Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of the world’s premier outdoor concert venues. Millions of years of geologic activity combined with Civilian Conservation Corps efforts has resulted in an incredible amphitheater which blends nature with architecture to produce an astounding natural acoustic marvel.

Jimi Hendrix, U2, and Bastille have graced this stage, but there’s more than just concerts to experience here!

The History

Red Rocks’ story is one of both natural and human wonder, becoming both a National Historic Landmark and an iconic venue attracting music lovers from across the globe. A testament to passion, perseverance, and ingenuity.

John Brisben Walker, a local Renaissance man, invited musicians to perform on a temporary platform tucked between Ship Rock and Creation Rock sandstone monoliths in the early 1900s. These informal shows helped establish Red Rocks as a destination, but it wasn’t until 1936 that Denver Parks’ city manager persuaded the federal government to acquire and transform Red Rocks into a formal outdoor amphitheater – with help from Civilian Conservation Corps members and Work Projects Administration workers making that dream possible.

Red Rocks has seen some amazing shows over the years at Red Rocks, some of them even creating some controversy – such as Jethro Tull’s 1971 performance when unticketed attendees gatecrashed to listen from outside the venue.

The Venue

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre has long been revered as an epic concert destination and outdoor exercise haven. Renowned sandstone monoliths–Creation and Ship Rock–provide incredible acoustics while hiking trails, trading posts, visitors centers and two music Halls of Fame all contribute to its appeal.

Even though amphitheaters are best-known for hosting concerts, they’re also beautiful places to visit during the daytime. Their natural setting adds a layer of camaraderie among attendees that creates an exceptional experience – with parking lots filled with tailgaters grilling food and drinking beer ahead of the show!

Even with its steep pitch and stunning views, the venue provides many comfortable seats. Blankets no larger than 10″x 7″, soft-sided coolers and nonalcoholic beverages in factory sealed containers of 32 ounces or less may be brought into the auditorium; some shows may have specific restrictions regarding open flames or alcohol consumption. Binoculars may also prove helpful in giving an elevated perspective from higher sections; windy nights can occasionally reduce sound quality.

The Music

Red Rocks continues to host top musical acts decades after the Beatles made their iconic Red Rocks debut, where natural beauty and outstanding acoustics add an additional element of enjoyment for each performance. Rock, country, jazz, classical music are among many genres featured at Red Rocks.

At this renowned natural amphitheatre is home to the Colorado Symphony. Together with popular artists like Sarah McLachlan and Warren Haynes, this unique pairing transforms songs into grand orchestral landscapes that give audiences new insights into familiar music.

Lily Pons made history when she made an unforgettable performance there in 1952; one that is considered among the earliest instances where rock music was heard in such an expansive setting. However, due to a subsequent riot caused by this performance at this famous location, Mayor William McNichols temporarily banned rock music at this venue.

Today, even though it takes an estimated hour for concertgoers to exit their parking lots after shows (so come prepared!), venues remain an opportunity for people to gather. Attendees typically spend their time before shows tailgating in parking lots and creating lifelong memories.

The View

Red Rocks is more than just an event venue; it is also a stunning natural wonder. Open during daylight hours to the public, this park features miles of hiking trails with incredible geology and views. Take an easy stroll along Trading Post Trail or challenge yourself by climbing its daunting steps that rise from the amphitheater. Additionally, many visitors also stop by its visitor center, Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and gift shop.

Yoga on the Rocks provides an unforgettable Zen experience, drawing thousands of yogis together for an outdoor yoga workout that promises breathtaking scenery and challenging terrain. Join thousands of yogis this August for Yoga on the Rocks to experience this extraordinary event and find yourself inspired.

Bring snacks and an appropriate layer for walking out to your car, such as long-sleeved tee or hoodie and water; staying hydrated at 6,500 feet can be difficult! Keep in mind that glass is prohibited in the amphitheater but bringing a cooler of nonalcoholic drinks may still be allowed.