By Ben Olson
The Festival at Sandpoint’s iconic white tent will soon rise into the air at War Memorial Field, and locals and tourists alike will gather for nine exciting nights under the stars. Whether this is your first Festival or you’ve gone every year since the beginning, here are a few guidelines to make your experience more enjoyable:
Tickets are still available for most shows, but the Beach Boys show is sold out, while Kaleo and Lindsey Sterling have the potential to sell out. Online etix.com orders will send out electronic tickets five days before the given performance, and again the day of. Be sure to buy tickets through etix.com or the Festival office (525 Pine St.) — there are online resellers charging much higher prices than face value. General admission seating is always first-come, first-served. The venue is wheelchair accessible with designated seating in the grandstands — just check with front gate staff at least 20 minutes prior to gates opening for an escort.
Chairs and coolers
Chairs can be rented at the Festival so you can pack light or, if choosing to bring your own chair, make sure it’s a low-back chair. Higher lawn chairs are permitted, but you’ll be asked to sit further back behind the blanket seating area. Personal coolers are allowed, and patrons 21 and over can bring their own alcoholic beverages — no glass is permitted inside the venue other than wine bottles and growlers.
Festival organizers ask those standing in line early to not arrive before 6 a.m. the day of the show. The box office at Memorial Field opens one hour before the gates each performance day. Be sure to ask volunteers for the correct line, as general admission, early entry and patron tickets all have different lines.
Food and vendor information
Due to supply chain issues, the Noble mobile-ordering app will not be available at the venue this year. However, online ordering will be available for select vendors via the Festival’s website. In-person credit cards and debit cards will be accepted by all vendors — no cash or checks are accepted anywhere inside the venue.
There will be security checkpoints at all points of entry. The security staff aims to get concertgoers through quickly, so the less you bring, the faster the process. Dogs and other pets are not allowed inside. If you have a service dog, call the Festival office at 208-265-4554 for details about admittance. Weapons will not be allowed inside the venue, which includes guns, ammunition, pepper spray, mace, etc. This includes off-duty law enforcement or individuals with concealed carry permits. No drugs or drug paraphernalia will be allowed inside, including cannabis and cannabis products. No flammables are allowed, including fireworks, explosives or road flares. Cigarettes can be smoked only in the designated smoking area. No personal vehicles allowed inside, including bikes, skates, scooters, skateboards and hoverboards. Personal mobility devices for ADA guests are allowed. Finally, no tents, toy guns, water guns or sling shots.
To dance or not to dance
Certain shows are classified as “dance” nights, which means the blanket seating area in the front of the stage is open ground for dancing and standing. On nights not designated for dancing, the usual blanket and chair setup will occupy that section. For non-dance nights, it’s always best to respect those around you and remain seated during the show.
The Family Matinee and Grade Finale shows both have discounted advance-purchase ticket prices, with slightly higher ticket prices for day-of purchases. There will be a complimentary wine and beer tasting from 5-7 p.m. before the Grand Finale, with the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Due to consistent issues with temperatures dropping too low for the Spokane Symphony, the Grand Finale will no longer have an intermission.
“We are extremely excited about this year’s lineup and ticket sales agree with us,” Festival Executive Director Ali Baranski said. “We have record ticket sales this year and encourage early ticket purchases to guarantee to not miss out on the fun.”
For more information about the Festival at Sandpoint’s guidelines, visit festivalatsandpoint.com or call the office at 208-265-4554.
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