Your one stop shop for all Elsie Fest 2017 questions. That I can answer. I’m still just a fan and don’t have inside information, but I do pay attention, and I will update this as frequently as I can (given that I have a day job and a family and stuff) to try and set everyone’s mind at ease and make sure we have the best possible information. If you have additional questions, please ask in the comments or tweet them to me @elsiepod. Here we go:

Is Elsie Fest still happening in light of the shooting at Mandalay Bay on October 1st?

As of now, there has been no statement from Elsie Fest, and it appears the event is still happening. New York City has been on heightened alert (Yellow) since June, and bags are checked at all venues including Broadway theaters. Expect any bag you bring to Elsie Fest to be searched on entry.

At this time, I don’t know of any special security measures being taken, but I will post here if I hear of any.

1. When is Elsie Fest this year?

October 8, 2017, with a currently published time of 5-10PM. (That’s doors at 5, concert 6-10.)

Meet and Greet lineups will start at around 2:30pm. For more info on M&G, see #6.

2. Where is Elsie Fest this year?

Summerstage, Central Park, New York City

3. Where do I buy tickets?

Tickets are available via Ticketfly. You can link to Ticketfly via the Elsie Fest website.

4. How much will tickets cost me?

General Admission is $59.99

Bleacher Pass is $84.99 Bleacher Passes are SOLD OUT (But some people are re-selling theirs if they can’t go. I’ve been posting the ones I find on my Facebook page.)

Fees are $9.27 per ticket on Ticketfly.

5. Are there seats at the venue?

There are some. Summerstage is primarily a lawn seating venue, which means everybody brings a blanket and finds a seat on the ground. There are bleachers, but the passes for them are sold out. There are no assigned seats at Elsie Fest this year. A Bleacher pass allows you to enter the bleacher section and guarantees you a seat. It’s open seating.)

Here’s a Google Street View of the venue.

I have arthritis/use a wheelchair/just can’t sit on the ground. What do I do?

I wish I had a good answer here. Hopefully, Elsie Fest and/or Summerstage will be forthcoming about this information when tickets actually go on sale. If they are not, my best advice is to ask for what you need. Reach out to Elsie Fest and Summerstage and say that you need a seat (or a place you can see from your wheelchair) (or whatever accommodation you may need) and ask what they will do to accommodate you. Under the ADA, they have to accommodate you if you have a medical need.*

You can reach out to Elsie Fest at info@elsiefest.com.

I’m told you can also get info by reaching out to Summerstage directly. @SummerStage on Twitter or info@cityparksfoundation.org.

6. Will there be VIP?

There is no VIP seating.

Meet & Greet with Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Alan Cumming, and Auli’i Cravalho went on sale Tuesday, October 3 at 5pm here. $100 each. Darren Criss M&G sold out in under 2 minutes. The rest are still available as of this update. The following information/clarification comes from @ElsieFest on Twitter.

  • This is an upgrade. You must already have a ticket to Elsie Fest to use it. The price does not include admission.
  • Pricing is for one person per photo.
  • This is the only M&G option. There will be no 5 min meetings or rehearsal package this year.
  • If you purchase M&G for more than one artist, you will be able to do both (or all of them.) Exact words were “We will make it work.”
  • M&G will take place before the show. According to an email from Elsie Fest, lineups for M&G will start at “about 2:30.”
  • “If you are with a parent, they may come, but only one person gets the photo and merch package.” (email from Elsie Fest, 10/3/17)

Lea Michele meet and greet went on sale the day Elsie Fest was announced. As of 9/5/17, Lea Michele M&G is sold out.

7. Who will be performing?

Announced performers are:

Darren Criss, Lea Michele, Alan Cumming

Special Guests: Ingrid Michaelson, Norm Lewis, Jeremy Jordan, & Auli’i Cravalho

More guests TBA!

What? No Computer Games?!

I know. I thought so, too.

8. Will I be able to meet Darren Criss at Elsie Fest?

Probably not, unless you have a M&G ticket. Tickets for Darren’s M&G sold out in under 2 minutes.

9. Can I bring a dog to Elsie Fest?

Sadly, no.

10. I heard some other people were going to be at Elsie Fest. Are they maybe some of the “More Guests TBA?”

Maybe. But I wouldn’t buy tickets based on that thought. You never know who might show up at Elsie Fest–there have been unannounced surprise guests both years. But if you’re buying a ticket because you hope that a rumored guest will show up, you will probably be disappointed.

Falsely rumored guests include Audra McDonald, Dove Cameron, and Corey Cott. As far as I know, none of them will be performing at Elsie Fest this year.

Another rumor has cropped up: Brendan Urie. This was based on a tweet from @ElsieFest inviting him to perform. As far as I know, it was just something thrown out there by whomever was on the account at the time and there’s no reason to think Brendan even saw it. Don’t buy tickets based on this rumor.

On the other hand, Auli’i Cravalho was part of the original rumor, and that has proven true. I still wouldn’t buy tickets based on anything other than the official list, though.

11. Is Elsie Fest going to sell out?

It might. There’s no way to know how many tickets have been sold. However, the venue is large, and a sell-out would mean probably a 50% increase in audience over last year. Given increased advertising, more prominent guests, and a better location and date, it’s possible this will happen, but probably not before your next paycheck arrives.

12. When will additional guests be announced?

You never know. While I have no way of knowing who has been invited or what kind of negotiations are going on behind the scenes, they have made it clear that Darren is the person who arranges the talent at Elsie Fest. Darren is currently shooting American Crime Story, promoting for both Computer Games and Elsie Fest, and he has other commitments. So there’s no way we fans can predict his schedule.

There will be more guests. Some will be announced before Elsie Fest, others will be surprise guests (if the past two years are a guide.) Buy tickets based on what’s announced, don’t get your hopes up, and enjoy watching it unfold.

13. I have nobody to sit with at Elsie Fest. May I sit with you?

Of course! Look for the yellow blankets. I’ll be sitting on these and also wearing my yellow Elsie Cast t-shirt, so I should be easy to find. Kristine from Darren Army will be with me, along with some other folks you may recognize from the Darren fandom on Twitter, as well as my husband and the Kid (who gets asked about surprisingly often.)


We’ll be the ones sitting on these blankets. I made them myself!

I’ll be passing out stickers and trying to interview as many fans as I can during the day. I’ll also be getting contact info for people who have good Elsie Fest stories and want to do a full episode interview. And all strays are welcome to hang out with us.

Also, regarding the Kid–I encourage you to come up and talk to me and I’m happy to introduce you to her if she’s up for it. However, she is a) a teenager, who’s not that into her mom’s fandom, and b) not an adult, so please don’t take her picture. First, she’s not a fan of her picture being taken, and second, she deserves some privacy. She just wants to enjoy some Ingrid Michaelson, Jeremy Jordan, and Lea Michele.

14. I wish there was a way to get familiar with the music of all of these artists before Elsie Fest.

I made myself a Spotify playlist for that purpose that I’m happy to share. It’s over 11 hours of music by all the announced artists. I listen to it on random, like a radio station, though there are entire albums in there that might be fun to listen to in order. Enjoy!

On Sunday, October 1, Elsie Fest published an official Spotify playlist, which you can find here.

15. I was hoping to take pictures/video at Elsie Fest, but the website for Summerstage says no cameras are allowed! What do I do?

The official policy says “Professional gear including video cameras or cameras with lens 100mm and over are not permitted.” Your phone or digital camera should be fine. They don’t want people taking professional-quality photos so that they can keep control of publicity.

16. Can I bring food and/or a water bottle?

Yes, on water, food is questionable (click the link and read the rule for yourself) but no coolers or alcohol. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and food are sold within the venue. There is also a water fountain to refill your water bottle. (Much better than last year. I think I spent $60 just on water for me and my kid.)

17. How do I get to Summerstage?

Summerstage is in Central Park at East 72nd Street. The closest subway is the 6 train at 68th street, or you can take the C train to 72nd Street on the West Side and walk across the park. Here’s a handy guide from TripSavvy that’s for the free concerts, but a lot of the info applies also to Elsie Fest.

*I’m sure I don’t have to say this, because Elsie Fest fans are awesome, but please don’t abuse this. People with disabilities actually need accommodations, and I want to live in a world where they get them with minimal fuss. When people abuse these policies, everyone’s life gets worse. So advocate for yourself if you need it, and everyone else, just sit on the damn ground or don’t come.

Last update: October 4 at 10:00am Eastern



  1. Hiya, thank you for this post. Do you know if Elsie Fest tickets (just the standard type) ever sell out or can you generally get a ticket right up to the date of the show?


    • I should be clear that Kidprojectmom is me (Rachel) in my old incarnation before Elsie Cast. But I’m glad you find the FAQ helpful.

      I’m not sure how many people were at the first one, because I wasn’t there. But it was a smaller venue so not nearly as many as last year or this year.

      My personal estimate for last year is somewhere between 3-4k, just based on the fact that the venue holds 5k people and how full it was. I haven’t seen any official estimates. Summerstage has a maximum capacity of 5,500, which is why a sellout would be a big achievement. But all of the announced guests have had television roles and have very large followings, and as I said, the date and location are both more convenient than last year, and general admission means fewer people are priced out.

      There have been complaints, though, about not having real theater-style seats this year, so we’ll see what happens.


  2. That’s hard to predict. The first year sold out, the second year didn’t. But last year was a difficult date for a lot of people, and way out on Coney Island. This is a better date and location, I suspect the prices will be better, there are rumors of a lot of popular guests, and there’s generally more interest. On the other hand, this is the biggest venue yet.

    A sell-out at Summerstage would be a big achievement for Elsie Fest, but it is possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so very much for this! Especially the post about not abusing the ADA laws and allowing the management to concentrate on serving those who really do need accommodation.

    Shout out to kid project mom too for a great response. I’ve always wanted to know – about how many fans do you think attended EF 1 & 2?


  4. I’m flying from U.K. for this event. Do you know what time the doors open. Do we need to arrive well ahead of time? What is the best way to get to the event?? Thank you for this blog / it’s been very useful!!


  5. Hi, Jackie! Doors open at 5, according to the official announcement. Last year everything was about an hour late, though. I would arrive very early if you care about where you sit. Darren fans tend to line up hours ahead of time. However, there will be a lot of moving around during the evening, so if you’re not there primarily to take photos or video, it probably doesn’t matter so much where you sit as you’ll be able to get relatively close for the acts you want to see most.

    I will add a section about transportation, but if you’re staying in the city and don’t have mobility issues, then subway will be your best bet. Off the top of my head, I think the C train to 72nd street or 78th street will be the closest. I live in NJ, so I’m planning to drive and park in a nearby garage.


  6. 2 friends and I are going to elsie fest together and we were wondering if we could but 1 vip ticket for a picture with all three of us in it.


  7. Hi! Do you know if there are any rules regarding children? Is there an age requirement? Do children need tickets? I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old, would they need tickets?


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