Dear PoPville – Can We Still BYOB to Jazz in the Garden?

Photo by PoPville flickr user K’s Clicks

“Dear PoPville,

Tonight is another edition of Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery, apparently the only place to be in DC on a Friday evening in summer, thus long lines for drinks, food & bathrooms. My question for you: While I know that bringing your own adult beverages is frowned upon, even “prohibited” according to the rules posted at the entrance gate, do they actually enforce not bringing your own alcohol into the park? I’ve been there and never had a problem with quietly and discreetly drinking our own wine, but recently friends have told me that they are starting to check people’s bags at the door? Has anyone else heard of this happening?”

54 Comment

  • I still remember when beer on the Mall was ok. Beer at the Zoo was ok. What kind of repressive society have we become?

  • I was there last Friday, and while one entrance (7th st) was thoroughly checking bags and making people leave their alcohol at the front. The 9th st entrance was only taking a quick peek into your bag, and I was able to get my bottles of wine in (under blanket). From what I saw a lot of people had their own wine also, were there is a will there is a way. stay thirsty my friends.

  • go with a friend, and have whoever has the alcohol wait by a side of the fence far from the check point. the friend who enters first can collect the alcohol and then you can walk in. did it Memorial Day weekend – easy as pie.

  • Two weeks ago I saw a man throwing wine bottles over the fence…that’s one way to bring it in…

  • A friend of mine went last Friday and had to get rid of her wine. Sounds like it’s hit or miss these days.

  • Are they just going through bags looking for (obvious) wine bottles, or are they, say, checking any colored water bottles to make sure there’s no alcohol in them?

    • From what I saw, they are just taking a quick glance in some bags. I walked right in last week with a bag in hand and no one checked it. To be safe, i recommend putting your booze into a container of some sort. They are not opening bottles and smelling for alcohol.

  • She’s a quitter.

  • Last week I walked right in carrying a paper bag with two bottles of wine (7th street entrance) in it. No one stopped me or questioned me.

  • They allowed in colored water bottles full of wine/whatever with no issues (we did that). Also, well hidden wine/beer under other things got by just fine. The obvious wine bottle on top of the bag was, of course, told to turn around.

  • I love how people who complain about people drinking in public (in their neighborhoods) whine when they can’t do the same at a concert. Do as I say, not as I do!

    • few complain about drinking, you need to read more carefully. the complaints are about littering, public urination, defecation and harassment.
      but that requires comprehension skills.

    • I love how people who don’t see the difference between an event and loitering.

      Troll better dangnabbit

  • well, you can buy booze at the event, if I remember correctly, so stopping the alcohol at the gate isn’t to prevent drinking, it’s to make more $$$.

    • Yeah, it’s more like not being able to bring your own bottle to a restaurant.

      I just buy it there. I’m getting a free concert out of the deal so I feel like it works out.

    • They have (or had) $10 pitchers of sangria – a bargain for DC! It was pretty yummy too.

  • Most people I know were able to get bottles in last week. Just conceal your drinks under a blanket. They’ll poke around on top but won’t bother going through the whole bag.

  • You can’t leave the cans/bottles just sitting in your bag like the good old days. Either conceal it in an incognito container or pass it through the fence.

    The security at the gate is hit-or-miss depending on which entrance you use and when you come, but I wouldn’t leave it to chance with my evening’s booze at stake.

  • pretty remarkable that so many people on here know people who snuck wine into a single event last week!

  • Curious, do the Yarks Park concerts have similar rules?

    • When I was there, the only rule posted was that you could only drink in the concrete area with the band–people who took beers out of that area were told to go back. But I think you could have brought your own and drank it there. And it’s a pretty big place–if you’d walked down to the part with the lounge chairs I don’t think any guards would’ve checked to see what you were drinking.

      I had such a nice time there, and it was so uncrowded compared to Jazz in the Sculpture Garden that I’m a little sad to recommend it!

      • Yeah, I’m looking forward to going sometime. It’s a lot closer to where I live as well. Always something else happening on Friday, though, 🙁

      • em

        I second that – both the part about Yards Park being awesome and the part about wanting to keep the secret. There are more shady spots, benches and lounge chairs to sit on, food trucks, a different type of music each week, a wading pool area, a dog park, and a beautiful river view. But I should stop saying how great it is, lest people actually come down and make Yards Park the next site of Friday night summer overcrowding.

  • Checking bags at the door? That is crazy. As long as your are not intoxicated I don’t see why it would be a problem to have a couple of drinks while you are there.

  • If you can’t figure out how to disguise your booze, you don’t deserve to drink it!

  • you know, i was pleasantly surprised that a few of the kiosks on the mall sell beer.

  • Our experience was that the wine was taken from us at 7th st entrance and placed near the fence by security. We grabbed the bottles sitting near the fence once we were inside. So we were able to consume more than we bought. The week before my bag was not checked and I brought in two bottles.

  • Fun fact, one time I tried to bring a bottle of whiskey to a Nats-Phillies game by hiding it in my shorts. I got down there only to find out that the game was sold out. So my friends and I decided to go to a Capitol Hill bar to watch the game, and I was forced to spend the evening with a 375 ml bottle of Jim Beam stuffed in my crotch.

  • Two officers were checking bags at the door last week end for sure, and people caught with bottles / drinks were asked to leave them outside.

  • I put alcohol in a container and wrapped in a towel. The security was just checking by glancing in the bag. He didn’t even tough bags. He was actually preoccupied when I walked and almost didn’t check, I probably could have just walked past. Then, I met my friends and we sat near one of the entrances and that security guard wasn’t even checking bags at all. Everyone we saw take wine bottles out of their bags (one group had about 5 bottles) and the wine opener. I think if you have it in a bag and not obviously out in the open when you walk in they will not notice.

    • ah

      So clearly you need to diversify risk. Spread the hooch among all your buddies–at worst one or two bottles get lost.

  • ledroittiger

    Last Friday I was doing funnels and jello shots in between games on a full-size beer pong table. I was thrown into jail. But I was able to sneak a bottle of wine into my holding cell.

  • austindc

    The easiest way to bring booze in is to smuggle it inside your stomach.

  • When I went two weeks ago the guard on 7th was checking bags (it was early so he didn’t have a whole lot of people coming through the gate), so we just walked around to the other gate acted like we were having an animated conversation and the guard didn’t even stop us.

  • Need to let the area whinos & drunks know about the all the alcohol left outside the gates – Freaky Summer Fridays 2011!

  • If you’re going to smuggle in alcohol, you should also go on line and make a donation to the National Gallery. Part of the point of the event is to raise money for the Gallery via the alcohol sales.

  • Anyone remember when you used to fight for a spot on the grass near the bar? Yeesh, now you have to fight for a spot on the sidewalk across the garden.

    On the plus side, a great ex-pat community has established themselves on the Mall green itself, well within range of the music.. and with none of the restrictions.

  • You can still smoke your herbs at the Wash Mon on the 4th. One-time (read: the polices) will fuck you up for bringing alcohol out there. Seen it. Was not pretty.

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