Skip to content

First Timer's Guide

First Timer's Guide

Special Update: COVID-19 and the 2020/21 Season

At the beginning of the 2020/21 season, we may all feel like “First Timers!”

COVID-19 has created opportunities for us to try new things, innovate and connect in new ways. We are leading the way, and there may be bumps – along with the musical goosebumps!

The health and safety of our patrons, musicians, staff, and community remain our top priority, and there are some new details of the Season that will be important to your enjoyment.   

A new format: 

All seven of our 2020/21 season performances will be filmed with multiple cameras, state of the art technology, and then digitally broadcast LIVE on Saturdays at 7:00pm and re-broadcast to ticket holders Sundays at 3:00pm. These livestream events will include full concerts (approx 60 minutes) of music, along with interviews, behind-the-scenes programming, and fun ways to enhance your concert experience. 

This new format will create the possibility to continue when audiences are allowed to return to the Granada Theatre in January – May.  In-person seating is dependent upon both the Granada Theatre’s socially distanced guidelines as well as all public health and safety mandates that will require masks, timed entrances, no intermissions, and no beverages. Please check back for updates regarding in-person seating January 2021.

How it works:

With your ticket purchase you’ll receive a special, one-time personal link via email 48 hours in advance, along with instructions on how to access the event including step-by-step instructions to view the concert on your SmartTV. Each concert will be broadcast live on Saturday at 7pm, with a rebroadcast on Sunday at 3pm. (Click HERE to see our full concert schedule).

Hearing live music is exciting and exhilarating  even when experienced in the comfort of your own living room  so don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you from becoming a part of the Santa Barbara Symphony Family.

More than the music:

Unsure if a livestream will meet your expectations? For the 2020/21 Season, we invite you to abandon assumptions and try something new! A night at the Symphony  even when it’s virtual  is exhilarating and fun. 

How can that be? Here are just some of the ways our NEW concert nights will be different than anything you imagine:

Info to guide you on your first "visit"

Whether this is your very first time with the Santa Barbara Symphony, or you’re a seasoned subscriber curious about our 2020/21 offerings, we want to make your experience fun, easy, and memorable. That’s why we’ve created this First Timer’s Guide. Check out all the information below, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

How much does a ticket cost?

Attending the Symphony is more affordable than you may realize. Our current single ticket price for one Livestream event is $65 – per household.  Our Music & Artistic Director has designed the 7-concert season as a journey – and we’ve created a 7-concert subscription series fo just $42 a concert – and that’s per household!  Click HERE to see our digital subscription packages.

During non-pandemic concert seasons, in-person ticket prices range from $20-$250, depending on the event, your seating preference, and other factors.  

How do I buy tickets?

Buying tickets is easy! You can simply click the link for any concert you’re interested in attending, and our user-friendly ticket-buying platform will lead you through the process. Click HERE to buy tickets.

Where are the best seats?

During our 2020/21 season, everyone gets the BEST seat in the house! Thanks to our livestream format, you will be able to watch our concerts LIVE from the comfort of your living room on any device you please. Even better, our digital broadcast tickets are priced per household, so you and your loved ones can gather (safely) to enjoy the music.

When audiences are finally allowed to return back at the Granada Theatre, you have many options when it comes to deciding which seats will be the best for your needs.  And the truth is, it depends entirely on your own preferences. Some seats are more easily accessible for those with mobility issues, some help you feel up-close-and-personal, and some are known for their acoustic excellence. You can access the Granada Theatre seating chart here [link to chart], and you are always welcome to contact us if you’d like additional insights or suggesetions.

Concert Night: a Guide to In-Person Attendance at the Granada Theatre during non-COVID times

A Night to Remember!

You’ve found your seat, the lights are dimming, and you can hear the hum of the orchestra warming up on stage. Everyone around you is elegantly decked out in formal wear, and they all seem older, wealthier, and more sophisticated than you… or… NOT!!

WELCOME!  If you’re visiting this page, we look forward to meeting you soon!  Whether you are about to attend your very first symphony orchestra concert, or are a classical music buff and new to town, here’s everything you need to know to make the most out of your first Santa Barbara Symphony visit.

When should I arrive?

Our Saturday concerts start at 8 pm, and our Sunday matinees begin at 3 pm. We recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the start time so that you will be able to park, pass through ticketing, and find your seat before the concert begins.

You are also invited to attend our pre-concert talks with Säid Ramón Araïza. These talks usually begin 1 hour and fifteen minutes before each performance (6:45 pm Saturday and 1:45 pm Sunday) and provide a fantastic amount of context and information that will enhance your enjoyment of the music.

What if I arrive late?

If you arrive after the concert has started, you will be seated by ushers during the next break in the performance. You are welcome to watch and listen to the show on one of the live monitors in the lobby.

What should I wear?

Our concerts celebrate classical music and are intended to be fun social occasions. In addition, the Santa Barbara community is well known for its casual elegance. Some patrons enjoy dressing up for concerts, and you will see plenty of people dressed in slightly dressy or even casual clothes appropriate for a professional environment. We suggest you wear whatever makes you the most comfortable, though we ask that patrons avoid sweats, workout gear, or clothes that are demonstrably damaged or soiled.

How long is a concert?

While our concerts vary in length depending on music selection, most performances last about two hours, including a short intermission halfway through. 

Can I bring my kids?

In the end, you know what’s best for your children. While generally, we recommend bringing children ten years old and up, we suggest you first assess whether your child will be able to sit and enjoy the music without getting bored or squirmy. In all, families are welcome, though if your children are younger, we may suggest you consider our music education programs, which offer more kid-centric events.

How can I prepare to enjoy the music?

The truth is, classical music is everywhere in our society, including movies, TV shows, cartoons, and even commercials. You will probably already be familiar with many compositions, and you will undoubtedly recognize some of the more high-profile composers like Beethoven and Mozart. That being said, you don’t need to know anything about classical music to enjoy the performance, but if you want to prepare, we recommend you use YouTube and Spotify to listen to the pieces scheduled to be performed. Finally, our pre-concert talks are specifically designed to provide you with the history and context that will add to your understanding and enjoyment of all the pieces performed.

How to Enhance the Concert Experience

We believe ticket holders are a part of our larger Santa Barbara Symphony family, and our concerts are community events. Here are some of the ways you can enhance the concert experience.

Concert Night

Where can we go after the concert?

The Granada Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. There are several restaurants, cocktail lounges, and coffee shops within walking distance.

How can I learn more about the musicians and the music?

The program notes for all concerts during the season are posted on here on our website. You will also find a list of recommended recordings to all the pieces you heard that night so you can take another listen to that melody you hummed during the entire car ride home. Also, check out our digital content, including past events, interviews, special performances, and more. [link to digital content page]

I loved the concert, how can I go to more?

We are so glad you had a great experience at the Santa Barbara Symphony, and we look forward to welcoming you again soon. Please visit our Subscriber Benefits page to learn how you can listen to the best of classical music and save through the various season ticket options we have.

Support The Santa Barbara Symphony

Your support matters now more than ever!
Please make a donation today.