City Cast

Jazz In the Garden Etiquette Guide

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on July 17   |   Updated on July 19
Musicians playing at Jazz In the Garden. (jkenning/Flickr)

Musicians playing at Jazz In the Garden. (jkenning/Flickr)

Jazz in the Garden – the popular concert series in the National Gallery’s sculpture garden – only has a few shows left this summer. We’ve finally got the event down to a science. Here are our top dos and don'ts, so you can make the most of the final performances.

If you are headed to the Dupont Brass concert this Friday (lucky you), make sure to check out our interview with them before you go!

✅ DO

Enter the lottery: Because of its popularity, tickets this summer are being doled out in a free lottery system. Each concert has its own lottery which opens the week prior and closes on Friday. There are some additional passes available at the entrance gates starting at 5 p.m. on the day of, but these go VERY quick.

Get there early: Even with the lottery system, the entrance line gets long because of security. Arriving early means you get in quickly and can snag a prime spot in the shade.

Bring a picnic: Unless you want to spend $10 on a mediocre pizza slice from the Pavilion Café, I suggest bringing your own food. There’s a Foxtrot and a Safeway by the Gallery Place Metro. Also, make sure to bring a blanket and chairs to sit on.

Make sure to bring a picnic blanket! (jkenning/Flickr)

Make sure to bring a picnic blanket! (jkenning/Flickr)


Bring your own alcohol: I know it’s tempting to roll a bottle of wine in that picnic blanket, but they check bags at the entrance, so you’ll just hold up the line and lose perfectly good wine. You can buy beer and sangria pitchers inside.

Bring the dog: Sadly, animals are not allowed inside the sculpture garden (except service animals) so leave the pups at home!

Despair if you didn’t get a ticket: You can still have your own party outside the fence. Park your blanket and picnic basket on the National Mall just outside and enjoy the ambiance of the music without the crowds.

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