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Universal’s Summer Concert Series 2016 – complete guide

NOTE: Below is the information for the 2015 Summer Concert Series (dubbed the 25th Anniversary Concert Series last year). Once the information for the 2016 concert series is released, we will update this page.

Due to the opening of Diagon Alley, Universal’s summer concerts were cancelled for 2014. However, this year they’re back and feature a new title: Universal’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series.


Big-name bands on Orlando’s most exciting stage
Come celebrate 25 years of unforgettable moments at Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series. In addition to all your favorite rides, shows and attractions, on select nights May 23 – June 20 the stage at Universal Studios will come alive with amazing live performances on the Universal Music Plaza stage.

Universal Studios Florida Music Plaza stage.

Unlike Mardi Gras and the Holiday Concert Series, no parade or additional “25th Anniversary” activities have been announced to 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.


Universal’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series dates & lineup
Saturday, May 23: Prince Royce (official site, @PrinceRoyce, popular song)
Sunday, May 24: Shawn Mendes (official site, @ShawnMendes, popular song)
Saturday, May 30: Pitbull (official site, @Pitbull, popular song)
Saturday, June 6: Kellie Pickler (official site, @KelliePickler, popular song)
Saturday, June 13: Huey Lewis and the News (official site, @Huey_Lewis_News, popular song)
Saturday, June 20: Goo Goo Dolls (official site, @GooGooDolls, popular song)


Admission to Universal’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series
The Anniversary 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: In years past, Universal has offered a slightly discounted admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida on concert nights. The ticket is not specifically for the concert venue. Instead, it only allows admission to Universal Studios after a set time (in years past this has been 7pm), but once you get in you have access to the concert and all the attractions like any other park visitor. It’s unknown if a ticket like this will be offered for 2015, once we hear we will update this page. For guests wishing to get in line early in the morning or afternoon for a good position at the concert, 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 blacked out June 13 – August 13. However on concert dates, your pass is valid after 5pm. This means, you can attend the June 13th Huey Lewis and the News performance and/or the June 20th Goo Goo Dolls finale concert. (Just don’t expect to have a front spot!)


Summer Concert Series & the park attractions
Usually these concerts are scheduled before USF ‘s closing time. This 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 operating as usual until Universal Studios Florida closes (either 9pm or 10pm depending upon the concert 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 – 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, we 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. Concert dates are no exception to this natural law.

Fortunately the rain, while heavy at times, usually doesn’t last that long. And since the concerts don’t begin until later in the evening, 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 — 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 a drug store 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.