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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.

Artpark

Earl W. Brydges State Park, Lewiston (artpark.net)

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 (empirestateconcerts.com)

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.

Canalside

44 Prime St. (canalsidebuffalo.com)

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 (darienlake.com, livenation.com/darienlake)

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. (outerharborconcerts.com)

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.

email: jmiers@buffnews.com

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