Your guide to Ravinia on the cheap. Ravinia is a lovely venue to attend an outdoor concert.
Where: Ravinia, 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL 60035, 847-266-5000 Box office 847-266-5100.
When: June 1 to September 16, 2018. Schedule at a glance New this year: 2018 June and July concerts will go on sale on Tuesday, May 8, and August and September concerts on Thursday, May 10.
How to attend Ravinia on the cheap
The cheapest way to attend Ravinia is to take the Metra, sit on the lawn with your own chairs and bring your own food and beverages.
Purchase tickets here. Tickets can also be purchased by phone or at the box office. A $12 service charge is added to all online, mail and phone orders. Purchases made on the day of select performances will reflect an additional charge of $5 per ticket (the website indicates which shows where this applies). Lawn screen pricing: Published lawn ticket prices will increase by $5 on nights when a video screen is added on the lawn.
Ticket prices vary by performance
Ticket prices vary based on the performance. With lawn seats you should arrive very early on the day of the performance or you will be relegated to the less desirable lawn locations like behind the audio equipment. Concerts sell out and the lawn will be jammed.
Pack up your candelabra’s and fine china – the lawn is by far the least expensive way to attend Ravinia. You can bring your own blanket, chairs, table and picnic (including booze) and enjoy Pavilion and Martin Theatre concerts that are broadcast to the lawn. You can also purchase food from on-site restaurants and kiosks. You can rent a chair/table for $8/12. You can also pre-order chairs and tables. See below. Here’s all Ravinia’s rules.
If you don’t want to schlep your own seating and get there three hours early you can buy reserved seats in Ravinia’s 3,400-seat open-air, covered Pavilion. Seating begins a half-hour before the concert start time (or before the opening act). Food and drink are not permitted inside the Pavilion. You can bring a picnic and dine on the lawn before the show but have to leave your gear outside the pavilion unsupervised along its perimeter.
Ravinia is the summer home of the CSO. This summer, 15 diverse programs, from July 12 through Aug. 19, will be led by eight different conductors. 2018 10-Punch “Classical Grass Pass” get a 10-punch lawn pass for CSO lawn seats for $100.
Free tickets to CSO performances through the Chicago Public Library
Every year the CPL offers free tickets to select CSO performances at Ravinia. Last year ticket distribution began on June 3. The list is not available yet. Look for a post about it pn COTC in late May.
There are select kids performances between June 13 and September 16. Ticket prices are $5 lawn and $10-15 Pavilion. Schedule at a glance search for “kids”.
Bennett Gordon Hall (BGH) is where up and coming artists perform. Purchase the 2018 BGH Classics series 10-punch pass for reserved seats to any or all concerts in the series for only $90. Punches can be used one at a time or in any multiples for any combination of shows. No other discounts apply to the series. Redeem for reserved-seat tickets through the box office. This pass is valid for spring 2018 BGH Classics series as well as the summer 2018 concerts. To purchase please call the Ravinia Box Office at 847-266-5100
How To Order: You can now reserve your chairs and tables while completing your checkout for tickets or by clicking the “add-ons” button on the appropriate concert page. Reservations may not be made via phone or email. Prices are higher if you do not rent in advance.
Terrace seating is available in the dining pavilion. You cannot see the stage from the terrace seating area. Seating starts five minutes prior to concert start time. The location of your reservation will be printed on your ticket and you must present your ticket to gain access to the terrace. Ticket price is $90 per person, which includes $40 redeemable towards the cost of your food and beverage (gratuity not included). Additional purchases may be made.
From Ogilvie Transportation Center Union Pacific North Line is $6.75 each way and on weekends a round trip pass for $10. Metra stops close to the Ravinia gate.
Parking: $10-$25 depending on performance.
Ravinia is North America’s oldest music festival presenting over 140 different events throughout the summer. As a nonprofit organization, community outreach and music education initiatives are Ravinia’s mission. Over 75,000 people are served through Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play programs each year, ensuring that great music remains accessible to all.