Frequently Asked Questions

Read below for answers to our frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please call (843) 579-3100 to speak with a Festival box office representative.

Why do I have to buy seats in pods?

In order to maintain appropriate levels of physical distancing and in accordance with MUSC’s recommendations, all in-person performance tickets will be sold in SAFE-SEATING PODS—essentially “bubbles” of two and four seats. All seats within a pod must be purchased at the same time in the same order.

Do I have to leave my mask on at performances? What about if I have already been vaccinated?

Yes, you are required to wear a mask at both indoor and outdoor performances. Masks help protect you and those around you against COVID-19. Not all audience members, artists, and staff will be vaccinated by the Festival. Staff and audience members will be required to follow all health and safety protocols regardless of vaccination status.

Why isn’t Omar on the program?

Due to this season's overarching challenges and the complex nature of mounting large-scale opera, Spoleto Festival USA made the difficult decision to postpone the world premiere of Omar until the 2022 season. Health and safety protocols would not allow us to gather the 100-plus artists, musicians, and crew necessary to produce this opera to the high standard we feel is appropriate, and that the production and story deserve.

Why are some performances sold out?

In order to maintain appropriate levels of physical distancing and in accordance with MUSC’s recommendations, Spoleto Festival USA is operating at roughly 25% of its normal capacity. This means we have fewer tickets to sell than normal.

Why are there no orchestral or choral offerings on the program this year?

There were a number of logistical complexities surrounding both staging an opera and gathering all the musicians necessary to present orchestral/choral programming that were proving to be insurmountable. It was a challenging situation, and an even more challenging decision to not include those elements on the 2021 program. Rest assured, this is only temporary. The Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra is an integral part of each season and we look forward to 2022 when we are able to gather for grand orchestral concerts again.

What is the best way to begin planning my Spoleto Festival USA experience?

There are two ways to start planning your Spoleto Festival USA experience:

  1. Determine what shows and performers you want to see
  2. Determine what time period you will be in Charleston during the Festival.

The 2021 Festival runs for 17 days starting Memorial Day weekend, from Friday, May 28 through Sunday, June 13. There are Festival events every day during this period but there is a concentration of performances over the weekends. Not all events run throughout the Festival and some are one-night-only so check the dates of anything you particularly want to see.

If you have questions about specific performances, please call (843) 579-3100 to speak with a box office representative.

Most Festival venues are located in downtown Charleston within walking distance of each other. If you are planning to attend multiple events on one day, ensure that you check the approximate running time and give yourself enough time to walk or travel between venues.

How can I purchase accessible seats?

In accordance with ADA regulations, Festival venues provide specifically designated wheelchair accessible seating that is reserved for those needing such accommodations. Please call (843) 579-3100 to request accessible seating.

Will I be charged fees when ordering tickets?

Spoleto Festival USA charges a per ticket handling fee of $3.00. There will be an additional $3.00 facility fee applied to all tickets.

Are there any packages or discounts available?

Senior citizens (60+), members of the military, and teachers receive a 10% savings on selected performances. These discounts are available when purchasing by phone, online, and in person. Discounts may only apply to certain seating sections.

Additionally, our Go Spoleto! hotel and ticket packages offer savings for patrons seeking to enjoy performances during their visit to Charleston.

Are group discounts available?

Due to capacity restrictions enacted across all venues, we cannot offer Groups (10 or more individuals) any discounts or payment plans for the 2021 season, nor can we guarantee that Groups in attendance will be seated together. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Prospective Groups are still welcome to call the Group Sales Concierge line at (843) 720-1113 for personalized assistance and recommendations.

Can I buy tickets to a show for which online tickets are unavailable? Can I buy tickets at the door?

In the event that tickets are no longer available online, some tickets may become available just prior to the performance on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend checking in person with the venue box office one hour before performance time to find out if any seats may become available for sale. Call the box office at (843) 579-3100 for up-to-date performance information.

Can I purchase a gift certificate for performance tickets?

Yes. Gift certificates redeemable for performance tickets, festival posters, and contributions are available for purchase in any amount online and by phone at (843) 579-3100.

Where is the Spoleto Festival USA Box Office?

The Spoleto Festival USA box office kiosk in the Charleston Gaillard Center lobby (95 Calhoun St) will remain closed for the 2021 Festival season.

What is "Will Call" and where is it?

Will Call is the term used for tickets that have been ordered in advance but still need to be picked up at the venue prior to the performance. Typically, any order placed within five days of the performance will not be mailed and will instead be sent to Will Call to be picked up at the venue the day of the performance.

Tickets held at Will Call are available for pickup at the venue’s onsite box office up to one and a half hours prior to performance start time. To claim tickets being held at Will Call, please present your photo ID and confirmation number to the ticket agent on duty. There will be signs in the venue lobby and at the box office directing patrons to the Will Call area. The Spoleto Festival USA box office kiosk in the Charleston Gaillard Center lobby (95 Calhoun St) will remain closed for the 2021 Festival season.

Are tickets refundable?

All tickets purchased to Spoleto Festival USA events are final. There are no cancellations or refunds. Tickets must be paid in full at the time of purchase, and no unpaid seats will be held.

Exchanges are allowed only at the management’s discretion and all exchanged tickets are subject to availability. There will be a fee of $5.00 charged for each seating pod exchanged. No refunds are given for exchanges into lower-priced tickets. PLEASE NOTE:  The box office must receive physical tickets for all exchanges and donations at least two (2) hours prior to the time printed on the ticket. Ticket exchanges and donations are not applicable after performances begin.

Can I donate tickets I can't use back to Spoleto Festival USA?

Yes. If you are unable to attend a performance, tickets purchased may be donated back to the Festival as a tax-deductible contribution. Ticket donations are not applicable once a performance has begun. All tickets purchased Ticket donations must be received 30 minutes prior to the performance date and time printed on the tickets and only unused tickets may be submitted for donation. We will provide you with documentation regarding your tax-deductible gift.

Can I resell my tickets?

Reselling of tickets in or adjacent to Festival venues is prohibited. Bear in mind that reselling tickets for more than $1 above their face value is prohibited by South Carolina law.

What should I do if I lose my tickets?

Contact the box office immediately at (843) 579-3100. You may be asked for your order number, name, and address for verification. You will be charged a reprint fee of $2 per ticket to reprint your tickets.

If I am running late, will I be able to take my seat?

Latecomers are seated at the discretion of house management at the first appropriate seating break that allows for the least disruption for performers and seated audience members. In some cases, no late seating will be allowed.

What happens if it looks like rain and my performance is at an outdoor venue?

If there needs to be a cancellation due to inclement weather, all pertinent information will be shared with ticket holders via email no less than 1 hour prior to the performance start time. There will not be a rain-site venue this season. Chamber Music and The Woman in Black are rain-or-shine events.

What should I wear to performances? Is there a dress code?

No, there is no official dress code for Festival performances or venues. As a rule, outdoor venues can be very warm, and it is advisable to bring insect repellent. Indoor venues are air conditioned, and therefore can sometimes be chilly. Casual wear is fine for most performances, and attire may range from shorts and flip-flops to a suit and tie.

Can I buy Piccolo Spoleto tickets from Spoleto Festival USA?

Sorry, no. All Piccolo Spoleto tickets are sold by Piccolo Spoleto, organized by the city of Charleston as a companion festival to Spoleto Festival USA. Piccolo Spoleto presents local and regional performing and visual artists in hundreds of performances at venues throughout Charleston.

Where can I park?

We recommend parking in one of the numerous public parking garages conveniently located near Festival venues. There are also a number of metered spaces available on most Downtown streets.

How do I know if a performance is suitable for children?

In some cases, Festival performance descriptions include age recommendations, or children’s ticket prices. If not, and if you are unclear about the suitability of a performance, box office staff are standing by at (843) 579-3100 to answer these questions.

Can an infant child sit on my lap during a performance?

Sorry, no babies-in-arms or children sitting in laps. Everyone who enters the venue is required to hold a ticket, including children of all ages. In general we discourage patrons from bringing infants and children under five to Spoleto Festival USA performances. Children and adults who become disruptive will be asked to leave the venue.

Can I take pictures and video during performance?

Federal copyright laws prohibit the use of cameras or other recording devices in any venue.

Are cell phones allowed at Festival events?

Cell phones are allowed in Festival venues, but as a courtesy to artists and other patrons, we ask that you please turn your phones off during performances.

How can I find a hotel in the area?

Charleston offers a wide variety of accommodations for every taste and budget. For listings of Festival accommodation partners in the Charleston area, many offering special prices or discounts on tickets, click HERE.

Where can I find more information about visiting Charleston?

See our Explore Charleston page for information about visiting Charleston, including accommodation, transportation information, and links to area attractions.

I have unused funds in my Spoleto account. Can I apply them to a future ticket purchase?

Yes. You can use a balance in your Spoleto account towards tickets, posters, or contributions. The account balance will appear after you have added tickets or items to your cart and have proceeded to checkout.