Red Rocks is home to the stars and is by far the most majestic sunset view you can have at a concert. The stage may not be the biggest, but it sure is the prettiest. I am at a total of 4 Red Rocks shows and counting, so I am going to give some tips and tricks for coming to the rocks along with history and sustainability.
Red Rocks was constructed in the 1940’s and is the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Upon opening in 1941, it went on to host the biggest names in music such as The Beatles, U2, and Pearl Jam. The venue seats up to 9,500 people, and there are 193 steps from the stage to the top plaza. On the way up there is even a sign that tells you how many steps are left for some motivation. In the morning, you see people working out and doing yoga at the amphitheater. Fun fact – It is 2.7 miles if you run up and down every single row!
Red Rocks has two sustainability missions: reduce their impact on the Earth and maintain Red Rocks’ natural beauty.
They are apart of the SMARTER Sustainable Arts & Venues campaign and work to reduce their impact and operate more sustainably. One way that this venue works to remain environmentally friendly is through their three-bin waste collection systems which include three compartments: recyclable, biodegradable, and bottles and cans. Their partner – GFL Environmental Inc. – composts the biodegradable products to be turned into over 300,000 pounds of soil a year that is put right back in the Earth.
The lighting, equipment and bathroom fixtures are checked regularly to ensure they are the most efficient and effective models possible. Upon switching their toilets and urinals to low-flow models, the water consumption in the first year alone was reduced by over 20%. They use the Ball Aluminum Cup to serve beverages and they sanitize and reuse them after each event which reduces their cup waste by 80%. Over 90% of Red Rocks’s cleaning supplies are Green Seal or equivalent.
Another thing Red Rocks does to prevent their impact on the Earth is offering shuttle services to downtown Boulder and Denver for patrons to use. This is perfect for not driving yourself after the concert. If you do decide to drive to the concert and not drive home, you can leave your car there until 10am the next day.
Employees are constantly working to ensure Red Rocks continues to decrease their environmental impact. There is a sorting center in the venue where employees sort items that were not disposed of properly. Through these efforts, they are aiming to lower their landfill production by 80% over the next decade.
Tips for a Concert
Plan your trip to Red Rocks with ample amount of time to get up to the actual
amphitheater because everyone will start getting in line 30 minutes after showtime for the first opening act. I advise if doors open at 6, get there at 6:30-6:45. Most people will wait until 7:30 and that is when the line gets backed up and people get metered going in.
When you arrive, travel through the town of Morrison and park in the South Lower Lot. You will be directed where to park, so give yourself ample amount of room around the cars next to you – you will understand when you try to leave because it gets tight especially with pedestrians. Upon parking, exit your vehicle and start the steep and vigorous trek to the amphitheater. Personally, I pack a cooler in the car so I can bring a water to sip on while I am hiking up. This also comes in handy after the concert so you have cold waters to come back to. Also, before the show you can also tailgate with friends before walking up and inside the venue. Make an event out of it with friends!
Now that you are parked and refreshed, you can start your trek up while vibing with the random people around you. You will be given two options for entering, a north and south security and ticket checking entrance. Take the north one! For some reason, everyone goes to the south side, which means the north side is going to have less incoming traffic. On my way up last week, I noticed a line of up to 100+ people on the south side while the north side was steadily moving with no line. So which side did we choose? The north of course! We journeyed up the steep stairs and finally made it to security. I promise the stairs look worse than they actually are. When music is playing and you are making friends, it turns into a very pleasant experience; but do not be afraid to take a break half way up (we are all doing it). You will go through a bag check, be waved with a metal wand, and then have your ticket scanned. Easy peasy and you are in!
Time to find a bathroom. You can gladly use the ones by the stage, but there are also ones inside at the Hall of Fame. There is also a water fountain there for filling up your camel back or water bottle. I prefer a camel back for any outdoor show because I can put my items in it and stay hydrated. It is truly a win-win situation and I have cute buttons and a bandana on my bag! The best bars are at the top of the amphitheater and they have ample amount of choices for anyone – including funnel cakes.
Now, it is time to find a seat/place to stand for the night! Any seat at Red Rocks is a spectacular view, but if you want the best sound, go to row 32 in the middle. It is perfect right there and you can use the bathrooms and bars at the bottom in the middle of the set. Warning, if you go to the top of the amphitheater during the set after 8pm. You will need a jacket or pashmina. I prefer a pashmina to stay warm. That bundled with dancing is the perfect recipe for warmth. The wind at the top blows your hair back literally. But like I said ANY of the seats are perfect. I have sat in the back, middle, and front; and I promise it is always a fun time.
At the end of the day, you are there to have fun and make memories. PLUR to everyone around you and vibe with the music because it is truly an experience you will never forget and relive in your mind forever.
Happy Red Rocks everyone!