Tips for Seeing Concerts at Major Raleigh, N.C., Venues

You're traveling to Raleigh for a show. You want the best possible experience at your favorite performer's big concert in the hottest area for live music in N.C. You've come to the right place. Find tips here for getting the best experiences at the area's most popular major music venues!

Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

One of the most popular outdoor music venues in Raleigh and the area's largest, this venue has hosted countless national touring acts and world-class tours. Whether you're on the lawn or at the front of the stage, the fresh Carolina air never fails to please. A Live Nation venue, Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek enhances the concert experience with these features:

  • Picnic and fuel up before the show! However, cars must occupy only one parking space. Grills are not permitted on sidewalks, in roadways, near buildings are in any area where guests or property may be damaged.
  • Or, go into the venue with an appetite. Chow down on burgers, loaded nachos and fries with chili and more. Try out a craft beer while you're at the venue!
  • Stay hydrated! Take advantage of the ability to take one sealed plastic water bottle to most shows.
  • Rock comfortably. The venue allows these items: backpacks, blankets, binoculars, seat cushions, ponchos or rain jackets, umbrellas (small, tote-size only), low-sitting lawn chairs and strollers. 
  • See more venue information here.

Information credit: Live Nation

PNC Arena

Another popular hotspot for live music, PNC Arena welcomes more than 1.5 million guests and plays host to more than 150 events a year including major concert tours and family shows. This mega-arena offers 19,500 seats for center-stage concerts and 18,800 for end-stage, 360-degree performances. Take in these tips for seeing shows at PNC Arena:

  • Go with an appetite! The concessions feature PNC Arena's signature N.C. Barbecue Company BBQ Sandwich with homemade cole slaw—a must-have for those visiting N.C. Enjoy delicious Carolina barbecue while you enjoy the show. The Arena Club Restaurant also offers exquisite food with a buffet, including soups, a salad bar, a carving station, entrées and more, all for one price.
  • Taste Raleigh area craft beer. The selection rocks just as much as the bands playing. Check out our blog article about the selection here!
  • Prepare to tailgate! Tailgating is permitted; however, cars must occupy only one parking space and personal grills are permitted in parking lots only. They may not be used on sidewalks, near buildings with or without canopies or in any area where guests or property may be damaged. Take some burgers and hot dogs and have a cookout before the show!
  • Get to the concert early! The earlier, the better, for ease of getting to your seat and enjoying your experience.
  • See more arena information here.

Information credit: PNC Arena

Red Hat Amphitheater

Since opening on June 4, 2010, Red Hat Amphitheater has become a beacon for live entertainment in the Southeast. Just steps from the fun and energy of downtown Raleigh’s bars, clubsgalleries and restaurants, this 5,000-seat venue blends the state-of-the-art with the simply convenient. Take in these insider tips:

  • Enjoy delicious local beers in the outdoor setting. ATM machines are available on-site if cash is needed.
  • Go with an appetite. Trying the locally-loved foods, including fresh barbecue, burgers and snacks, is a must.
  • Stay hydrated! Lots of shows go on in the heat of the summer, and the venue allows you to bring in one factory-sealed bottle of water per guest (the maximum size is one liter).
  • The venue offers great lawn seating! You can't bring a lawn chair, but you can take your favorite "outdoor-concert" blanket.
  • The view is amazing. Not only are there sights to see on stage, but the Raleigh Convention Center's Cree Shimmer Wall is lit up right behind the venue, along with the downtown Raleigh skyline.
  • Get downtown early and enjoy some of the exquisite surrounding restaurants.
  • See more Amphitheater information here.

Information credit: Red Hat Amphitheater

Koka Booth Amphitheatre

The Koka Booth Amphitheatre blends technology with nature, fitting a superior performing arts center in the midst of hardwoods and pines by Symphony Lake. The Town of Cary opened the amphitheatre in summer 2001 as a perfect, scenic place to take in great music. Here are some insider tips:

  • Tip number 1: Bring a camera! The scenery and Symphony Lake make a beautiful setting for photos with your friends. The venue is located among 14 acres of stately hardwoods and pines.
  • Have a "Picnic in the Park!" The venue's Virtual Café offers a variety of food items that can be ordered in advance for all events.
  • Go with an appetite! The venue's food is to-die-for. Try good eats at the Crescent Cafe.
  • Take the kids! Kids under two and under are free for all events. For some events, including the North Carolina Symphony Summerfest Series, kids 12 and under are free on the lawn.
  • See the show in style with the venue's reserve table seating on the Crescent Deck. This covered area offers wait service for the majority of the events.
  • Lawn chairs are welcome for most events!
  • Stay hydrated! The venue allows one bottler of water per person (any size).
  • See more information here.

Information credit: Koka Booth Amphitheatre

More information about the Raleigh area's major music venues