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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

The Bicentennial Launch Celebration will take place on Friday, October 6, 2017.  General Admission gates will open at 6:00pm and the show will start at 7:00pm.


What time should I arrive to the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

Guests should plan to arrive early as parking will be limited and roads will be congested.  Please allow time to park and shuttle over from the John Paul Jones Arena.  The doors will open at 6pm and the show will start promptly at 7pm. The doors to the Remote (Indoor) Viewing Locations open at 6pm.


What time does the Bicentennial Launch Celebration end?

The main event is scheduled to end at 10:00pm. Immediately followed by an after concert that will conclude by 11:00pm.


Where am I allowed to park during the Bicentennial Launch Weekend?

Parking is available in many locations during the Bicentennial Launch Weekend. Please see the Parking & Shuttle Service section of the website for a list of parking areas, as well as parking tips to help plan your visit.


What happens if it rains during the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

We will make our best effort to have the event out on the Lawn while maintaining the safety of our guests or performers. If there is severe weather the show will be moved to the John Paul Jones arena. 


What is a Lawn Only ticket?

The Lawn Only tickets will guarantee access to the Lawn, but will not guarantee admission to the John Paul Jones arena in case of inclement weather. Since admission to JPJ would be on a space available basis for Lawn Only tickets there is no charge for those tickets.


If I ordered tickets for Will Call where do I pick them up? 

Will Call tickets can be picked up at the John Paul Jones Arena Box Office 48 hours after being purchased. A photo ID and the credit card used for the purchase (if applicable) must be presented to pick up tickets. The JPJ Arena Box Office is located at 295 Massie Road, Charlottesville VA 22903. Box office hours are: Monday – Friday: 10am – 2pm. On Wednesday, October 4 and Thursday, October 5 the box office will remain open until 6pm. On Friday, October 6 the box office will be open 10am-3pm at JPJ Arena and then ticket pick up will be moved to the Information Tent in front of Minor Hall outside of the main entrance to the event on the Lawn.


What should I wear to the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

Attire is a personal preference, but guests are encouraged to dress respectfully for the occasion and layer appropriately for the weather, and to wear comfortable shoes given the considerable amount of walking involved. The grass, as well as ramps and steps located on the Lawn may be damp or slick. Of course, orange and blue are always appropriate!


Can children attend the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

All are welcome to attend. When making the best decision for your family, please keep in mind that it will be dark and crowded on the Lawn. The show content will include some loud noises and images of mature content. Alternate climate controlled viewing spaces are also available with restrooms and seating.


Does my child need a ticket?

Tickets are to maintain event capacity so all guests need a ticket. 


Will there be seating for the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

There will be areas of sitting and standing on the Lawn with views of the stage. There will also be areas inside the event perimeter for resting and eating away from the stages. If you need accessible seating, please send a request to


What services do you provide for guests with limited mobility and/or disabilities?

A variety of services are provided for guests with limited mobility and/or disabilities to include designated parking and shuttle buses from/to the John Paul Jones Arena, seating on the Lawn and at Newcomb Hall during the Bicentennial Launch Celebration, and sign language interpreters and open captioning on the LED screens during the show.  For additional information, please contact Melissa Oliver, Coordinator of Services for Persons with Disabilities, at (434) 924-3095.  


Will there be food at the Bicentennial Launch Celebration?

There will be food trucks with food for purchase in the Amphitheater and on the Homer flat near Old Cabell Hall. There will be several water stations inside the event.


What can I bring in with me to the Bicentennial events on the Lawn?

This list will be updated shortly. Please check back.


Will there be chairs? Can we bring chairs?  

There will be a limited number of chairs available in front of the Rotunda stage on a first-come first-served basis. We encourage guests to make chairs available to those in need. There will be a reserved ADA section for those requiring accommodations. There will also be a seating area on the Homer Flat in front of Old Cabell Hall. Lawn chairs will not be permitted but guests can bring a towel or small blanket if they wish to sit in the grass. Lastly there are climate controlled remote viewing areas with chairs.


Where can I pick up a Bicentennial Launch Weekend Program?

Programs for guests will be available at the Information Booths, at select points on the Lawn, as well as at all remote (indoor) viewing locations. The program will also be posted online on our website.


What do you suggest I do regarding lodging, as I am finding all of the hotels are booked?

For information on hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, contact the Charlottesville Albemarle Visitors Bureau toll free at (877) 386-1103 or visit their website. To reach the Visitors Bureau Reservations Hotline directly, call (800) 253-1271. A list of local hotels and lodging options can also be found at the University's Places to Stay site.