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How to Prepare

Kauffman Center Lobby

First Timer's Guide

Are you a first time attendee? The following are answers to frequently-asked questions about Symphony-going, designed to make your first trip to the Kansas City Symphony a pleasant one.

What is Will Call?

Will call is an option to have your tickets held at the Box Office on Level 2 in the Kauffman Center, to pick up on your performance date.

Are there elevators in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts?

Yes, there are elevators located on every level EXCEPT to Level 7 in Helzberg Hall to The Upper Grand Tier sections. If you have accessible seating needs, please consult with the Box Office to determine your best and most accessible seating options at (816) 471-0400.

What should I wear?

Most people consider a concert by the Kansas City Symphony to be a special event, and tend to dress for the occasion - in suits and ties, or "nice" dresses and pantsuits. Many people come to the concerts from work, and are dressed in professional business attire. Formal dress - evening gowns and tuxedos - are generally worn only to gala Symphony events, such as opening night or Symphony Ball.

If I purchase parking in the Arts District Parking Garage, how do I obtain my vouchers?

If there is ample time, the Symphony Box Office will mail your parking vouchers to you before the event. However, if you purchase parking the week of the performance, your vouchers will be available during box office hours throughout the week, or will be held at Will Call the day of the performance. We advise you to use the drop off lane on the North or South side of the Kauffman Center to obtain your parking vouchers from Will Call, then park in the Arts District Parking Garage.

Can I exchange my tickets?

ABSOLUTELY! Once you receive your tickets in August, your tickets can be exchanged for most other Classical, Pops or Family concerts up until the day before a performance. You will need to pay the difference if exchanging for more expensive tickets. Exchanges are free for subscribers, a small fee applies to single ticket purchases. Tickets are always subject to availability, and a few restrictions apply.

Suppose I lose my tickets?

NO PROBLEM. We can have a new set waiting at the box office upon your arrival to the concert hall. Call our box office at 816-471-0400 and a customer service representative will assist you.

Who can I contact with questions or concerns?

The Kansas City Symphony customer service representatives can help answer all your questions! There are two simple ways to reach us. Contact us online, OR call us directly at (816) 471-0400. Our website always has the most up to date information. You can also sign up for E-Notes, our monthly e-mail full of in-depth information, ticket discounts. Sign up is located on our home page.

How long are concerts?

Classical, Pops & Holiday concerts are usually around two hours and fifteen minutes including intermission. Family concerts are one hour or less with no intermission. 

Are there provisions for people with disabilities?

YES. All Kansas City Symphony programs are accessible to people with disabilities. Persons requiring assistance are requested to call the Box Office at (816) 471-0400 for advance arrangements. Special seating and assistance are available for patrons in wheelchairs. Please inform the ticket office when you order your tickets. 

Are audio aids available?

YES. The Phonic Ear® Easy Listener FM Listening System, a wireless, portable sound enhancement system for the hearing-impaired, is available in the Plaza Lobby on level 2 at the coat check counter. 

What about other noises -- coughing, cell phones, pagers?

It is always best to turn off cell phones and pagers before entering the concert hall. Noises such as a pager going off or a cell phone ringing are very distracting to the conductor, the musicians and your fellow audience members. Texting is distracting as well during a performance, so please refrain.

Coughing is an unavoidable problem. But, there are ways to help avoid coughing during the music. If you feel a cold coming on, please bring lozenges with you. Or, grab some free from our dispensers placed throughout the lobby. Any usher can direct you to them. The next step is crucial: unwrap them ahead of time. Unwrapping a cough drop during the music makes more noise than you might think. If there are no lozenges in hand and you need to cough once or twice, please try to wait for the end of the movement. 

Can I bring the kids?

Children under eight are not encouraged to attend our regular classical concerts -- the programs tend to be too long for children. However, while our classical concerts are perfect for adults, kids and their families will enjoy our Family Concert Series, including Christmas Festival. Please note, all persons entering the hall must have a ticket – including infants. 

Where can I go before or after the concert?

Downtown Kansas City has many restaurants, offering a wide range of cuisine, in every price range. We also have some restaurant partners that offer discounts to Symphony Patrons. View a list of surrounding restaurants and hotels.

What are Concert Comments?

Concert Comments are interesting and informative talks that take place one hour before most Kansas City Symphony Classical Series performances located in the the concert hall. Hosted by Music Director Michael Stern, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Jason Seber or Executive Director Frank Byrne, they often feature the guest artist performing that particular evening. These talks provide information that will help you better understand and appreciate the music you will hear in the performance that evening or afternoon.