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A guide to attending outdoor concerts

Attending an outdoor concert invariably poses a list of questions: What do I wear? Can I bring a chair? What about my dog? We’ve answered those questions for you with a look at five of our major outdoor concert sites.


Earl W. Brydges State Park, Lewiston (

What to bring: Lawn chair, rain poncho.

What not to bring: Food, beverages, bad attitude.

What to wear: It can get very warm at the outdoor amphitheater, but the temperature tends to drop quickly once the sun goes down. So shorts and T-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt tied around your waist for later is the way to go. Beware the fashion police.

Vibe: Laid-back and easygoing, with good sightlines and sound. Good food and drink selection.

Parking: $5 for state park parking lot.

Traffic: You are likely to sit in traffic for a good while on the way out. State Park Police, troopers and Niagara County sheriff’s deputies are often in attendance and checkpoints are common. I like to park in the Village of Lewiston and walk to the venue – this makes leaving easier.

Buffalo River Rocks, Gratwick Park

Gratwick Waterfront Park, North Tonawanda (

What to bring: Folding chairs, phone, personal camera with nonprofessional lens.

What not to bring: Coolers, food and beverages.

What to wear: Casual. Comfortable shoes, hoodie for later – it can cool down quickly by the water.

Vibe: Relaxed. Plenty of room. Decent sightlines, good sound, though windy days can create havoc for live sound.

Traffic: Relatively easy entry and exit to and from the venue.

Parking: $5 parking opens at 2 p.m. day of show throughout Gratwick Park.


44 Prime St. (

What to bring: Rain gear, folding chairs, small handheld camera/phone.

What not to bring: Food, beverages, your dog.

What to wear: Comfortable shoes. It can be windy by the water, so bringing an extra shirt or sweater is a good idea. Events take place rain or shine.

Vibe: Family-friendly, relaxed.

Parking: Street parking and paid lots surround Canalside.

Traffic: Canalside was designed with the idea of benefiting adjacent local businesses and encouraging the further building of our entertainment scene. So stick around after the concert, hit a nearby restaurant, bar or music club, and you’ll be simultaneously helping your city grow and avoiding traffic congestion.

Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

9993 Alleghany Road, Darien Center (,

What to bring: Your ticket, phone and car keys. One factory-sealed bottle of water per person. Camera without professional lens.

What not to bring: Everything else including lawn chairs, umbrellas, weapons, alcohol, drugs, laser pointers, wallet chains, banners, flyers, beach balls, Frisbees, fireworks, food, video and audio equipment.

What to wear: If you’re on the lawn, and the weather is warm, you’ll be unprotected, so dress accordingly and don’t skimp on the sunscreen. Storms can move through the area without much warning, so bring a hoodie or an extra shirt. Flip-flops, in addition to being a fashion faux pas, are ill-advised – you’ll be walking on loose gravel and standing a lot, so put on something with some support.

Vibe: Late 20th century amusement park. Good sightlines and sound in the reserved seating area.

Parking: Free for concertgoers in Darien Lake lot. The parking along the perimeter of the park is no longer available.

Traffic: Get comfortable. It’s gonna take a while.

Outer Harbor Concert Site

325 Fuhrmann Blvd. (

What to bring: Your ticket, sunglasses, sunscreen, phone and an open mind.

What not to bring: Chairs, coolers, umbrellas, blankets, food, beverages.

What to wear: At the risk of sounding like a broken record – wear comfortable shoes. And don’t forget the sunscreen.

Vibe: The site has the feel of a music festival. A mix of food and drink is available. Ticketed VIP areas for most shows allow access to separate food and drink vendors, bathroom and stage view.

Parking: Free on Fuhrmann Boulevard (first come, first served) with paid parking lots nearby.

Traffic: There’s only one way in and one way out, so congestion is inevitable. A little patience goes a long way.


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