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Greenfield Lake Amphitheater: Everything You Need To Know

If you have questions about a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC, this post has the answers and information you need. It’s updated for the 2022 season at Greenfield Lake.

For more about Wilmington, check out our Wilmington, North Carolina Travel Guide.

Before you go to a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC, you NEED to read this post from

When we moved to North Carolina, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were moving from an area that’s a handful of miles from New York City. It was so easy to go into the City for a concert or a bite to eat, then come home and sleep in your own bed.

Wilmington, NC is great, though. There are a ton of restaurants, the cost of everything is far less than New York, there are festivals all the time, and there are great music venues like the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.

The outdoor amphitheater is a great place to watch a show. The website, though, leaves a little to be desired. As residents, we had a few questions about the venue that cannot be answered on the website. As tourists, I can only imagine how frustrating this is.

So, in order to help everyone, as Pete and I were tailgating ahead of a recent G. Love and Special Sauce show, I was brainstorming this post.

My goal is to cover any and all questions you might have, but if there’s something about Greenfield Lake Amphitheater that I’ve missed, be sure to let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the post.

Now, keep in mind, this post is specifically about the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. There is a Greenfield Lake Park, with a skate park, walking trails, paddle boats, alligators (yes, there are alligators in Greenfield Lake Park), and more.

This post doesn’t touch on the park itself, though.

Before you go to a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC, you NEED to read this post from

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater isn’t the only outdoor amphitheater in downtown Wilmington. There’s also Live Oak Bank Pavilion. If you found this post but were trying to find that venue, worry not. We have a post on Live Oak Bank Pavilion.

Before you go to a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC, you NEED to read this post from

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater: Everything You Need To Know

What is Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

The Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake, colloquially known as The Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, is a 1,200-person open-air facility in Wilmington, NC.

You can see concerts and plays there (including Shakespeare in the Park). The venue also hosts festivals, like the Port City Reggae Music & Arts Festival.

What is the capacity of Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

The capacity is limited to 900 seated and 300 standing-room only patrons.

When is the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater’s season?

It’s a year-round venue, technically, however, due to the fact that it actually does get cold in North Carolina in the winter, you’ll mostly see shows scheduled during the warmer months.

Shakespeare in the Park, hosted annually by Cape Fear Shakespeare, does occupy the space, as necessary, from the fourth Wednesday in May through the last Sunday in June. So many concerts are scheduled around this time.

What is the noise ordinance at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

It’s 10 pm on Friday and Saturday; 9 pm on Sunday through Thursday.

If you’re thinking of stopping by early for sound check, it cannot start until after noon on Monday through Saturday (2 pm on school days since there is a local elementary school within earshot), and after 1 pm on Sunday.

You can hang out in the parking lot and the grassy areas around the amphitheater for sound check.

Who can see a concert at Greenfield Lake?

It is an all-ages venue (and we have seen babies in a chest carrier there), however, certain shows may have additional age restrictions.

Is it kid friendly?

Yes. Greenfield Lake Amphitheater is super kid friendly.

To the left of the stage, there is a huge grassy area where kids can run and play. You will have to stay with your kids at all times, though, because there is a wooded area and it is close to Greenfield Lake, so security will make sure parents are with their children who are playing close to the water.

Where can you buy tickets?

Events are posted on Greenfield Lake Amphitheater’s Live Nation website and links to purchase tickets are on the site as well.

Buy them quickly if you really want to see a show. Since the venue’s capacity is 1,200, shows at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater sell out quickly.

Are there assigned seats?

No. It’s a first-come, first-serve venue.

There is seating in front of the stage for 900, a large area in between the stage and seats where many patrons can stand (and, of course, dance), and a grassy area that is standing-room only.

Technically you can hold seats for your friends, if they haven’t shown up yet. I spoke with Greenfield Lake about this for the 2022 season and was told, “There is no official policy, everything is first come first serve so it’s basically just common courtesy, if we are getting complaints then we will help sort it out.”

Is there a charge for parking at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

The short answer is, “not usually.” The long answer is, well, longer.

The first five summers we lived in North Carolina and saw shows at GLA, there was no charge for parking. Anyone could come, park, tailgate, and even stay to listen to the show (because you can actually hear the concert very well from the parking lot). The parking was limited and you couldn’t save spots, but anything on the grass from the venue itself (past Rotary Park) and up to Lake Shore Drive was free parking.

When we went to see Buddy Guy in May a few years ago, our first concert that season, Elderhaus (the adult daycare facility located between the Amphitheater and the road) charged $10 a car for parking. GLA’s website says “sometimes” there is a parking fee, and this seemed to be one of the sometimes.

I wasn’t mad at Elderhaus for charging for parking. From a small business perspective, I can even applaud the facility for finding another revenue stream. But as a patron, I was slightly frustrated.

There is very limited on-street parking that is free, but it’s not convenient. I would, however, rather park there and spend that $10 inside the venue on food or drinks rather than for parking.

Are you allowed to tailgate at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

You are. You can arrive early and park on the aforementioned grass and hang out until the show ends.

Tents, grills, and alcohol are prohibited, as are bottles and glass.

Is there a will call?

Yes. At the Amphitheater’s entrance, there will be a line for ticket holders and a separate line for will call.

If you are purchasing tickets the day of, the venue is only allowing cashless payments. So credit, debit, or mobile pay only.

Also, at this time, it’s mobile ticketing only. You will not get hard tickets in the mail or tickets that can be printed. All tickets must be shown via the Live Nation app or your phone’s mobile wallet.

Can you leave and come back in?

No. There is no reentry, so once you’re out, you’re out.

Can you bring food/alcohol inside the venue?

You are allowed to bring in one unopened bottle of water per person. You are also able to bring in one empty bottle of water. So if you have a water bottle that’s half done, water the plants before you enter and you can bring it in with you. Then, fill it up at a water fountain when you get inside.

Other than that, you’re not allowed to bring food or drink inside, but you are able to purchase both inside Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.

What food is available for purchase inside Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

Concessions are regulated by the City of Wilmington. There is a concession stand behind the entrance that sells chicken sandwiches and small snacks, plus alcohol and water.

A few seasons ago, we saw two food trucks at every concert as well.

Keep in mind that you aren’t allowed to bring coolers inside the venue, in case you were hoping to stock up on food at the beginning of the concert and then snack on it during the concert’s entirety.

Is beer available for purchase?

As long as you are 21 and over, it is. You can purchase it at the aforementioned concessions stand or at the handful of tents setup strategically throughout the venue.

North Carolina law only allows you to purchase one beer at a time, so you can’t send one friend up to get all the drinks while you hold his seat. He also can’t go up holding an almost empty beer. If he is holding one, they are not allowed to sell him another.

What are the bathrooms like?

They’re not bad. They’re located near the entrance and are accessible all concert. They are not accessible from the outside, though, and there are no portable toilets outside of the venue itself. So, if you are tailgating before the concert starts, there’s nowhere for you to go to the bathroom unless you walk to the nearby gas station.

Can you hear the concerts from outside?

You absolutely can.

A few years ago, you could actually set up on the grass directly outside of the venue and see the concert through a fence. That fence is a solid wall now, though, so unless you have X-Ray vision, you can’t see the concert without a ticket.

You still can sit outside and listen, though. That’s especially cool on nights where there is no parking fee.

How is the stage?

From a viewer’s perspective, it’s great. It’s wide open, so no matter where you are, you can see the entire concert.

Is there a covering over the seats?

No. Every seat at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater is outside and not under an overhang. So if there is rain or too much sun, you don’t have any covering.

Are there any indoor seats?

Not for ticket holders.

Does the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater have social media?

Yup. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Is all this information about Greenfield Lake Amphitheater accurate?

To the best of my knowledge. I did look up and verify all of the facts and answers, and based the rest off my experience of a decade of shows there.

However, I don’t work for GLA and I don’t have any association with the venue. So policies can change at any time, and I will not be told, so this is as accurate as it’s able to be unofficially.

Can I bring a purse into Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

Clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC tote bags (no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”) and/or small clutch bags (4.5” x 6.5”) are allowed into the venue.

The larger bags must be clear in order the reduce the contact between the staff and a patron’s belongings. 

Can you bring chairs into Greenfield Lake Amphitheater?

You can bring lawn chairs and blankets into Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.

Captain’s chairs are allowed in as well, however, they must be removed from their bags in order to comply with the amphitheater’s clear bag policy.

Before you go to a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC, you NEED to read this post from

Planning to see a concert in Wilmington, NC?

If you’re planning to be in Wilmington to see a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, the posts below will help you plan the rest of your trip.

Restaurants Near Greenfield Lake Amphitheater:

Alcohol/Coffee Near Greenfield Lake Amphitheater:

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Have you seen a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater? Let us know about it in the comments.

Geoff Williams

Sunday 12th of June 2022

Hi, thanks for the detail as it is impossible to figure out seating otherwise. We are looking at buying tickets to a concert, $49 GA and $89 for “Pit Seating”. The words pit seating make absolutley no sense to me as the photos look like it it Standing Room Only. Do you have any idea what it means? Standing or sitting up front? Or can you bring chairs into the “pit”? Also the ticket sites have 5-6 different price levels in some cases for GA tickets which also makes no sense for 1st-come 1st serve?? Please help if you know, thanks Geoff Williams

drugstore diva lisa

Sunday 12th of June 2022

I've only ever seen standing room in the pit and it has never been a different ticket than GA. You cannot bring seats into that area. Can you let me know what show you're talking about? I'll reach out to someone and get back to you.


Sunday 24th of April 2022

I am coming to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, for the first time to see SCI (if you know, you know) and I have a lawn ticket. Can I bring in a folding chair? I don't see anything anywhere about that... please advise.

drugstore diva lisa

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Hi Cathy. You can bring a folding chair into the venue. You just cannot bring it in a bag unless the bag is clear.

Are you going to see the String Cheese Incident today or tomorrow?


Saturday 25th of January 2020

Often wanted to go but are the mosquitoes terrible, is it very buggy?

drugstore diva lisa

Sunday 26th of January 2020

Surprisingly, it's not. You would think so because this area is buggy, and the venue is right on the water, but I've never had a problem with getting bit up while I was there.


Saturday 19th of October 2019

Yes, this was perfect, thank you! Could you add a little more detail on arrival time and parking? For a popular performance opening at 5 and starting at 6, when should I get there to get a parking space and a seat?

drugstore diva lisa

Monday 21st of October 2019

That's a good question. I can only add an answer from experience, not an official one. But people will start to get to the lot around 90 minutes before doors open. If you're worried about getting a great parking spot, that would be my suggestion. We usually shoot for closer to an hour before doors and still get a pretty decent parking spot. People wander so much and seats are GA, so even when we have stood in the back for the opener, we have ALWAYS gotten to the very front of the stage for the main band. If it's only a main act (no opener) who is really popular, I would suggest getting inside 30 minutes before the band takes the stage. In our experience, we've never benefited (with seating) by getting inside as soon as doors open. You'll have more time to grab drinks, food, and merch if you get inside at that time, but since you specifically asked about seats, I think 30 minutes after doors will still basically guarantee you front row standing at the stage or even in the seats (we prefer to stand).


Friday 11th of October 2019

Thank you soooo much for posting this! I had looked on the GLA website for a lot of this info, but they don’t mention it. This is a great resource and I appreciate you taking the time to write it!

drugstore diva lisa

Monday 14th of October 2019

You are so welcome. We were trying to look up parking information once and I couldn't find the answer and realized this might help other people. I'm so glad it helped you!!