If you don’t know anything about Laguna’s Pageant of the Masters, just ask around. In fact, ask the locals WHAT it is and watch them lose the ability to form one clear, concise sentence about what the Pageant really is.
A tradition for more than 70 years, it’s frankly the most awesome “art show” you’ll see in your lifetime. The first time you see the show, you’ll be gape-mouthed … absolutely slack-jawed when you realize what’s REALLY going on up there on stage.
So, how to get tickets? Normally, the entire Pageant of the Masters outdoor amphitheatre sells out in December when tickets are first announced for sale. But, if you’re looking for just a couple seats and aren’t overly concerned as to where you sit, you can usually find tickets online at the official site: Festival of Arts – Pageant of the Masters http://foapom.com
Less attractive and usually more in cost are other online ticket agencies.
But what if you wake up one morning and decide you want to see the Pageant? What if a caravan of friends suddenly shows up at your house and you don’t know what to do with them? What if you’ve arrived in Laguna Beach as a first-time tourist and have heard so much about this strange event that you’ve just got to check it out before you leave?
Here’s your insider tip to really great seats (sometimes the best seats in the house):
- Decide on the morning you wish to see the show.
- On that morning, run by Laguna Coffee or The Orange Inn (see my related articles) for a steaming cup of joe to go.
- Head down Laguna Canyon Road (just turn toward the canyon on Broadway and Broadway becomes Laguna Canyon Road about a half mile up the road). You’ll see the Pageant ticket office and festival grounds on your left after you pass the light at Forest Street.
- Park your car, walk over to the closed ticket office and park yourself in line with all the other locals who have their own cup of joe.
- Then wait for the ticket office to open at 9:00 a.m.
- When it’s your turn, you’ll discover that a respectable number of seats have been turned back in for that night’s performance, most of which belong to long-term subscribers and early ticket purchasers who snatched all the great seats. I’ve done this just about every year I’ve lived here, and have managed 4 seats, 7 seats, and several 2-seat locations that knocked our socks off every time.