Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

The Worst of Cleveland: Parking and Entering Blossom Music Center 

click to enlarge boc_worst_blossomparking.jpg

Blossom itself, it should go without saying, is a gem of a venue. A slice of bucolic heaven where the music is made better by the surrounding nature and vice versa.

Getting into and out of the facility is a whole 'nother thing.

Complaints about traffic in Cleveland should always be taken with a Cargill-sized dosage of salt. This isn't L.A. or Chicago, after all. No one has to commute three hours to inch five miles down the road. But when it comes to gripes regarding the unending bumper-to-bumper hellscape at Blossom for a sold-out show, no one is exaggerating. Believe every story you hear about the place. They are all true. Some dad who went to the Jimmy Buffett show last year is still trying to get home. A couple of pals who went to Dave Matthews Band in 2016 became so frustrated by the snaking river of unmoving cars after the show they simply walked into the woods and now live off the land.

Fifty-one years ago, the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra opened the state-of-the-art bandshelled amphitheater for its summer home. But to get its money's worth, the orchestra's parent organization, the Musical Arts Association, allowed outside concert promoters to bring in huge touring shows, as Live Nation does today.

The main problem is that while the venue has a 23,000-person capacity, the heavily forested spot is landlocked inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and offers only three entrances. To preserve the nature of the green 200-acre space, the roads are windy and annoying. These beautiful trees can't just be hacked down to allow for a convenient car exit, or an easy Lyft pick-up zone. So after a sold-out show you may have to wait two hours in one of the many parking lots for car lines to even start to die down. Point of clarification: You absolutely will, should you stay till the very end, endure an hour-long exit. Some try and get smart and leave the show early, but that means missing part of a concert you paid good money to attend. (Honestly, it's worth it. The difference of leaving before, during or after the encore can mean the difference between an easy ride home and an aggravating bottleneck that will take you into the next day.)

Entering isn't bad, but the situation can get dire for shows that involve tailgating, which involves alcohol, which means frequent nature calls and oh-so-few legitimate destinations in which to answer. With so few port-o-potties in the parking lots (which Blossom should remedy) those lines get long fast, so people resort to going between cars and nearby bushes. Genitalia is out everywhere.

Because of its location, the traffic issue at Blossom isn't going to be solved in the foreseeable future. But might we suggest skipping the next concert by whichever aging rock star, and heading to a Cleveland Orchestra classical concert instead? Lines are minimal, you can bring in your own booze and food, and lawn tickets start at $25.

— Laura Morrison

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation