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.
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.
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater: Everything You Need To Know
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.
The capacity is limited to 900 seated and 300 standing-room only patrons.
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.
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.
It is an all-ages venue (and we have seen babies in a chest carrier there), however, certain shows may have additional age restrictions.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
No. There is no reentry, so once you’re out, you’re out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From a viewer’s perspective, it’s great. It’s wide open, so no matter where you are, you can see the entire concert.
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.
Not for ticket holders.
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.
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.
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.
New for 2022: Health Checks at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
So, new for 2022: Health checks. Greenfield Lake Amphitheater is a Live Nation Venue now, and Live Nation has implemented health checks for all its venues.
This can change at any time, but as of March 2022, health checks are still being implemented.
An event’s promoter can forgo them, but none of the concerts scheduled at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater for the 2022 season have scratched them.
To pass the Live Nation health check, you must either have a COVID vaccination card showing two doses of the vaccine, with the second dose more than two weeks prior to the concert date. For those who do not meet those requirements, a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the concert date is required.
You can see the full policy here.
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.
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Alcohol/Coffee Near Greenfield Lake Amphitheater:
Things To Do Near Greenfield Lake Amphitheater:
- Tregembo Animal Park
- 10+ Things To Do When It Rains In Wilmington, NC
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- Axes & Allies (Axe throwing bar)
Have you seen a concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater? Let us know about it in the comments.