Ravinia FAQ

 

Basics

Established in 1904 as an attraction intended to lure riders from the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad, the not-for-profit Ravinia stands today as not only North America’s oldest outdoor music festival but also one of its most musically diverse. Located in the heart of Highland Park, IL, Ravinia spreads across nearly 36 acres and features three unique performance venues, the open-air Pavilion, the iconic Martin Theatre (the last remaining building from our original construction), and the intimate Bennett Gordon Hall.

Whether you want to see current chart-toppers, classic rock legends, or take in a performance by the nation’s finest orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia has something for everyone.

Ravinia’s summer 2018 lineup will be released on March 14, 2018. Openers and other concerts may be announced at a later date.

While Chicago winters do not bode well for outdoor concerts, Ravinia’s intimate 450-seat Bennett Gordon Hall, located inside the John D. Harza Building, features an exciting series of solo artists and small ensembles, all for less than the price of a movie ticket.

• Follow @RaviniaFestival on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube for concert updates, ticket contests and special offers, and more.

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Tickets

• Tickets for Ravinia’s June and July 2018 concerts go on sale to the public at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, and August and September concerts will join them at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Donors to the not-for-profit Ravinia have access to tickets as early as March 20, 2018.

• Tickets are currently on sale for the fall 2017/spring 2018 BGH Classics series and select performances during the summer 2018 season.
• As a not-for-profit cultural institution, Ravinia offers its donors early access to tickets , in addition to a variety of other benefits, for as little as $100. View all of Ravinia’s donation levels and corresponding benefits here.

• Summer 2018 concerts that are revealed before the main season announcement on March 14, 2018, may also go on sale early. Check individual concert webpages for details.
• The easiest way to purchase tickets is online at Ravinia.org. Ravinia does not do business with third-party resellers and cannot honor tickets that did not originate from its own ticketing system.

• Tickets may be purchased by phone or in person at the Ravinia box office during the hours listed here.
Yes. In order to be able to purchase tickets online, you will need to create a myRavinia account here.
A maximum of 10 tickets per event may be purchased online per transaction, not exceeding 20 total tickets per event. For needs beyond this limit, please call the box office (847-266-5100).
For parties of 20 or more, plan your Ravinia outing with the Group Sales and Dining Services team and leave the heavy lifting to us. Our team will help you lock in your concert tickets, help you plan your catering menu, and reserve your space in the park, all before you arrive. All you’ll need to do is show up, enjoy your favorite music, and let your taste buds dance. Contact our team or get more information here.
• Almost all of the concerts at Ravinia are all-ages shows. Check individual concert webpages for any suggested age restrictions, such as R movie ratings.

• Ravinia does not censor or control the content created by guest artists. If you have sensitivities to adult language or socio-political commentary, please be aware of the artists’ work before purchasing tickets to and/or attending their performances.
• Reserved-seat tickets purchased directly from Ravinia may be exchanged for another concert during the same season in person at the box office or by phone (847-266-5100) up to 24 hours before the listed start time of the performance. All lawn ticket sales are final, and no refunds or exchanges will be considered.

• If you are unable to use your reserved-seat or lawn tickets, please consider giving them back to the not-for-profit Ravinia as a tax-deductible donation. Donations of unused tickets are accepted in-person or by phone up until the listed start time of the performance.
• Concerts take place rain or shine. Refunds due to severe weather will not be considered unless a performance is canceled in its entirety, with no replacement performance scheduled.

• Ravinia is an open-air venue that cannot guarantee refuge for all guests should severe weather occur.

• You can find an audio weather forecast from our friends at Accuweather here every concert day.
Tickets may be upgraded for the difference in face value in person at the box office or by phone (847-266-5100). Valid lawn admission passes may be upgraded to available reserved seating in person on the day of the performance.
Wheelchair accessible seating may be purchased online, by phone, and in person. For personal assistance selecting accessible seats or for more information about accessibility, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator at access@ravinia.org.
•If you selected to receive Print@Home tickets, you can log into your myRavinia account and have your tickets resent to your email at any time.

•From the myRavinia account page, click on My Ticket Orders, select the tickets you want to reprint, and click the reprint button. Your Print@Home tickets will be resent to the email address for your account momentarily.


• If you received tickets printed by Ravinia and they are lost or damaged, call the box office (847-266-5100) for replacement.
• Follow us on social media! Ravinia gives away two reserved seats for most concerts each summer to followers via retweet contests, themed photo contests, caption contests, and more. Follow Ravinia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and keep your eyes open all summer long.

• Ravinia offers free lawn admission to children and students through college to many of its concerts. Learn more here.

• Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute presents more than a dozen free concerts and master classes throughout the summer in Bennett Gordon Hall and around the Chicago area. See a list of dates, times, and locations here.


Venues

The Pavilion seats up to 3,400 guests, the Martin Theatre seats 850, and the Bennett Gordon Hall seats 450. The capacity of Ravinia’s lawn varies by event to ensure the comfort of all guests.
You can find more information about the various Ravinia venues on their respective pages here.

Ticket prices for reserved seats in the Pavilion and Martin Theatre often vary depending on the seat location in the venue. Typically, higher-priced tickets are located closer to the stage or the center of the venue. The premium-priced box seats in the Pavilion provide more flexible and comfortable seating as well as easier access.

• Though its stage is not visible from most areas of the lawn, the Pavilion is an open-air venue, so lawn ticketholders may be able to see the stage or the video screens flanking it by standing at the back or along the sides of the Pavilion (exluding movie nights).

In addition, on select lawn screen concerts, a large video screen on the north lawn provides views of the artists or film being shown.

• The Martin Theatre is an indoor venue, and though the concert audio is broadcast to the lawn, there is no view of the stage from the lawn.

• Bennett Gordon Hall is an indoor venue and Ravinia does not broadcast its performances to the lawn. Bennett Gordon Hall tickets do not provide lawn admission; guests must present separate Pavilion or Martin Theatre concert tickets for the same day to exit the venue to the lawn.
Ravinia’s late seating policy is established on a nightly basis in collaboration with the onsite artist management. In general, late seating is only permitted between pieces on the program or songs on the setlist in order to minimize the disturbance to guests who are currently enjoying the performance.


Planning Your Ravinia Experience

Onsite parking at Ravinia opens one hour before the public gate time posted on each concert’s webpage. Highland Park Police does not permit vehicles to line up on local streets to wait for parking. For Pavilion concerts (except dance events and Kids Concerts), Park and Ride shuttles begin service 30 minutes before the public gate time.
Gate opening times are posted on each concert’s webpage. One of the benefits of being a donor to the not-for-profit Ravinia is entry to the park 30 minutes before the public for most concerts. Learn more about Ravinia donor benefits here.
• Of course! That is part of what makes Ravinia a unique concert venue. We welcome you to plan a full night out at Ravinia, complete with your own picnic dinner (including alcohol, if you are over age 21).

• Don’t want to lug around chairs or a table in addition to your picnic? You can rent both for a night at the Wintrust Chair and Table Rental tent north of the Martin Theatre. Chair and table rentals may also be reserved online when purchasing tickets or as an add-on up until 8:00 p.m. on the night before your concert. Reservations are recommended for popular concerts, as walk-up rentals are not guaranteed to be available.

• Worried you might forget something or get hungry for more? Check out our The Festival Shop for a range of picnic accessories, from chairs and blankets to cheese boards and drinkware. You can also supplement or build your picnic at the Ravinia Market, offering hot and chilled main and side dishes, or grab a drink or a sweet treat from carts around the park on Pavilion concert nights.
• While your comfort and enjoyment of a night out at Ravinia are our top priorities, we prohibit guests from bringing the following items into the park:

1. Firearms or explosives (including those possessed by active or off-duty service members)
2. Professional photographic and video or audio recording equipment
3. Grills
4. Beer kegs
5. Athletic equipment (e.g., balls and flying discs)
6. Bicycles, scooters, or skates (bike racks can be found outside the west and south entrances)
7. Pets (service animals are permitted)
8. Tents or canopies
9. Umbrellas over six feet in diameter
10. Anything that needs to be staked into the ground
11. Drones or other flying apparatus

• Call the box office (847-266-5100) with any questions.
Absolutely! Make a vacation of your Ravinia visit at one of our nearby hotel partners. You can find directions and listings on our website here.
• Arrive Early!
Ravinia is more than a concert venue—it’s a destination for a complete night out! During the summer, Ravinia’s gates typically open 3 to 4 hours before concerts start to allow time for guests to picnic, socialize, and decompress from the day. We recommend planning to arrive as close to the parking lot opening time as possible, particularly for highly attended concerts, to allow for the time spent in traffic, parking, and security lines.

• Be considerate!
The lawn can become crowded at highly attended concerts. Please do not use more space than you need on the lawn and allow room for your fellow concertgoers to enjoy the evening too. Ravinia does not permit guests to rope off or otherwise reserve space on the lawn. Ravinia reserves the right to condense parties to a reasonable size and reseat patrons as necessary. If you have trouble finding a spot, please ask one of our yellow-vested security guards for assistance.


Getting to Ravinia

Ravinia is located just 25 miles north of downtown Chicago in Highland Park, IL. Click here for directions to the main (west) parking lot onsite. Ravinia is bordered by single-lane residential streets, so please allow extra time for traffic delays on highly attended concert nights. It is highly recommended to take the train to Ravinia, if possible.
• Parking in Ravinia’s main (west) lot costs $25 for most non-classical concerts and $10 for classical concerts played in the Pavilion. When filled, cars will be directed to an available, free Park and Ride lot. You may also proceed directly to the nearest open Park and Ride lot for free parking for these concerts.

• Parking in Ravinia’s main (west) lot is free for concerts in the Martin Theatre and Bennett Gordon Hall, as well as for all Kids Concerts and dance performances. Park and Ride lots and shuttles are not in service for these events.

• Parking in Ravinia’s south lot is free for Bennett Gordon Hall concerts that are the only scheduled event at Ravinia that day and for matinee events presented by Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. Click here for directions.
Ravinia offers free handicap-accessible shuttles from its Park and Ride lots starting 30 minutes before the opening of the park. Buses accommodate all picnic gear and operate throughout the evening until the park is cleared. The shuttles pick up and drop off passengers at the park at the south and west entrances. Click here for more information about the Park and Ride service.
• Metra’s Union Pacific North Line, with service from Chicago (Ogilvie Transportation Center) to Kenosha, WI, stops right at Ravinia’s main (west) entrance—the “Ravinia Park” stop—during the summer on select trains. Riders may also take the train to the “Braeside” or “Ravinia” stops for a wider selection of arrival times. Both stations are a short walk from the park. Click here for more information about summer train schedules. Metra offers a special $8 round-trip pass on weekdays for Ravinia concertgoers, and a $10 weekend pass for unlimited rides on Saturdays and Sundays.

• Guests attending Bennett Gordon Hall concerts during the fall, winter, or spring must debark Metra trains at either the “Braeside” or “Ravinia” stops.
• On most nights Ravinia guests can be dropped off at the following three locations:

1. Ravinia’s west parking lot (inbound access allowed up until 30 minutes prior to the end of the performance)
2. “Braeside” Metra train station (¼ mile from Ravinia)
3. “Ravinia” Metra train station (½ mile from Ravinia)


• Vehicles displaying a Ravinia Priority Parking Permit or a valid handicap parking permit may also drop guests off at the following two locations:

1. Ravinia’s south parking lot (inbound access allowed up until 30 minutes prior to the end of the performance)
2. Ravinia’s north parking lot (inbound access allowed up until 30 minutes prior to the end of the performance)


• Highland Park Police and Ravinia staff may need to redirect vehicles for various reasons.

• Drop-offs are not allowed on public streets, and the driver will be subject to a $100 ticket by the Highland Park Police Department.


Accessibility

• Onsite parking for vehicles bearing valid state-issued handicap-accessible parking placards or license plates is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Handicap-accessible parking is available at the following locations:

1. The right-of-way south of the main (west) entrance, off of St. Johns Avenue (click here for directions)
2. The main (west) parking lot (click here for directions)

• The number of handicap-accessible parking spots is limited, so plan to arrive early. Regular parking rates apply.

• Ravinia’s free Park and Ride shuttle service is handicap accessible. Click here for more information about the Park and Ride service.
• For guests with wheelchairs, Ravinia offers assistance navigating through the underpass connecting the main (west) parking lot to our main (west) entrance for all performances in the Martin Theatre and Pavilion. Certified RNAs are available to assist pushing wheelchairs back and forth through the underpass throughout the evening. Ravinia does not have wheelchairs available for rent.

• Ravinia provides a motorized cart service for in-park transportation assistance at select concerts. Click here for more information about these services.
Ravinia provides services for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as guests who have vision impairments. Visit our accessibility page for information on additional services Ravinia offers.



Park Amenities

Ravinia offers free Wi-Fi throughout the park. Connect to the network named “Ravinia” (no password required) and share your Ravinia experience with the world!
In 1995, Ravinia was proud to become the nation’s first outdoor festival to create a smoke-free concert environment. Ravinia has two designated smoking areas, one located just outside the main (west) entrance and one located outside the east entrance, in the north parking lot. You can find both locations on the Ravinia park map. This smoking policy also applies to the use of electronic cigarettes and vapor devices.
The Wintrust Chair and Table Rental tent is just north of the Martin Theatre, near the main (west) entrance. You can find it on the Ravinia park map.
The Ravinia Festival Shop, located inside the Dining Pavilion, is stocked with common picnic items such as bottle openers and corkscrews, drink glasses, cheese boards, blankets, wagons, chairs, and much more. You can find it on the Ravinia park map.
Ravinia’s Dining Pavilion features two restaurants, a grab-and-go marketplace with hot food stations and a fridge case, a full-service bar with small-plate bites, and numerous drink and ice cream carts throughout the park. Click here for more information about these in-park dining options.
Ravinia apparel—including jackets and sweatshirts for those surprisingly chilly summer nights—and other branded merchandise can be found in The Festival Shop inside the Dining Pavilion. You can find it on the Ravinia Park Map.
• At select non-classical concerts, artist-branded merchandise can be found in front of the entrance to the Martin Theatre or outside the Dining Pavilion.

• At select classical concerts, artist merchandise can be found inside The Festival Shop or in the lobby outside Bennett Gordon Hall. You can find a full Ravinia park map here.


Post-concert information

• The “Ravinia Park” stop on the Metra Union Pacific North Line is located right outside Ravinia’s main (west) entrance. Trains heading toward Chicago board on the east side of the track (nearest the entrance), and trains heading north toward Kenosha board on the west side of the track (through the underpass, nearest the parking lot). Riders may also take the train from the “Braeside” or “Ravinia” stops for a wider selection of departure times. Both stations are a short walk from the park. Click here for more information about summer train schedules.

• Guests attending Bennett Gordon Hall concerts during the fall, winter, or spring must board Metra trains at either the “Braeside” or “Ravinia” stops.
Cars may enter Ravinia’s parking lots up until 30 minutes prior to the scheduled end of the performance. If your ride is unable to arrive that early and wait, or if you are taking a taxi or ride-share service, arrange for a pickup from the nearby “Braeside” Metra train station (¼ mile south of Ravinia) or the “Ravinia” Metra train station (½ mile north of Ravinia).
Ravinia’s Park and Ride shuttles board at the south and north entrances. The shuttle at the south entrance services the Botanic Garden parking lot, when available. The shuttle at the north entrance services the A, B and C offsite lots.
Ravinia’s in-house photography team captures many of the performances on our stages. Galleries from the show you attended may be found on Ravinia’s Facebook and Instagram pages. If you want to share your shots with us, tag @RaviniaFestival on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our favorite photos of yours during the summer may be featured on our Backstage Ravinia blog!