Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC) is the local concert venue in the Finger Lakes located just a skip hop and a jump from Canandaigua Lake. If you are someone who is into music and outdoor concerts, then CMAC is the place for you. I am lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from CMAC (which means I can buy my tickets right at the box office and not have to pay a service or delivery charge). CMAC is a concert venue that holds 5000 people under the shell and an additional 10,000 in the lawn. Shell tickets can range in price, but lawn tickets are usually very reasonable. From certain parts of the lawn you can even catch a glimpse of the lake. The sunset from the lawn can be quite beautiful on a summer night while listening to some great music.

CMAC offers all different types of concerts. For as long as I can remember the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra plays sometime around the 4th of July. There are always a variety of country artists that come to play, and usually some alternative and rock as well. There is something for everyone.

Being a country music fan, I always look forward to see who is coming to CMAC each summer. Whenever CMAC posts that there is going to be a concert announcement, I get so excited and can’t wait for the day and the time of the announcement. I am almost always wrong with my guesses. Being a country music fan, country concerts are the ones that I attend most frequently. The best concert I have seen was Tim McGraw with Dierks Bentley as his opener. Then the next summer Dierks Bentley came back and headlined his own show and put on another great show. My second favorite was Keith Urban which was earlier this summer. He put on a phenomenal show, and then had a B stage in the lawn where he came out to sing and I ended up being within 20 feet of him. Not only did he come out to the lawn, he played about 3 songs at the front of the lawn, and brought out the openers to perform with him as well. It was one of the best nights of the summer, and without CMAC it wouldn’t have been able to happen. Kenny Chesney also often comes to town, and rumor has it he enjoys Canandaigua Lake so much that he has property on the lake. I have been to a few of his shows and they never disappoint.

I cannot say that I have ever been to a Dave Matthews concert, but when Dave Matthews comes to town it is usually a big seller and often sells out. I have heard from multiple sources that he puts on a great show.

When going to a popular show at CMAC, I will give you some advice. If you are not getting there super early or super late, then there will be a good amount of traffic and you may have to sit and wait in it. If you want to avoid traffic, I recommend coming in the back way and down Lincoln Hill Road. Many people don’t know that this is possible, but I have never had to wait to get into the parking lot when coming in the back way. Traffic always moves relatively quickly on the way out of the show as well. I couldn’t believe when I went to a concert at Darien Lake and it took us 2 hours just to get out of the parking lot.

Although concerts for 2017 have not been released, I am anxiously waiting to see who will be coming to town.


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