MyLife in Metro DC: Merriweather's Musical Merriment

16 Aug
August 16, 2011

As summer quickly flies by, it’s important to make sure you check off all the “must do’s” on your warm weather list.   And while vacations and beach trips top of most of our lists, outdoor concerts are usually a close second.

This summer, I was fortunate enough, in the span of just one week, to visit an outdoor concert venue not just once, but twice.

My first show was a melodic low-key evening with one of my favorite London based alternative rock/folk bands, Mumford and Sons, while the other was an over-the-top pop spectacular — complete with enough glitter and sweets to make even a resident of Candyland jealous.

That’s right, thanks to my very gracious rockstar friend Amie, not only did I get to attend my first ever “teeny bopper” pop concert this summer, I also got to work her I Love All Access event with Katy Perry – eeek!

Working the I Love All Access VIP Event Before the Show!

While the shows attracted VERY different crowds, both were highly anticipated sold out shows that had fans from all over the area flocking to Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is located at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, MD. The venue is smaller than most of the area’s bigger outdoor pavilions and is hidden in the woods, surrounded by trees, giving you the feeling of seclusion from the city — creating a unique concert experience.

If you live in the Metro DC area, the venue is around 30-40 miles away.  While an ideal traffic-free drive would take around 45 minutes, during weekday traffic, this trek can take up to 2 hours.

Merriweather's Distance from Arlington, VA

We left Arlington around 3:45pm trying to beat rush hour and sat in about two hours of traffic while heading to Mumford and Sons (there were also storms in the area slowing traffic). When I went to work the Katy Perry show, it took only a little over an hour – but I was also arriving at 11am !

When you get to the venue, you’ll be directed to park in one of the large grass lots (unless you are going to VIP Parking). If you arrive early to tailgate, be aware that alcohol, grills and glass containers are not permitted in the parking areas.  One thing that is permitted and I’d highly encourage is bug spray. The grass in the lots is pretty tall and it can be quite buggy.

As with any outdoor venue, the best tip I can give is to be prepared!  If there is even a CHANCE of rain, I suggest bringing a rain poncho; we were some of the lucky few that stayed dry before the Mumford & Sons show by having them. And if the show starts early, or is during the day, be sure to pack sunscreen; there are very few shaded areas and no shade on the lawn.

The venue allows you to bring in blankets to sit on and even permits you to bring in one sealed water bottle per person.

Priceless Ponchos and a View of the Lawn at the Mumford & Sons Show

If your tickets are for the lawn, try to arrive early to snag a good spot, sold out shows get packed quickly and visibility is limited from the top of the lawn.

Once the concert starts, sit back (or stand) and enjoy the fun!  The acoustics are incredible for being outside and even if you end up with one of the last spots on the lawn, large TV monitors help you see what you are missing on the stage below.

At the Mumford & Sons show, we ended up coming into the venue late, due to the downpour and crazy lighting that just wouldn’t stop, so we stood to the side of the lawn. We were able to see a tiny bit of the stage from where we were standing but had to rely for the most part on the TV screens.

For Katy Perry, we lucked out (again, thanks to Amie) and snagged second row center seats.  The view from here was unbelievable and we were even able to help a fan next to us get called on stage to be KISSED by his celebrity crush!

Katy's Fan Post Cheek Kiss and Views From Our Seats

During the show, if you are going to grab a snack or visit the bathrooms, be sure to plan ahead. There is usually a long line for both and the facilities are limited –many of which are porta-potties.  So wait until the end of your favorite song or you might miss it!

Both shows were incredible and perfect additions to my summer — I was very happy to check them off my summer “to do” list.

And I have to admit, while skeptical at first, after working for and seeing Kathy Perry live, I might even go to the next NKOTBSB or one of the other over the top Pop concerts in DC this summer.   I think my inner teeny bopper might be here to stay.  But shhh….don’t tell anyone.

-Kristin

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