10 Reasons to Love The Barns

10 Reasons to Love The Barns
Dec 15, 2023

Wolf Trap may be best known for its outdoor summer concerts, but chilly temperatures call for a cozy, indoor musical escape. Take a look inside The Barns! Featuring some of the finest acts in music, dance, drama, and comedy, this year-round theater has a one-of-a-kind, intimate setting.

Read on to discover 10 reasons why The Barns could become your favorite indoor venue!

1) It’s rustic, yet refined.

Constructed from two 18th-century barns, The Barns is outfitted with 21st-century refinements that provide awesome acoustics, state-of-the-art lighting, and welcoming amenities. Rich in history, this intimate space brings great entertainment up close and personal.

Attending a performance? Let everyone know you’re at The Barns! Check out Wolf Trap’s fun Music Moves Inside filter on Instagram—open the filter on your Instagram app and smile!

2) You might be in a barn, but you’re in for a culinary delight.

The Scottish Barn is filled with the tantalizing aroma of locally sourced fare made-to-order. Check out the menu! Throw in some varietal wines and Virginia craft beers, and you’ll turn your evening into dinner and a show. Don’t forget to take your drinks to your seat to enjoy during the performance.

3) You’ll never get into a rut at The Barns.

Nobody listens to only one type of music, so why should your live music options be limited? With everything from alternative rock and jazz to Chamber and world music on the schedule, the choices are endless. Need a laugh? There’s comedy too.

4) Big acts, little stage.

Big acts like Darren Criss, Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes, Tanya Tucker, Art Garfunkel, Toots & The Maytals, and Emerson String Quartet have played many of the world’s biggest venues, holding the attentions of tens of thousands. But sometimes, it’s the small spaces that play host to the most special performances. Venues like The Barns give these artists the space to connect with fans in an intimate way.

5) Opening acts don’t always stay opening acts.

Did a Filene Center opener become your latest musical obsession? From Rodrigo Amarante to Joe Sumner and more, you might notice that several summer opening acts have headlined at The Barns. Or do you want to catch up-and-coming artists before the whole world knows about them? Many performers like Brandi Carlile, Harry Connick Jr., Alison Krauss, and The Avett Brothers started at The Barns and have returned to headline at the Filene Center.

6) Opera lives here.

During the summer months, The Barns is home to opera. The jewel-box size and excellent acoustics of The Barns is perfect for dazzling full-length productions, interactive Aria Jukebox concerts, a variety of mesmerizing recitals, and more. It allows Wolf Trap Opera to be adventurous, producing rarely seen operas, long-loved classics, and 21st-century commissions. It’s a comfortable way to enjoy brilliant voices and orchestrations.

7) You can learn from a master.

Ever watch a performance and wonder how the artist does it? All shows in the Chamber Music at The Barns series include an onstage Q+A discussion, hosted by WETA Classical’s Rich Kleinfeldt. End your night on a sweet note by joining the complimentary post-performance dessert receptions in the Scottish Barn.

8) Want to be the star of your own show? We’ve got you covered.

The Barns is available to rent for weddings, receptions, and cocktail parties—even seminars and corporate events. Need catering and other event services? Wolf Trap staff can help with that. For more information, visit Wolf Trap’s Facility Rentals.

9) You can hear it here first.

Over the years, Wolf Trap has premiered more than a dozen new works at The Barns, including a Grammy-nominated opera and several daring Chamber music compositions that won high praise from critics. This year, be one of the first to see the US premiere of Emily: A Musical Portrait—a theatrical setting of song about the life of poet Emily Dickinson.

Plus, see major artists come to The Barns for intimate solo or acoustic performances. Pakistani sensation Ali Sethi comes to The Barns just months after releasing his latest album, Intiha. And after finishing tours with Hozier and John Mayer, singer/songwriter Madison Cunningham headlines with her newest music.

10) The Barns keep people coming back.

With excellent food, great vibes, and reasonable ticket prices, “artists and patrons love the Barns,” says Tim McCormick, Director of Production at The Barns. “Patrons love the intimacy and being able to feel close to their favorite artists, and the artists value the care and attention they get at the Barns. Here, they feel like family.”

Check out this season’s lineup at The Barns now!