Is a concert at Red Rocks amphitheatre on your bucket list?
If not, maybe it should be… Red Rocks is an iconic concert venue in the foothills near Denver. With incredible views of the city and a massive natural red rock landscape, Red Rocks is famous for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and incredible ambience.
Helpful information to get you ready to attend a concert at Red Rocks
The amphitheatre was completed in 1941 (well before any accessibility legislation) so navigating the venue, let alone a crowded concert there, has its challenges. Limited options exist for ticketed seating. The front row (1) and the last row (70) are the only areas reserved for accessible seating. When purchasing a ticket in those rows, you must verify that you need accessible seating. Note: A federal judge recently approved a set of rules to ensure that people who require accessible seating will soon get access to the first four rows of seats during Red Rocks shows.
There are a few designated places for parking with an appropriate placard. If your seats are at the top (back) of the venue, there is a small lot designated as accessible parking a few hours before the show. A walkway leads to the top landing where your seats are located. If you have a first row ticket, park in the Upper South lot and take an accessible shuttle that will drop you off near your seats.
Beth Requist recently attended a show at Red Rocks and shared some of her experiences with us.
What is one thing Red Rocks could do better at in order to make attending a concert easier?
They should have some folding chairs available if people in your group would like to sit next to you. There is only a built in bench, so if you are in a chair, you are basically sitting in front of your friends….but if your friends like to dance like mine, they just stood next to me and it was totally fine.
What was one thing you were impressed by?
If you are seated in the front row, you have a server to bring you drinks and food!
What concert did you see?
I saw Odesza this summer — I try to go to one show a year.
You sat in the front row, which seems more difficult to access.. did you encounter any challenges?
The parking is super easy, with plenty of spots, and a driver waiting to take you to the top whenever you are ready. It was just a short push to the front row, pretty easy and smooth.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone using a wheelchair about attending a Red Rocks concert for the first time?
Don’t try to be a hero and push all the way from the bottom. It is far too steep. Park in the upper south lot and take the shuttle.
Also, if there is a show you know you want to see, make sure you are on your computer right when tickets go on sale to snag the front row. Even do pre-sale if you can. Unfortunately, anyone can purchase row 1 and if you wait, the prices skyrocket. They are getting better at regulating this, but it’s not perfect yet.
Beth wrote a blog post of her own outlining her experiences at Red Rocks. Make sure to take a look before planning your Red Rocks concert!
Besides a concert… other things to see and do at Red Rocks
You can also go to Red Rocks when there is not a concert going on. Admission is free to visit Red Rocks Park, Amphitheatre, Visitor Center, Trading Post and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The park offers hiking and biking trails and the amphitheatre is often used by yoga enthusiasts, stair-runners, and those just looking for a spectacular view. Hours vary seasonally. Check out this article for some ideas.
The visitor center at the top of the venue has a wealth of information and photographic history. Shop for some memorabilia to commemorate your visit at the Trading Post, where you can also see the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The on-site Ship Rock Grille is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon taking in the views accompanied by great food. The outdoor patio overlooks the foothills and red boulders. If you are hoping to have a meal prior to a show, a reservation is necessary.
Please add any of your own Red Rocks stories / accessibility tips by leaving a comment below.