Detailed FAQ for Your Rady Shell Visit
Very Common Questions
You can go to our Rady Shell Ticketing FAQ Page.
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will replace the temporary performance and event venue with permanent facilities at Embarcadero Marina Park South for the use and benefit of the community. The development of the park and venue will feature a permanent, architecturally remarkable and acoustically superior stage that will allow the Symphony to enhance its musical presentations and the visitor experience. Terraced seating will allow visitors unobstructed views from nearly all seating locations.
A work of art in itself, the acoustically engineered stage features a concert shell designed to complement the San Diego Convention Center sails and surrounding downtown development. The stage provides a larger performance space for both the orchestra and guest artists. Additional project design components include:
- Covered stage with 13,000 square feet of performance space and ancillary back-of-house facilities
- Sunset steps and patio at the back of the performance stage for stunning views of the Bay and public use during non-event hours
- Flexible seating capacity varying from intimate seating up to 10,000
- Terraced seating to provide all concert guests unobstructed views from nearly every seat
- Temporary seating that allows for lawns to be open to the public during non-event periods
- New public restrooms; lighting; extensive public park enhancements throughout Jacobs Park; and other public amenities
- Enhanced public promenade around the venue expands to 12 feet
- Improved and environmentally sustainable landscaping and trees
- Sand-based synthetic turf in the main seating area and pre-event spaces, which will reduce water consumption and be more environmentally friendly
- The venue is part of Jacobs Park, inside the larger Embarcadero Marina Park; the park will be open to the general public during non-event hours.
The San Diego Symphony plans to bring a wide range of artists and music to this unique venue. Our programming at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will reflect all genres of music, allowing the Symphony to embrace the diversity of our city and audience. The enhanced sound system (see design questions below) will allow greater enjoyment than ever of outdoor classical music performances, which is likely to result in more classical music programming. The concert schedule for the Conrad Prebys Inaugural Season was recently announced, but the probability exists for further concert programming to happen year-around at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is a unique collaboration between several leading design and construction experts:
- Tucker Sadler Architects, lead designer and architect of record of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, led a team of designers and consultants in the creation of this state-of-the-art venue.
- Greg Mueller, CEO and Design Principal of Tucker Sadler Architects, has been involved with the project from its very conception 18 years ago, and has resulted in The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, which includes the performance shell, backstage artist support space, three professional kitchens, underground restrooms, a gracefully sloped seating area for up to 10,000 and a park open to the public on one of the most beautiful settings between San Diego Bay and the San Diego skyline.
- Soundforms and its London partners Flanagan Lawrence, Expedition and ES Global are the designers of the performance shell of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The performance shell is an upscaled, customized, permanent version of the award-winning 2012 mobile acoustic performance shell (MAPS), expanded to accommodate the full San Diego Symphony Orchestra, a chorus and soloists.
- Working with Sound Consultant Shawn Murphy, the design was further enhanced with San Francisco-based Salter, a firm dedicated to acoustic and sound engineering and audiovisual, who designed the acoustic panels that are both reflective and absorptive and lie within the inner and outer shell. Berkley-based Meyer Sound designed their unique Constellation System in its first outdoor installation which effectively creates an onstage acoustic that is equivalent to excellent indoor concert halls. This partnership has resulted in a unique performance shell with an emphasis on creating the best possible acoustic experience for performers which will be translated to an extraordinary sonic experience for audiences across a wide range of musical genres.
- Another key partner in the creation of the performance shell is Australia-based Fabritecture, who developed and oversaw the technical design, fabrication and installation of the tensile structure and the backstage support spaces, executive kitchen, and three related buildings on site including the box office and two dining pavilions.
The Rady Shell uses two acoustical systems, designed by Salter with sound designer and consultant Shawn Murphy. The onstage Meyer Constellation Acoustic System employs proprietary digital technology to enable performers to hear and respond to one another as well as they would in a top-tier concert hall. The L-Acoustics system projects sound to the audience from six meticulously angled acoustic towers, three on each side of the stage.
Periodically, artists and lighting designers will create visual media to be illuminated on the exterior canopy of The Shell via an advanced LED lighting system developed by Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design.
Yes! Every section is ADA accessible with designated seats available. ADA seating will tend to be on the most easily accessible, outside edges of each section. ADA seating for both transfer and non-transfer wheelchairs, companion and semi-ambulatory as well as restrooms, are available at each performance, and can be purchased online or through the Ticket Office. Wheelchairs will also be available when appropriate to transfer you to your seating. Please notify the Ticket Office in advance at 619.235.0804 for any special accommodation or assistance needs or questions.
In general, yes; however there will be exceptions for certain concerts in larger seating configurations. Please check the website to prepare for your experience. There will not be folding chairs available to rent at the venue, but blankets will be available for purchase.
Due to heightened security concern, we are specifying the following at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park: guests may bring in one soft-sided bag per person, not to exceed 16”x16”x8”. No coolers are permitted. All bags and containers are subject to inspection by security prior to entering the venue. Note: food and beverages (aside from factory-sealed bottles of water) will not be allowed in the venue, in bags, containers or otherwise.
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will become an important public resource as a site for a wider range of private and public events and performances than was possible before; it will activate Jacobs Park year-round as a community gathering space and a landmark waterfront attraction. The Park will include relocated, upgraded exercise stations. Embarcadero Marina Park South hours are 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. During most concert evenings, the interior portions of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park facility will be closed to the public beginning at 2pm until the venue opens to ticketed admissions at 5:30pm. (For occasional concerts, the interior will be closed beginning in the morning.)
Yes, restrooms will be available to the public during regular Park hours, though they will become unavailable when the site moves into “concert” mode. There are public bathrooms adjacent to the fishing pier at the SE edge of the park.
Food & Beverage
Ensuring that all concertgoers have a safe and enjoyable experience at The Shell is our top priority. For the safety of guests, and to expedite security checks and timely entry of the many guests we are expecting in our new venue, outside food and drinks are not permitted inside The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. In an effort to reduce waste, guests are welcome to bring one empty reusable plastic or aluminum water bottle for San Diego Symphony performances only. Bottles can be filled at water refill stations inside the venue. Glass bottles are not permitted.
The Shell Provisions food program offers an impressive range of specialty and grab-and-go items. New state-of-the-art kitchens, food carts and multiple bars and dining spaces will make dining and drinking with your friends and family at The Rady Shell a memorable tradition.
Chef Richard Blais is creating a new "Blais by the Bay" menu for pre-ordered dining at The Rady Shell. Pre-ordered dinners will be delivered to guests seated at tables in the Marina and San Diego Row sections. Pre-ordered Blais Picnic Boxes will be delivered to guests seated in the Marina, San Diego Row and Parkside sections.
See more details and pre-order links on our Food & Beverage page!
Location & Transportation
Pre-paid parking nearby The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will now be facilitated by Ace Parking. Follow this link to a complete Ace Parking calendar of pre-paid parking reservations dedicated to concert events at The Rady Shell.
Pricing will vary, depending on if other events are happening in the area, such as Padres games at nearby Petco Park. For other ways of getting to The Shell, see our Getting to The Rady Shell Page.
Yes, there is limited accessible parking, but it is not sold in advance from Ace Parking. The driver of the vehicle must be displaying a valid disabled placard to access this lot with concert tickets. When these spaces become full, eligible patrons will be directed to an overflow disabled lot nearby. As required by law, there are a limited number of free disabled parking spots in the peninsula lot, but these are often occupied by users of the public park and fishing pier on the Embarcadero.
Please note: the shuttle run between Bayfront Hilton pickup point and The Shell entrance will always contain at least one ADA-equipped shuttle bus.
Yes! Every section is ADA accessible with designated seats available. ADA seating will tend to be on the most easily accessible, outside edges of each section. ADA seating for both transfer and non-transfer wheelchairs, companion and semi-ambulatory as well as restrooms, are available at each performance, and can be purchased online or through the Ticket Office. Wheelchairs will also be available when appropriate to transfer you to your seating. Please notify the Ticket Office in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.235.0804 for any special accommodation or assistance needs or questions.
See more details on our Venue Accessibility Page.
See more details on our Rady Shell Venue Accessibility Page.
Having Fun @ The Rady Shell
Our camera policy at The Shell as follows: Cameras will be allowed into the concert site, no check-in is required. Photography will be allowed on the site but flash photography is prohibited at all times! (This policy includes cell phone photography, digital audio/video, etc.) No audio or video capture of any other kind is permitted during performances without the express consent of San Diego Symphony management. The San Diego Symphony reserves the right to revert to a more restrictive “no photos” policy if requested by the artist management – PA announcements will be made in such cases.
It is difficult to predict if a given guest artist will bring CD's to sell, but if they are available, such recordings would be purchased in a designated Gift Shop kiosk at The Rady Shell. (The exact location of this area is still being determined.) Guest artists will occasionally offer brief post-concert CD signings, so watch for signage and listen for announcements.
(Note: concert recordings with guest artists at The Rady Shell are unlikely to ever be offered. If such a recording comes to pass and is available for sale, we'll definitely let you know!)
Rady Shell concerts usually begin at 7:30pm and last two complete hours, including intermission, though some concerts (especially film concerts) can occasionally go as late as 10pm.
Please note: some concerts later in the season have earlier start times...check the Concert Calendar!