What health and safety protocols are in place?
The health and safety of our audiences, musicians and staff will always be our top priority. To view our latest health and safety protocols, including mask requirements and more, please visit our COVID-19 page.
Where can I park?
We recommend arriving early to find parking. View the Greater Des Moines Partnership's page containing detailed information, location and cost of available parking in downtown Des Moines.
On-street metered parking is available around downtown Des Moines. Parking meters charge Monday through Saturday from 9AM – 9PM.
Valet Parking: Available at all Des Moines Symphony performances. Advanced valet purchases are available through the ticket office or online. Starting one hour prior to the performance, valet is available for purchase curbside.
Fourth and Grand Parking Ramp: You may enter this parking garage from Grand Avenue, just east of Fourth Street or you may enter the garage from Fourth Street, just north of Locust Street. Event parking fees are charged at most downtown ramps.
Third and Court Parking Ramp: You may enter this parking garage directly from Third Street, just south of Walnut Avenue. Event parking fees are charged at most downtown ramps. This ramp is connected to the Civic Center by Skywalk.
Elliott Apartments – Located at 216 3rd St. and 219 4th st. Downtown Des Moines: This is a surface pay lot that costs $5.
Can I buy tickets at the door?
Any unsold tickets can be purchased at the door starting two hours before our concerts. With the exception of student rush tickets, all ticket prices increase by $5 on the day of the concert. Tickets purchased at the door will be automatically assigned the best available seats within a section. If you wish to choose your seats, please purchase at least one day in advance of the concert. We encourage you to buy your tickets early for best seating availability and the lowest prices.
How long is a typical concert?
Des Moines Symphony performances are usually just over two hours long, which includes a 20-minute intermission.
Can I use my cell phone?
For the consideration of the musicians and your fellow audience members, please turn off your phone or other mobile devices during the concert.
Can I take photos and videos?
Because of our contractual agreement with the American Federation of Musicians, unauthorized photographic, audio recording and video equipment may not be used during this performance.
What should I wear?
While some our guests enjoy dressing up for the evening, you don’t have to wear anything formal to enjoy a Des Moines Symphony concert! Most of our patrons wear business casual or cocktail attire.
When should I arrive?
Doors to the Civic Center generally open one hour before performance time. Our concerts start on time and we recommend allowing extra time for parking, so we invite you to arrive early and enjoy a drink in our lobby prior to the performance. Even better, if you arrive 45 minutes before any Masterworks concert, you can attend a free Concert Prelude Talk in the Prairie Meadows (East) Lobby and learn more about the pieces you’ll hear!
What if I arrive late or need to leave early?
In order not to disturb other audience members who have already begun listening to the music, latecomers will be seated by ushers at designated times throughout the performance or during intermission. If you arrive after the concert begins, you will be asked to wait outside of the hall doors in the lobby until a break in the program occurs. If you have to leave a concert before its end, please do so between pieces.
What am I listening to?
Learn about the pieces you’ll hear and the musicians performing them by clicking on each concert page and reading the program notes (you’ll receive a hard copy of this program book at our concerts). Our 30 Second Notes provide a brief overview, and the program notes that follow provide historical context, analysis and performance history. Learn more about our Orchestra musicians here.
When should I clap?
We ask that you applaud to show your appreciation when each piece is fully complete. Some pieces contain several smaller sections, called movements, which often have a pause between them. If a piece has four movements, for example, we ask that you clap only after the last movement. You’ll receive a program book at the concert which will tell you the number of movements in each piece. You can also take your cue from the conductor – he’ll turn around when the piece is over!
What if I need to cough?
Do you have a tickle in your throat or are you anticipating a coughing attack? Please visit the Guest Services Counter or see a Civic Center usher for a lozenge.
Can I bring my children?
The Des Moines Symphony welcomes children five years and older to attend performances. Children of any age are welcome to attend youth and family concerts. All children, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to attend performances.