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Originally Published in The Buffalo News
May 23, 2019
By Toni Ruberto

It’s a question we all ask before going to outdoor summer events and it starts with the same three words: “Can I bring … ?”

Can I bring food? Can I bring my dog? Can I bring a chair? The list goes on. The one variation: Where can I buy tickets?

Thankfully our major outdoor venues including Artpark, Canalside and Darien Lake, have slowly adopted similar rules on what you can and can’t bring in to an event. In fact, outside of differences on umbrellas (yes at Artpark, no at Canalside Live and Erie County Fair concerts), the rules are nearly identical.

Here is a general list to follow for most outdoor venues, plus information on when gates open, how to get tickets and any bonuses you get with your paid ticket, like park admission.

Remember to always give yourself extra time to have your bags checked at the entrance. Though some prohibited items, like weapons, should be obvious to leave at home, remember that the venue has the final word on what it considers dangerous or inappropriate. When in doubt, leave it in the car.

You can bring
• Small bags, diaper bags and purses (general rule: no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches)
• Small folding chairs
• Small blanket
• Certified service animals
• Binoculars
• Small handheld or personal cameras
• Small strollers

Not allowed
• Backpacks/large totes
• Outside food, drink and coolers
• Grills and cooking equipment
• Glass containers
• Selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, GoPros
• Air horns
• Laser pointers
• Bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades
• Professional cameras
• Video and recording equipment
• Fireworks

Tickets, gate times and bonuses

Artpark: Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the Artpark box office (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday), and by phone at 888-223-6000. General admission prices increase $5 the week of the concert.

Canalside Live: Gates open at 5 p.m.; live music starts about 6 p.m. No re-entry allowed after 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Canalside Information Kiosk on the Canalside boardwalk until 2 p.m. the day of the show, all 17 Consumers Beverage locations and through General admission tickets bought in advance at the info kiosk or Consumers Beverage come with a free drink coupon.

Darien Lake: Gate times vary by concert. Tickets are available through, Ticketmaster and by calling 800-745-3000. Every paid concert ticket includes free same-day admission to the theme park.

Erie County Fair: Gate times vary by concert, although gates to the Fair open at 9 a.m. Tickets for paid shows are available at, by phone at 888-223-6000, or in person at the Fairgrounds Main Office (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). Tickets purchased prior to the day of the show include same-day Fair admission.