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“Great Outdoor Venue!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Stage AE

Stage AE
Ranked #56 of 166 things to do in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Irwin, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Outdoor Venue!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2014

I attended this venue for the first time last night for the Summerland 2013 concert.
You definitely do not need binoculars. Whether you are up front or in the back, there wasn't a bad spot to be (unless you were behind a very tall person!) You could hear the acoustics clear down the street as well.
I was not crazy about the lights that kept blinding you on and off during the show, but I do not know if that was the venue or show's decision. WAY too bright.
Will definitely go back!

Visited June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

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English first
Western Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
53 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Decent Concert Venue with a Few Rough Patches”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2014

Been to a few shows at Stage AE - both indoors and out. Here's my take. Overall, it's not a bad place to see a show. Sound acoustics are good and the place has decent sight lines (both in and out). I do like the lawn outside - especially for those who don't want to brave the crowded mosh pit area directly in front of the stage. Drinks are reasonable and even the outside bathrooms are clean and air-conditioned. Sound volume is not out of control - which makes concerts much more enjoyable. The outside also affords nice views of the city.

Parking is not an issue so long as you get there early. Plenty of paid lots around. Like any GA concert where people become very territorial, there's always issues with having a friend save your place in line, so you'd be best coming as a group at the same time. GA shows can be like the Wild West at times and lines form early. People get very prickly when you attempt to cut, even if legit.

As for what I don't like. Well - they claim to be a non-smoking facility yet hundreds of people light up wherever and whenever they want (even in front of security). Clearly, this is a policy that is not enforced - and it should be. Yes, when people get drunk and stoned they like to smoke, I get it. But it can be a real bummer for us nonsmokers who are forced to breath in the second-hand smoke.

Also, many Stage AE concerts are attended by younger folks (under 21). During summer, temps can get very hot and folks are always clamoring to secure a spot as close to the stage as possible. This is the nature of GA shows. Problem is, once you're in the densely packed pit, you will always have trouble getting in and out. As a result, people can't go to purchase water - and many teens become dehydrated or simply faint.

Stage AE would rather have you buy their water (which is understandable) - and their policy clearly prohibits people from bringing in their own beverages and/or water bottles. I think they should reconsider this policy on very hot days, because they know all too well that people are just not going to take the time to stand in line to get water during a GA show (especially when doors open) when they're rushing to get a good spot. And because of front pit overcrowding, getting in or out becomes a huge challenge and tempers will always flare when a patron attempts to return to their previous spot. So many don’t even try and pay the price later on when they’re ready to collapse from heat exhaustion.

In Stage AEs defense, they were spraying water onto the crowd and the security were allowing people to drink water from the hoses (in cups). To me, this indicates a larger issue that should be resolved, especially during hot weather when Stage AE is responsible for the well-being of show attendees. Now Stage AE may claim that people should be hydrated before they arrive and that they offer multiple options for people to purchase water on site (which is all true), but the nature of GA shows and the sheer volume of people in the pit makes this an unreasonable expectation.

One option would be to set up a few places in the pit where water can be purchased, or use roaming water vendors. They wouldn’t have to do this all the time, but certainly when the temperature exceeds a certain level.

Otherwise, it's a good place to see a show – although it would be even better if they enforced the non-smoking rule and had a better front pit beverage solution on hot days.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Spiritualized67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
191 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Awesome Concert Experiences”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2014

I have been to 2 indoor and 3 outdoor shows at Stage AE.
*The doors open 1 hour before the opening act begins. There can be a long line and there is a thorough bag/purse search and pat down. If you want to stand in the front you'll want to arrive early.
*Due to city noise laws (or something) the shows end at 11 pm.
*Outside there is a concrete pit area by the stage, a middle VIP section with tables, and the grass lawn. Sometimes, but not always, you can bring a blanket to sit in the grass (call ahead to ask). Usually everyone is standing in either area. The outdoor shows are awesome - the downtown view, the acoustics, Heinz Field just behind, the rivers.
*Inside there is the pit area, an upper area (maybe 4 feet higher) by the bar that is less crowded usually, and seats in a balcony. Unless there are really tall people in front of you, the views from all areas are great. The lights, acoustics, etc. are great!
*Their website usually provides information about whether the show is inside or outside.
*There are plenty of bathroom stalls, which are normally clean.
*For both indoor and outdoor shows there is a designated smoking area.
*The bar prices are decent and the selection is pretty good. It can get a little crowded sometimes, but it's not too bad.
*It is located on the North Shore within walking distance of many parking lots/garages, the T, and downtown busses. Parking can be expensive or more difficult during Pittsburgh Pirate games at PNC Park.
*There are usually a few security people roaming, watching, doing their jobs which makes me feel safe.
*Overall it is a great venue and I will definitely be back!

Visited June 2014
3 Thank S W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheeling, West Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“I should get dinner with that thorough pat down”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

I have been to Stage AE several times since it has opened and I always enjoy the music. What I don't enjoy is being molested prior to entering the venue. The security people need to be a little less vigilant. I have been to many venues across the country and I have never been so thoroughly examined in my life. Virtually every part of my body was searched except for my crotch. Even my pack of cigarettes was examined by a guy's finger all the way to the bottom. Those fingers that searched dozens of people before me were now down in my pack of smokes. Disgusting.

Visited March 2014
4 Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Concert experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

My 2 daughters and I went to the Austin mahone concert last night and It was the most horrible experience they ever had! They had the VIP package so I wasn't with them i had to go in and show my id and stuff and was allowed to stay until the concert started and buy tshirts.

then i walked accross street to eat dinner but I got a phone call from my 17 year old daughter that 2 girls we elbowing and kicking her and her 12 year old sister in the face, ribs and legs!!!! They told security and he just shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do so he removed my 2 from the concert and left the 2 bullies in there!!!!! I arrived at the venue a minute latter and Roger from security would not let me in until I told him to call the police my children were just assaulted in there! The police came and said they couldn't find the girls and would not let my 2 girls show them where they were so nothing was done about it.

Mike the security guard ( no one would give us his last name) Was arrogant and rude to me and my friend and we are in our 40s (not young mouthy teenagers). When we asked for help.

While we were talking to police I asked if I could go get my 2 crying daughters a drink they said "not without a ticket"!!!!! I pulled money out of my pocket and asked her if she could please get it and she said no! So my oldest daughter had to go back in to buy a drink while security guarded the door and mike stared dirty looks at us and police could do nothing.

NEVER AGAIN WILL WE Ever go to stage as or trust landmark security to provide safety!!

Visited March 2014
5 Thank brbjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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