Denver's Red Rocks Amphitheatre Offers Acoustic Perfection in a Natural Setting


Concert Stage
Concert Stage

Located just west of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been recognized for more than a century as a premiere performance venue. This geologically-formed natural amphitheatre is blessed with top-notch acoustics, providing an ideal site for concerts of any variety.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one-of-a-kind and its excellent acoustics are a result of the two giant monoliths that surround the seating area. Dubbed the Ship Rock and the Creation Rock, the sandstone structures are taller than Niagara Falls, They first caught the eye of John Brisben Walker during the early years of the 20th century. Walker recognized the Red Rocks area, once called the Garden of Angels, as an acoustically perfect setting that would enhance any concert that took place there. He constructed a temporary platform and from 1906-1910 was responsible for the organization of many performances at the site.

Walker's amphitheatre was purchased by the city of Denver in 1927 and was eventually enhanced and enlarged with the help of two Depression-era labor groups, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Work Projects Administration (WPA). The stage and seating area were designed by local architect Burnham Hoyt. He completed his plans in 1936 and five years later the amphitheatre held its dedicatory ceremony and performance.

Word of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre's fine acoustics spread and the venue began attracting performers from around the world and audiences from throughout the region and beyond. In 1947, the amphitheatre began hosting an Easter Sunrise Service and continues to do so today. Also that year, the first official "concert season'' was organized, offering performances throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall.

Today, concert season at Red Rocks Amphitheatre still runs from May until September. The theater seats 9,450 people and all seats offer an excellent view of the stage.

However, the Red Rocks area is more than just an amphitheatre. Locals and guests also visit Red Rocks to experience the natural beauty of the site. The 1.4-mile Trading Post Loop Trail takes hikers on a rugged trek through valleys, meadows, and past a variety of magnificent rock formations at about 6,300 feet above sea level. Several species of native trees and plants can be viewed along the trail and in the Red Rocks vicinity in general, as well as a variety of species of animals and birds. A Visitor Center provides trail maps and other pertinent information related to exploring the area around Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

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