Summer Concert Series 2014 [CANCELED]

Universal’s Summer Concert Series 2014 has been canceled.

Well, perhaps “canceled” isn’t the right word for it. Rather, the annual event at USF’s Universal Music Plaza hasn’t been scheduled for 2014, and, sometime between September and October 2013, mention of the concert series was removed from Universal’s annual events page. This is not too much of a surprise because, once Diagon Alley opens this summer, we are expecting the resort to break attendance records day after day – so does Universal really need to give away free concerts to keep the crowds coming in?

Will Universal’s Summer Concert Series return in 2015? If I had to guess, I would say yes — after all, the Universal Music Plaza is such a great venue for in-park performances. However, we won’t know for certain until the new year.

For the sake of answering the question, “What the heck is the Summer Concert Series?”, we’ve left our information from 2013′s event below. Just remember, the series will not happen in 2014 and, at this point, we don’t have confirmation that it will return in 2015.

 

Big-name bands on Orlando’s most exciting stage

During the Summer Concert Series, Universal Orlando Resort invites nationally renowned bands to perform on the Universal Music Plaza stage.

Universal Studios Florida Summer Concert Series.

Universal Studios Florida Summer Concert Series.

Unlike Mardi Gras and the Holiday Concert Series, no parade or additional “Summer Concert Series” activities happen before the concert. Nevertheless, the performances are included with regular park admission to Universal Studios Florida, so they can be a great deal if you are a fan of the artist scheduled to play.

 

2013 Summer Concert Series dates & line-up

June 1 – NE-YO (official site, @NeYoCompound)

June 8 – Big Time Rush (official bio, @bigtimerush)

UPDATE: Members of Big Time Rush, the boy band that appears in the Nickelodeon TV series of the same name, will participate in a Q&A session with fans at Universal Studios on Saturday. The Q&A with the band will be at the Animal Actors on Location Theater at 1:00pm. Saturday.

An upcoming episode of “Big Time Rush” will be screen at the park’s Shrek 4-D Theater at 3:00pm, 3:30pm and 4:00pm Saturday.

June 15 – Gavin DeGraw (official bio, @GavinDeGraw)

June 22 – Earth, Wind & Fire (official bio, @earthwindfire)

June 29 – Adam Lambert (official site, @adamlambert)

July 6 – Kip Moore (official bio, @KipMooreMusic)

Note that these are all Saturdays, and the concerts start at 8:00pm. The Cinematic Spectacular lagoon show will run at 9:30pm on all concert nights.

 

Admission to Universal’s Summer Concert Series

The Summer Concert Series performances are included with regular admission to Universal Studios Florida. This is very similar to Mardi Gras, the spring time event at Universal Studios. However, unlike Mardi Gras, there is no parade — this event is just a “free” concert for guests who are coming to the parks.

Concert-only ticket: If you are only interested in seeing the concert, you can purchase a slightly discounted admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida on SCS nights. This ticket is $69.99 (versus $92.00 for a full-day, 1-park ticket) and will only be available on Universal’s website. Please note that this ticket isn’t specifically for the concert venue. Instead, it only allows admission to Universal Studios after 7:00pm, but once you get in you have access to the concert and all the attractions like any other park visitor. For guests wishing to get in line early in the morning or afternoon for good concert seats, you will need to purchase a regular full-day admission ticket.

Power Passes: Guests with Power Passes, please note that your admission to Universal Studios Florida is blocked out July 1 through July 31. In a turn of events, this means you’re blocked out of the July 6 Summer Concert Series.

 

Summer Concert Series & the park attractions

You may have already noticed that the Summer Concert Series performances are scheduled before USF’s closing time. That may lead you to the question, “Does Universal keep the regular attractions running after the concert starts?” The answer is yes, all the regular rides, shows, etc. continue running as usual until Universal Studios Florida closes (either 9:00pm or 10:00pm depending on the SCS date).

 

How does concert seating work? How far in advance should I get there?

There is no concert seating. It is all general seating — or really, general standing. The Universal Music Plaza is an open field, so to speak, so you get to watch the concert from wherever it is that you’re standing when they start playing music. There is no VIP area to upgrade to, and no special viewing area for guests with Express Passes or guests staying at Universal’s on-site hotels.

So, how early do you need to get there? If you want to be somewhat close to the stage, you need to get to the Universal Music Plaza at least three to six hours before the concert starts — the more popular the band, the earlier you need to get there. Saying that the Universal Music Plaza gets very crowded is a bit of an understatement. If there is a band playing and you want to be close, plan on getting there early.

Universal Music Plaza - empty.

Universal Music Plaza – empty.

Universal Music Plaza - full.

Universal Music Plaza – full.

Universal Music Plaza - full.

Universal Music Plaza – full.

Front Row Alert: Want to see your favorite artist from the front row at the Universal Music Plaza? There are no special requirements for this other than a willingness on your behalf to line up in the morning for a concert in the evening. These Austin Mahone fans were lined up before 10:00am to see their favorite artist up close:

A word of caution to families: The large, boisterous crowds and loud music make these concerts not exactly family-friendly. If you have little ones with you, I’d recommend making other plans for your evening entertainment. Keep in mind that if you’re staying on-site at Universal, the hotels do offer supervised children activities for a per-hour fee.

 

Summer Concert Series & the weather

Guests who travel often to Orlando know that, in the summer, it usually rains every day for 45 minutes in the afternoon or early evening. SCS dates are no exception to this natural law. Here’s the radar the afternoon of the Big Time Rush concert:

Fortunately the rain, while heavy at times, usually doesn’t last that long. And since the concerts don’t begin until 8:00pm, the skies usually clear well before the artists take the stage.

But if you are planning a full day at the parks — whether you’re getting in line early for a good spot or just to do the regular parking touring thing before the evening concert — do be prepared for rain. Universal sells rain ponchos and umbrellas, but you’ll be paying a premium to buy those on-site. It’s best to stop by Walmart or CVS before you get to the parks to stock up on the necessities.

 

Summer Concert Series & the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

What do these two things have in common? Something you will definitely want to know. Check out number 4 in our list of the only guaranteed ways to beat the crowds at the Wizarding World.



Summer Concert Series – photo gallery

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