/Outdoor Dining/Drinking Show".

Overall, if there is a performer you have to see, definitely attend at SPAC. Just don't count on the venue for creature comforts. And pray for no rain.

Helpful?
2 Thank MauiRegular
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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