America's Best History Spotlight 

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area.  And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find.  You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't.  It'll be fun.  Visit them.

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Merriweather Post Pavilion
Concert Amphitheater
Baltimore/Washington

Queen plus Adam Lambert at Merriweather Post Pavilion 2014
Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen performing at the
Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 20, 2014 with Adam Lambert

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What is There Now

What's There

Concert Amphitheatre
15,500 total seats.  
General Admission Floor Seating
Covered pavilion seats.
Lawn seating.

Perfomances by some of the nation's best music acts from rock, country, soul, and alternative.

Covered pavilion seats at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Baltimore

When Did it Open

July 15, 1967.  First performance for the Columbia Debutante Ball by the National Symphony Orchestra.  Piano performance by Van Cliburne. Vice President Hubert Humphrey in attendance.

How Much for Tickets

Individual Tickets
Varies depending on act.  High end, $45 lawn, $125 best seats.

Hours Open

Season runs May to early October.

Attendance

Approximately 250,000 per year

How to Get There

From Washington (South) - 495 to 95 North toward Baltimore.  Take Route 32 West toward Columbia, then 29 North.  Exit 18B, Broken Land Parkway and look for signs to park.

From Baltimore (North) - 695 West/South to Interstate 70 West (Exit 16) to Route 29 South toward Columbia.  Take the South Entrance Road exit, then turn right, then left onto Symphony Woods Road.  Look for parking signs.  

Parking lots at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Baltimore


Parking is usually free at Merriweather Post and held on grass and gravel lots.  Tailgating is allowed.

There are several entrances to the pavilion. Bathrooms outside the pavilion while you wait for it to open are in the parking lot area, which can be a quarter to half mile walk to the entrance gates.  Go before you queue up. Lesson learned the hard way.  There is handicap parking nearer to the pavilion itself.

One quick hint: From the large main parking area, most concert goers will go to the right for the main entrance to line up.  If you go left around the ring road, you will come to the West Entrance, which is usually less populated, and may even be closer to the General Admission Floor seating steps.

Website:  Merriweather Post Pavilion

     



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About Them

The Who, Led Zeppelen ticket, Merriweather Post Pavilion


History comes in many forms, at historic sites culled from important acts and dates of political or military significance, it comes on lands shaped by forces much stronger than man with spires and geysers galore, and it comes in the sites and sounds that fill our ears and lives.  In eastern Maryland, in the suburbs of Baltimore and not far from Washington, D.C., the Merriweather Post Pavilion has been hosting the musical version of history since 1967, including some of the most historic acts of the last nearly fifty years.  Yes, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelen, and Queen, interspersed with symphonies and all set in the woods of a park within a planned suburban community.

The history of Merriweather Post begins in the mid-1960's when reknowed architect Frank Gehry was commissioned to design an amphitheather in Symphony Woods to host the summer season of the National Symphony Orchestra.  If you're not that into the history of architecture, some of Frank Gehry's work includes the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain, Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, his own Gehry Residence, and he is currently involved as the designer of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial planned for Washington, D.C.

At Merriweather Post, he was commissioned to design the structure within the forty acres of the park, named for the heiress Marjorie Meriweather Post of the American Post Foods multi-national corporation.  Yes, your morning breakfast cereal.  Originally there were 5,000 covered seats and room for 5,000 on the lawn.

The first season saw the National Symphony Orchestra in residence (they would remain there in the summer for awhile before moving to Wolf Trap) and the New York City Ballet from 1967 to 1969.  There's been ups and downs associated with Merriweather.  It rained so hard during the first performance that the symphony goers had to run barefoot to the parking lot so they didn't ruin their shoes, the national symphony went bankrupt after the first year, and the funds that were due for the project from the Post family didn't all come through.

Oh, well, ... what we have now is a beautiful place to watch a concert, as they've been doing there for generations for fans of the Who, newer acts like Ed Shearen, Fun, and the Lumineers, country folk like Brad Paisley, or rock legends who graced the stage in 2014, Queen plus Adam Lambert.

If you feel like going to a concert at any time in the future and you're in the Baltimore/Washington area, check out the list of artists from a variety of genres who will play the historic outdoor setting Billboard magazine ranked as the 2nd best amphitheatre in the United States in 2010 and Rolling Stone Magazine rated 4th in 2013.  

Buy a ticket for the floor standing section (not lots there so you're bound to have a good spot and you'll have Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day fame to thank for the section), the pavilion seats, or the lawn, then sit back and enjoy.  It will be one of the best music experiences of your life, and you'll get to be a little part of history, too.


West Entrance, Will Call, Merriweather Post Pavilion

West Side entrance to Merriweather Post Pavilion (Will Call) and seemingly shorter lines into the seating areas.

Top Amphitheaters 2013 (Rolling Stone)
1. Red Rocks (Morrison, CO)
2. Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, CA)
3. Gorge Amphitheater (George, WA)
4. Meriweather Post Pavilion (Baltimore/DC)
5. Greek Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
6. Alpine Valley Music Theatre (East Troy, WI)
7. Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View, CA)
8. Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre (Wantagh, NY)
9. Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA)
10. Ravinia (Chicago, IL)
     
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