We invite you to let go of any preconceived ideas you have about the music and the experience--we're here with some tips to help enhance your concert experience.
Feel free to call our friendly box office staff at 513.381.3300 if you have any questions. Do you have feedback about your experience? Let us know what you think!
What should I wear?
There is no dress code for May Festival concerts. We encourage you to come as you are whether you want to dress up for a night on the town, or play it more casual for a relaxing experience.
When should I arrive?
We recommend arriving at least 45 minutes before the concert. Consider how much time you want to park, enjoy the beauty of historic Music Hall, take some photos, relax and enjoy a drink in the P&G Founders Room, read Fanfare magazine (the official May Festival program) or find your seat. Look for your concert e-minder emailed to you a couple of days before the concert for a listing of any bonus experiences that may occur before, during, or after the concert.
Where should I park?
Look for your best parking options near Music Hall here.
What kind of security can I expect?
New safety screening procedures are in effect at Music Hall. All persons are required to pass through a metal detector and have their bags searched, or be screened with a hand-held metal detector. Restricted items include outside food/beverage, pocket knives and mace/pepper spray. More information.
Where should I sit?
There are three levels at Music Hall. The first floor is called the Orchestra (and also includes the Terrace section), the second is the Balcony and the third is the Gallery.
• For best blend of value and great acoustics: Gallery
• Best leg room: Orchestra
• Lowest Price: Partial view A & B on all three levels
• Best sightlines: Center seats on all three levels
What accommodations are made for audience members with accessibility needs?
All levels of Music Hall have elevator access and accessible seating options. Assisted listening devices can be checked out at Guest Services in the Lindner Grand Foyer.
How do I find my seat?
Ushers, identified by a uniform and name tag, will greet you at the auditorium doors. Ushers are happy to help direct you to your seats, please ask them if you would like assistance. Detailed seating charts are also available on our website for you to locate the best entrance based on your seat location in advance. Please visit mayfestival.com/concerts-and-events/venue-guide/seating-chart
May I take pictures or use my phone?
Feel free to take as many as you would like outside the building or in the lobby. Post your favorite photos and tag us @MayFestival. Non-flash photography is allowed during moments of applause, however flash photography, glowing screens and video recording are prohibited inside the auditorium during the performance. To allow for everyone in the auditorium to enjoy the concert, make sure your phone is switched to silent or completely off.
How long are the concerts?
Concert times and intermissions vary depending on the program. Please see your concert e-minder or check Fanfare magazine for concert durations.
When do I clap?
Audiences applaud when the orchestra, conductor, and soloists enter the stage. They applaud again at the end of each piece or after a conductor makes remarks to the audience. Some pieces have multiple sections or movements, so if you aren’t sure, watch for the conductor to lower their arms and turn to face the audience. Occasionally audiences will also clap at the end of a movement before a piece has finished if they are particularly moved or excited. This is completely ok!
Do I need to know about the music before I come to the concert?
No—it is an amazing experience to simply come and hear a piece of music for the first time without any prior knowledge of the music. Some people find that their enjoyment and enrichment is enhanced if they read the program notes before coming to the concert, or after you've heard the music. If you wish to learn more about the music, we provide program notes at the concert in our program book and on our website. We also email program notes in advance to all ticket buyers, so make sure we have your email address.
All ticket buyers receive Concert E-Minders via email before each concert with info about the program, bonus experiences, parking, dining, etc. Make sure we have your email address so we can send helpful and important information to you! Call us at 513.381.3300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide us with your email address.
Connect with the May Festival
Music Hall is the May Festival’s historic home. Built in 1878 especially for the May Festival and for choral music, Music Hall underwent a major renovation in 2017 that enhanced its grandeur and historic character.
Make an evening of it! Music Hall is situated in the heart of the vibrant Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Music Hall is surrounded by great restaurants, bars, breweries, boutique shopping, art and culture, and sits across from the beautifully renovated Washington Park.
Dining: Want to grab a bite after the concert? These restaurants are within easy walking distance and are open late so you can continue the celebration: Zula, Sacred Beast, Krueger’s Tavern and The Eagle, just to name a few.
Hotel: Traveling into town for the Festival? There are several unique and beautiful hotels in the downtown area and a booming Airbnb community. Visit cincyusa.com/accommodations to learn more.