The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the world. It is held annually on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. This has been the site of the Festival since its inception in 1958. More than 500 top jazz artists perform throughout the weekend on 8 stages spread throughout the grounds. The Arena features 5 concerts throughout the Festival weekend. All Arena Seating is reserved seating, available with the purchase of Arena Packages or Single Day Arena Tickets. Arena Packages and Tickets also allow access to 7 additional Grounds stages and all Grounds activities at no extra cost. Grounds Stage Tickets include simulcasts of Arena concerts in the Jazz Theater and access to 6 additional Grounds stages and all Grounds activities.
Outdoor venues include the Arena (Jimmy Lyons Stage), the Garden Stage, the West Lawn Stage, and the Courtyard Stage. Indoor venues include the Night Club (Bill Berry Stage), Dizzy's Den, the Jazz Theater, and the Coffee House Gallery. The Festival's Premier Club (available with Arena or Adult Grounds Stage Ticket purchase) includes entry to the Premier Club (featuring closed circuit Arena simulcasts), artist visits, hosted bar, access to private restrooms, and many other amenities.
Dates and Gate Opening Times
The Festival takes place on the third full weekend in September at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, located at 2000 Fairground Road in Monterey, California. A full weekend is one which includes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Dates for the 2016 - 2022 Monterey Jazz Festival:
September 16 - 18, 2016
September 15 - 17, 2017
September 21 - 23, 2018
September 20 - 22, 2019
September 18 - 20, 2020
September 17 - 19, 2021
September 16 - 18, 2022
2016 Gate Opening Times
Monterey Jazz Festival gates open at:
6:00 pm / Friday, September 16, 2016
11:30 am / Saturday, September 17, 2016
11:30 am / Sunday, September 18, 2016
Arena and Grounds Stage Tickets have specific dates and times for entry. Please see details below:
The Arena Ticket allows one person per ticket to enter the Fairgrounds. Once you have left the Fairgrounds, an Arena ticket does not allow you to re-enter the Fairgrounds with that ticket. Please note: Each Arena ticket is valid only for the date and time specified on the front of the ticket. You may enter the Fairgrounds only during that time period.
Friday, September 16, 2016:
- Tickets for Arena Show #1 are valid Friday from 6:00 pm until closing.
Saturday, September 17, 2016:
- Tickets for Arena Show #2 are valid Saturday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
- Tickets for Arena Show #3 are valid Saturday from 4:00 pm to closing.
Sunday, September 18, 2016:
- Tickets for Arena Show #4 are valid Sunday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
- Tickets for Arena Show #5 are valid Sunday from 4:00 pm until closing.
Shows in the Arena last approximately 4 hours.
A Grounds Stage Ticket allows one person per ticket to enter the Fairgrounds only for the day and date specified on the ticket. A Grounds Stage Ticket will not allow you into the Arena. A Grounds Stage Ticket does not allow you to re-enter the Fairgrounds once you have left.
During the Festival weekend, the Monterey Bay Area may be hot and sunny, cold and foggy, or both in the same day! Nights are likely to be cool to cold. Please dress accordingly. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and casual clothing. Remember to bring sunscreen for the day and a jacket for the evening. There are no Fairgrounds in/out privileges, so please prepare for the afternoon and evening weather changes prior to entering the Fairgrounds. The Festival will take place rain or shine.
Disabled Persons / Hearing Impaired Information
Please contact the Ticket Office if you require wheelchair seating or access and did not indicate this on your ticket order form. A Passenger Loading/Unloading area with wheelchair/disabled access is located at the Main Entrance (Gate #5) to the Fairgrounds next to the Ticket Office on Fairground Road.
Wheelchair accessible shuttle buses will be available to bring you to and from the Fairgrounds from Monterey Jazz Festival General Parking at Monterey Peninsula College. A limited amount of parking spaces are available for disabled persons on Fairground Road. Parking is fist-come, first-served.
Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available at no charge at Patron Services, located on the Fairgrounds. A deposit of a valid driver's license or current credit card is required.
Food & Beverage Policies
We invite you to enjoy a wide variety of food and beverages available for purchase at the Monterey Jazz Festival, including a variety of brews from North Coast Brewing Company, celebrating their 10th anniversary as Official Beers of the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2015, and wines from Scheid Family Wines. As per the State of California and the County of Monterey, food, glass, and containerized beverages cannot be brought onto the fairgrounds with the exception of one unopened plastic bottle of water. A stainless steel or other nonbreakable individual use water container is allowed, which may be filled at the free Pure Water stations. Containers are also available for purchase. No picnic baskets, coolers or barbeques are allowed. No alcohol may be brought onto the Fairgrounds. Alcohol and containers will be disposed of at the entrance gates and not returned. Every person who enters the Fairgrounds is subject to search by Security personnel.
Do and Don't...
We want all of our fans to have an enjoyable and safe experience at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Please help us ensure everyone's security, comfort, and convenience by following these rules. Thank you and enjoy the Festival!
For Your Security:
- Every person is subject to a security search
- Please be prepared for Security to search your belongings
Security reserves the right to refuse entry to the Festival Grounds.
The following are prohibited on the Festival Grounds:
- Food, coolers, glass bottles, containerized or alcoholic beverages
- Flash for photos, laser pens, laser light
- Audio or video recording devices
- No smoking is allowed in the Arena or in any indoor venue
- All cell phone ringers must be turned off during performances
- Strollers are not allowed in the Arena or any indoor venue
Security may confiscate items or have you remove items from the Festival Grounds.
- ID for Will Call
- Personal items and medications
- Additional clothing for changing weather conditions and temperatures
- One sealed plastic bottle of water per patron is permitted
For Your Convenience:
- An international array of food, shopping, and festivities are available throughout the Festival grounds
- ATMs are available on the Festival Grounds
- Listening devices are available at Patron Services
Festival Entry Policies:
Your ticket allows one entry to the Fairgrounds, but no re-admittance. If you leave the Fairgrounds, you will have to purchase another ticket to get back in. If you have questions prior to the Festival, please contact the Ticket Office at email@example.com. If you have questions during the Festival, please ask our Ambassadors, Patron Services volunteers, or Ticket Office staff.
Smoking is not permitted in the Arena, in any indoor venue, or in any Fairgrounds building.
There is a medical first aid station located on the Fairgrounds, staffed with Emergency Medical Technicians, throughout the Festival weekend.
For your convenience, ATMs are available throughout the Fairgrounds during the Monterey Jazz Festival weekend.
Courtesy to Fellow Fans
As a courtesy to fellow fans and our performing artists, please remember to turn off all cell phone ringers while attending the Festival performances. Please do not use flash photography of any kind, with any device. Not only is it distracting to fans, it is also impolite and dangerous for artists. Please don't film with a smartphone. Please refrain from talking during the performances. In addition, please do not wear large hats or sit on multiple cushions that block the view for the fans behind you.