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Shoreline Amphitheater Summer Concerts

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Shoreline Amphitheater is a pretty venue, with a large, tent-like structure over the stage. It's located on the shores of the southern San Francisco Bay and is popular with locals.

The Venue and Crowd Factor

With 6,500 fixed seats and lawn seating that brings its capacity to 22,000, this outdoor amphitheater sits near the southern end of the San Francisco Bay. It's a sprawling venue where you may need binoculars just to find the performers on the stage, much less see what they're doing.

This is a big place where you won't feel crowded for manyshows. However, the most popular country and rock groups can draw big crowds.

Likes and Dislikes

Shoreline Amphitheater is a cool place to go on a hot summer evening. Situated by the Bay, its natural air conditioning makes it comfortable by showtime on even the hottest days. It's popular with many Bay area residents who enjoy the groups performing here.

Large video screens give a close up view of the performers, no matter where you sit.

Shoreline is not without its faults, however. On our last visit, there was far too much funny-smelling smoke in the air (if you know what I mean). We also read many complaints about concert-goer behavior that ruins others' experiences - and it seems the venue's management does little to control these problems.

Tips

  • On the lawn, you can bring low backed-beach chairs.
  • You may not need sunscreen because the sun sets before the show starts, but insect repellent is a good idea.
  • Snack or picnic food (one clear, plastic gallon-size bag per person) and factory-sealed bottled water (one per person) are allowed, but alcohol and any kind of cans or bottles are not.
  • To save money, skip the alcohol. If you plan to buy alcoholic beverages, stop and get a wristband when you arrive.
  • For most shows, blankets are allowed.
  • Leave "professional" cameras, video equipment and recording devices at home.
  • No pets allowed.
  • For some shows, there's a Family Zone on the lawn, where no smoking or alcohol is allowed. Seating is first come, first served.
  • For popular shows, get there early. It takes a while to drive in and get parked.

Tickets and Reservations

Tickets are sold for fixed seats in the lower level (best) and upper level or on the lawn (cheapest). Buy tickets online or at the box office (650-967-4040) early to avoid disappointment. Consult a seating chart so you know where you'll be sitting.

The reserved seating has 6,500 seats, which you can reserve in advance. The lawn behind them has room for 15,500 more, seated picnic-style on the grass. The lowest part of that grassy area is only a few feet further from the stage than the fixed seats just below, but the tickets cost less. 

If you buy your tickets at the Shoreline box office, you won't have to pay their ticket surcharge. Their hours are limited.

Sold Out

If tickets sell out, try Stubhub or call the box office often, asking for released house seats.

The Basics

  • Summer outdoor concerts
  • Amphitheater with fixed and lawn seating
  • Shoreline Amphitheater website
  • Admission charged, but children under 35 months old get in free. Reservations are essential for popular artists.

Where is Shoreline Amphitheater?

Shoreline Amphitheater is located 10 miles north of San Jose, 35 miles south of San Francisco at One Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View.

From San Jose and south, take US 101 north. Exit on Shoreline Boulevard, turn left at the traffic signal and go straight.

From San Francisco and the East Bay, take US 101 South. Exit on Rengstorff Ave. (Amphitheatre Pkwy), or take Shoreline Blvd. and follow directions from San Jose.

Parking is included in your ticket price, so you'd might as well park in their lot.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of reviewing this event. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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