THE SHELL - FAQ
CONCERTS AT THE SHELL:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
OPENING 2021: THE SHELL
TICKETING & BOX OFFICE
FOOD & BEVERAGE
LOCATION & TRANSPORTATION
@ THE SHELL
THE SHELL FAQ 2020
When will The Shell open?
Originally scheduled to open this July 2020, the inaugural summer season at The Shell will now take place in 2021. While we are very sad to put off the opening of this gift to San Diego, we have no alternative. We know that delaying the opening is in the best interest of all of our patrons, musicians, staff, and the health of San Diegans.
What will be different from the past concert site?
The Shell will replace the temporary performance and event venue with permanent facilities at Embarcadero Marina Park South for the use and benefit of the community. The development of the park and venue will feature a permanent, architecturally remarkable and acoustically superior stage that will allow the Symphony to enhance its musical presentations and the visitor experience. Terraced seating will allow visitors unobstructed views from nearly all seating locations. Along with our traditional four-seat tables, single seats and Lawn seating, The Shell will introduce new six-seat tables (Coronado Row) for group and corporate purchases, and new, intimate two-seat units with a shared dinner shelf (Parkside section), perfect for date night!
How was the project funded?
The Shell is being made possible through generous private philanthropy. The ability to break ground and begin construction in September 2019 was possible because of many individuals who have been inspired by what this project will mean to San Diego and the region.
What are some of the features of The Shell?
A work of art in itself, the acoustically engineered stage features a concert shell designed to complement the San Diego Convention Center sails and surrounding downtown development. The stage provides a larger performance space for both the orchestra and guest artists. Additional project design components include:
- Covered stage with 13,000 square feet of performance space and ancillary back-of-house facilities
- Sunset steps and patio at the back of the performance stage for stunning views of the Bay and public use during non-event hours
- Flexible seating capacity varying from intimate seating up to 10,000
- Terraced seating to provide all concert guests unobstructed views from nearly every seat
- Temporary seating that allows for lawns to be open to the public during non-event periods
- New public restrooms; lighting; extensive public park enhancements throughout Embarcadero Marina Park South; and other public amenities
- Enhanced public promenade around the venue expands to 12 feet
- Improved and environmentally sustainable landscaping and trees
- Sand-based synthetic turf in the main seating area and pre-event spaces, which will reduce water consumption and be more environmentally friendly
- The venue will be a park inside the larger Embarcadero Marina Park; the park will be open to the general public during non-event hours.
- Design of the park was developed by Tucker Sadler Architects and is being constructed by general contractor Rudolph and Sletten.
- The conceptual design of the performance stage is by Soundforms, with construction by Fabrictecture.
- The acoustic design of the stage is by Salter Associates of San Francisco together with sound designer and consultant Shawn Murphy. The installation of a Meyer Constellation System (Meyer Sound Labs, Berkeley, CA) will provide variable electronically enhanced acoustics on stage for a wide variety of events, including orchestral performances, chamber music, Broadway musicals and popular artists.
- Burton Landscape Architecture Studio has plans to use landscaping to create a connected experience throughout Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Will The Shell be available for use by the public?
The Shell will become an important public resource as a site for a wider range of private and public events and performances than was possible before; it will activate the Park year-round as a community gathering space and a landmark waterfront attraction.
What has become of the exercise stations previously located around Embarcadero Marina Park South?
As part of the overall Park improvements, the exercise stations have been relocated within Embarcadero Marina Park South and upgraded to new, equivalent equipment. The newly renovated park is now open to the public every day from 6:00am to 10:30pm.
What hours will The Shell be open to the public?
Embarcadero Marina Park South hours are 6:00am to 10:30pm. During concert evenings, the interior portions of The Shell facility will be closed to the public beginning at 2pm until the venue opens to ticketed admissions at 5:30pm.
Will restrooms be available to the public?
Yes, restrooms will be available to the public during regular Park hours, though they will become unavailable when the site moves into “concert” mode. There are public bathrooms adjacent to the fishing pier at the SE edge of the park.
Will the venue be available for rent by the public, companies and other organizations?
Yes. The Symphony’s Director of Rentals can provide all relevant information about holding events at The Shell. Such inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will the programming change?
The San Diego Symphony plans to bring a wide range of artists and music to this unique venue. Our programming at The Shell will reflect all genres of music, allowing the Symphony to embrace the diversity of our city and audience. We are working to extend invitations to many of the artists scheduled for 2020 to now perform Summer of 2021 for our inaugural season.
TICKETING & BOX OFFICE
I have been a long-time donor/subscriber to the Symphony; will I still have access to the best seats at The Shell?
In this new, permanent outdoor facility, you can look forward to an enhanced concert experience in every way. Current donors and subscribers will be given priority when being seated at the new venue. Your longevity, generosity and loyalty to the San Diego Symphony will assure you great seats in The Shell. Due to a completely new layout and venue, our ticket office will work with all subscribers to ensure comparable seating options.
Will there still be Lawn seating options at The Shell?
There will be Lawn seating available for almost all concerts, and it will have excellent visibility at the crest of our newly-terraced seating area. In general, lawn chairs will be allowed; however there will be exceptions for certain concerts in larger seating configurations. Please check the website to prepare for your experience. There will not be folding chairs available to rent at the venue, but blankets will be available for purchase if you don’t bring your own.
What will the other seating options be?
Seating options will be expanded at The Shell to include two-top “couples” seating plus a six-top row of tables perfect for groups and entertaining. Familiar four-top, single seat and Lawn seating from previous seasons will also be available, though the four-top tables will be larger than in previous seasons. The quality of chair seating in all sections will be enhanced.
What are the Box Office hours at The Shell?
Tickets to the Inaugural Season at The Shell can be purchased through SanDiegoShell.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week after ticket sales open to the public. In person, tickets for summer can be purchased at Jacobs Music Center Ticket Office (750 B Street in Downtown San Diego). Once the Inaugural Season begins at The Shell, there will be a Box Office available onsite, but the operating schedule for it, outside of concert days, is still being determined. Check back in June for exact hours.
Can I e-mail the Ticket Office for urgent ticketing issues?
Yes. The Ticket Office can be e-mailed at email@example.com, but e-mails are generally only answered during regular Ticket Office hours.
Can I buy Shell concert tickets at the Jacobs Music Center Ticket Office?
Due to COVID-19, (Window service is not available until further notice; the Ticket Office is not available on Saturdays and Sundays until further notice)
The Jacobs Music Center Ticket Office is located at 750 B Street, NE corner of 7th and B in downtown San Diego;
Summer hours beginning in June are:
Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm
Saturdays: 12noon to 3pm (phone only)
Does The Shell season offer subscriptions?
San Diego Symphony offers an attractive array of subscription options for summer concerts at The Shell. Traditional (Panorama, Sunset, Starlight, Jazz @ The Shell and Stay Classical) subscribers receive the best available seats and free ticket exchanges for Subscription Concerts (up to 48 hours in advance for another performance within your same series). Note: Traditional subscribers can also exchange to other Subscription Concerts for free, but not to Special Concerts. “Choose Your Own” subscribers have no continuing seat rights, and must pay $5 per ticket for all exchanges. Other subscriber-only benefits apply. For more information, call the Jacobs Music Center Ticket Office at 619.235.0804.
Can I reserve a Lawn seat in advance, even as a subscriber?
Lawn seating is strictly on a first-come, first served basis, and our gates always open at 5:30pm on concert nights. This applies to subscribers and single ticket buyers of lawn seats alike. The gates of The Shell concert site open at 5:30pm on concert days. Bring your own blanket for the Lawn!
Does the San Diego Symphony offer special senior or military pricing at The Shell?
There is a general senior (age 60+) $3 discount for most seats at The Shell. Also, anyone with an active U.S. Military ID can receive the same discount. Senior and military discounts apply in the Parkside, Bridgeview and Bayview sections. Senior discounts and military discounts do not apply in the Marina, Coronado Row, Skyline Terrace or Lawn sections.
Does the San Diego Symphony have special student pricing at The Shell?
San Diego Symphony does not offer student standby tickets for concerts at The Shell, but we do offer a standard $3 student discount for most seats at The Shell. Student discounts apply in the Parkside, Bridgeview and Bayview sections. Student discounts do not apply in the Marina, Coronado Row, Skyline Terrace or Lawn sections. Eligibility for this discount is at the discretion of the Ticket Office. Discount is not available online.
What is San Diego Symphony’s ticket exchange policy?
Panorama, Sunset, Starlight, Jazz @ The Shell and Stay Classical series subscribers may exchange tickets for free (anytime up to 48 hours before the performance) into any other subscription concert, based on ticket availability. Non-subscribers and “Choose Your Own” subscribers can do the same, with a $5 exchange fee per ticket. Exchanges for certain special sale promotions (such as $25 Seat Sales) are not allowed at all. Tickets must be returned to the Ticket Office either in person, by mail or by fax (619.231.3848) no later than 48 hours in advance of your performance. Note: On-account credits generated by open-ended exchanges must be used within the current subscription season they were generated.
What happens if I lose my tickets?
San Diego Symphony concert tickets can be reprinted for $1 each at the box office with proper ID. Alternative: If you have the Symphony's app, and login with the same e-mail you used to buy your tickets, your barcodes will always appear inside the app two hours before concert time...no reprint needed!
Does the San Diego Symphony offer group sales discounts?
Discount tickets for groups are available for both subscription and non-subscription concerts for as few as 10 individuals in some cases. NOTE: certain popular Shell concerts can have several group reservation requests, so our best advice is to reserve early. (Reservations can be taken beginning on the day of The Shell’s season schedule announcement.) For further information, please call 619.236.5403.
- Children ages two and older require a ticket. All others must sit in an adult’s lap, and can do so for free.
- • The San Diego Symphony requests that parents use discretion regarding the age-appropriateness of children attending a full-length concert at The Shell.
- • Should a child become disruptive during a concert, we ask that the parent discreetly escort the child away from the audience area. We greatly appreciate your consideration in this regard.
What happens if I have tickets I will be unable to use for an upcoming concert at The Shell?
If you cannot use a ticket for an upcoming concert, we would very much appreciate it if you could donate that ticket back to the Ticket Office or The Shell Box Office (preferably several days in advance!) for a potential resale. You can also mail such a ticket to 1245 7th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 (Attn: Ticket Office). Tickets can be turned in anytime up to 24 hours in advance of your concert. A receipt will be mailed acknowledging your tax-deductible contribution. (We would be unable to accept any tickets for tax deduction purposes after the concert has begun or passed.)
What donor benefits will be available at The Shell?
Depending on level of giving, donor benefits include: preferred seating, access to intermission lounge, personal ticket concierge, upgraded access to parking and "meet the artist" events. For more information, contact Paige Kobdish at 619.615.3901.
Will admittance requirements to donor intermission receptions remain the same?
For Summer 2021, members of the Symphony who give $5,000 or more annually receive unlimited access to intermission receptions. Your experience during intermission will be more elevated than ever before, and we are excited to share it with you! For more information about member benefits, please contact Institutional Advancement at (619) 615-3901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
What food and drink offerings will be available at The Shell?
The Shell, through its expanded culinary program Finest City Eats, offers a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced options ranging from casual to upscale. Our partners feature some of San Diego’s most talked-about favorites, including Chef Richard Blais, Urban Kitchen, Biga, Lola 55, Achilles Coffee, Bread & Cie and more. Chef Blais returns with a brand new “Blais by the Bay” pre-order menu for the Marina, Coronado Row and Skyline Terrace sections. In addition to the pre-order menu including dinner and Blais Boxes, a limited menu will be available to purchase from your seats in the Marina, Coronado Row, Skyline Terrace and Bridgeview sections when you arrive for your concert. In addition to these choices, food and drink will be available for purchase in the new Finest City Eats Pavilion and Market.
Can I bring outside food and drinks into The Shell?
Ensuring that all concertgoers have a safe and enjoyable experience at The Shell is our top priority. For the safety of guests, and to expedite security checks and timely entry of the many guests we are expecting in our new venue, outside food and drinks are not permitted inside The Shell. In an effort to reduce waste, guests are welcome to bring one empty reusable plastic or aluminum water bottle for San Diego Symphony performances only. Bottles can be filled at water refill stations inside the venue. Glass bottles are not permitted. The Shell’s food program – Finest City Eats – offers an impressive range of specialty and grab-and-go items. New state-of-the-art kitchens and dining spaces will make dining with your friends and family at The Shell a memorable tradition.
How do I pre-order my meal for The Shell?
Chef Richard Blais is creating a new menu for pre-ordered dining at The Shell. Pre-ordered dinners will be delivered to guests seated at tables in the Marina, Coronado Row or Skyline Terrace sections. All other guests who have pre-ordered dining may pick them up onsite near the food pavilions.
Can I bring in my own alcoholic beverages to a concert at The Shell?
Guests are not permitted to bring outside alcoholic beverages into The Shell. A wide selection of wine, beer and liquor are available for purchase onsite through Finest City Eats at The Shell.
Can I bring my own glassware to Shell concerts?
Glassware and dinnerware including plates and utensils will not be allowed into The Shell. Appropriate eating and drinking utensils will be provided with your Finest City Eats purchase.
LOCATION & TRANSPORTATION
How will I get to The Shell?
The Shell is located at the same site as we’ve performing summer concerts since 2004 (only now, in a permanent venue): Embarcadero Marina Park South, behind the San Diego Convention Center. Transportation and directions can be found HERE. Details and maps will be available prior to the beginning of the 2021 season.
Are there public transportation options to and from The Shell and the Embarcadero?
Yes - more information about public transportation to Embarcadero Marina Park South can be found on our website here.
Is there a rideshare (UBER, LYFT) drop off/pick up location?
Yes, there will be a dedicated rideshare drop off and pick-up location, but even more conveniently located in 2021. Details and maps will be available prior to the beginning of the 2021 season.
What are my parking options at the new site?
Parking will not be operated by the San Diego Symphony, but there are many nearby options available, operated by Ace Parking. (Parking spots may be reserved and pre-paid HERE.) Pricing will vary, depending on if other events are happening in the area, such as Padres games at nearby Petco Park. Updated details and maps will be available on our Parking Page prior to the beginning of the 2021 season.
Is there accessible parking for patrons with disabilities?
Yes, there is limited accessible parking. More details can be found on the Parking page.
Is there accessible seating and accommodations available at The Shell?
Yes! Every section is ADA accessible with designated seats available. ADA seating will tend to be on the most easily accessible, outside edges of each section. ADA seating for both transfer and non-transfer wheelchairs, companion and semi-ambulatory as well as restrooms, are available at each performance, and can be purchased online or through the Ticket Office. Wheelchairs will also be available when appropriate to transfer you to your seating. Please notify the Ticket Office in advance at 619.235.0804 or email@example.com for any special accommodation or assistance needs or questions.
What if I have other ADA-related questions?
Your concerns may be addressed in our Accessibility page.
@ THE SHELL
May I take a picture of the Orchestra onstage at The Shell, or record part of a concert on my recorder?
Our camera policy at The Shell as follows: Cameras will be allowed into the concert site, no check-in is required. Photography will be allowed on the site but flash photography is prohibited at all times! (This policy includes cell phone photography, digital audio/video, etc.) No audio or video capture of any other kind is permitted during performances without the express consent of San Diego Symphony management. The San Diego Symphony reserves the right to revert to a more restrictive “no photos” policy if requested by the artist management – PA announcements will be made in such cases.
Do all concerts at The Shell have fireworks after?
Most, but not all concerts at The Shell have a fireworks display scheduled at the end. Please check the website or brochure listings for any concert, which will indicate the fireworks status of that concert.
Can I bring my folding chair for Lawn section seating?
In general, yes; however there will be exceptions for certain concerts in larger seating configurations. Please check the website to prepare for your experience. There will not be folding chairs available to rent at the venue, but blankets will be available for purchase, if you don’t bring your own.
What is the bag policy at The Shell?
Due to heightened security concern, we are specifying the following at The Shell: guests may bring in one soft-sided bag per person, not to exceed 16”x16”x8”. No coolers are permitted. All bags and containers are subject to inspection by security prior to entering the venue. Note: food and beverages will not be allowed in the venue, in bags, containers or otherwise. In an effort to reduce waste, guests are welcome to bring one empty reusable plastic or aluminum water bottle for San Diego Symphony performances only. Bottles can be filled at water refill stations inside the venue. Glass bottles are not permitted.
How should I dress for a performance at The Shell?
The Shell is located right on San Diego Bay, so the temperature tends to drop after sundown, and the wind can pick up as well. Our advice is to dress comfortably, warmly and in layers.
What is the smoking policy at The Shell?
The Port of San Diego has designated Embarcadero Marina Park South as a Non-Smoking Area. This means that no lighted pipes, cigars and/or cigarettes are allowed in any part of the Park, including The Shell, and no such items may be disposed of in The Shell except for in designated waste disposal containers.
Will the Symphony be offering advanced purchase of parking to the general public at The Shell?
The San Diego Symphony has decided that the parking needs of our patrons at The Shell will be better served by parking professionals; therefore, we will be directing patrons to the resources of our parking partner, Ace Parking, who will be able to offer a variety of pre-parking options and prices to our patrons.
May I bring my dog into The Shell?
The sights and sounds of our concert experiences may distract or upset even the best-behaved furry friends. To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our patrons, we only allow official licensed service animals to accompany concert-goers to concerts at The Shell. We cannot make exceptions even for cages or leashes, sorry.
How do I purchase a CD recording of your guest artists?
It is difficult to predict if a given guest artist will bring CD's to sell, but if they are available, such recordings would be purchased in a designated Gift Shop kiosk at The Shell. (The exact location of this area is still being determined.) Guest artists will occasionally offer brief post-concert CD signings, so watch for signage and listen for announcements. (Note: concert recordings with guest artists at The Shell do not exist.)
How long are concerts at The Shell?
Bayside Summer Nights concerts usually begin at 7:30pm and last two complete hours, including intermission, though some concerts (especially film concerts) can occasionally go as late as 10pm.
Is it OK to talk during a concert at The Shell?
In general, the outdoor sound environment of The Shell is somewhat more active and forgiving than what you might find inside Copley Symphony Hall during a concert. That being said, you should assume that all of the patrons around you can hear you, especially while music is playing. Even talking in an undertone to your table-mates might be noticed by your neighbors who are concentrating on the concert. Please use your most considerate judgment, factoring the genre of music, sound level, etc.
What happens if I arrive late to my concert at The Shell?
Latecomers to concerts at The Shell will be seated at an appropriate interval in the concert as determined by the house manager. We ask that you remain in your ticketed seat until the concert has concluded. Should special circumstances exist or arise, please contact the nearest usher for assistance.
How can I learn more about the artists performing at The Shell?
Full biographical information for all of our Shell guest artists will be found on the Symphony website several weeks before a scheduled concert.