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If you are new to the NZSO Experience, here's some helpful information to make your night at the orchestra more fun.

What do I wear?

Whatever is most comfortable! There is no dress code for our concerts. Some patrons do like to wear formal attire but if you are happier in a t-shirt and jeans that’s ok with us too.

When do I get there?

It is a good idea to arrive 15 minutes before the concert is scheduled to start. Everyone is welcome to attend one of our pre-concert talks which take place 45 minutes before each concert. At some of our concerts we often have pre-concert dining so arrive earlier and enjoy a meal with friends. Visit our venues pages for more information about each of the venues we perform in.

Can I clap now?

At the height of Mozart’s popularity in the 18th century the audience were a raucous bunch, constantly clapping and cheering. It wasn’t until the 19th century that composers like Mahler and Wagner demanded attentive listening.

These days the easiest way to know when to clap is to take your cues from the conductor; he or she will lower their arms and turn to the audience when the piece is finished.

I need to cough/eat/drink/use the bathroom?

We understand that human urges and sickness can strike at any time and we definitely don’t want it to get in the way of a memorable evening.

If you are experiencing a wee throat tickle then we recommend a hearty dose of cough lozenges. It will make your experience and that of the people around you much better.

We do allow you to transfer your beverages to disposable cups and bring them into the concert hall however we ask that you do not eat during the performance. If you need a blood sugar lift, ice creams and other treats can be eaten during interval. Or Wellingtonians can treat themselves to a delicious pre-concert meal at Civic Café and Bar.

The ideal time to use the powder room is during interval but if nature calls during a performance the best time to slip out is between movements.

Should I Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat the performance so everyone knows I’m here?

While we want everyone to know how wonderful we are and how excited you are to be there, we ask you to please keep your phones turned off during our performances. The sound and light from mobile devices is very distracting for the players and other audience members.

Photography and recording of the orchestra are also prohibited but you’re more than welcome to tell the world just how #awesome we are before and after the performance.

This movement is so peaceful…can I take a nap?

Please don’t. You’re missing the best bit!

I’ve actually met/seen/heard the bassoon player/conductor/piece before, should I tell everyone around me?

We ask that you remain quiet during the performances; even a whisper can be disturbing for other members of the audience.

However, we encourage discussion at interval and more often than not we invite you all to attend our post-concert drinks our musicians so you can talk to the players themselves.

I want to read the programme but its dark in here!

Another good reason to arrive early – get your pre-concert reading in before the lights go down then sit back and enjoy the concert.