18300 W Alameda Pkwy Morrison, CO 80465 (720) 865-2494
If you think of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre as just a beautiful place to see a concert, think again! Around you are 868 acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds and animals of both regions. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage.
Red Rocks offers a variety of recreation options from guided tours, hiking, biking, shopping, dining and a summer concert series. Whatever your pleasure, enjoy discovering Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre!
Stats & Info
First Concert: 1911
Benches installed: June 15, 1941
Amphitheatre Seating Capacity: 9,450
Elevation: 6,450 ft
Red Rocks Mountain Park size: 640 acres
Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air Amphitheatre that is not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the Amphitheatre consists of two, three hundred-foot monoliths (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that provide acoustic perfection for any performance. The dramatic sandstone monoliths serve as a history book of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years. As spectators gaze at the towering red sandstone rocks, they view the ancient tales of prehistoric times.
The area of Red Rocks, originally known as the Garden of Angels, has attracted the attention of musical performers since before the turn of the century. The majestic setting of the Amphitheatre, along with the panoramic view of Denver, makes for a breathtaking scene.
In the early 1900's, John Brisben Walker had a vision of artists performing on a stage nestled into the perfectly acoustic surroundings of Red Rocks. Walker produced a number of concerts between 1906 and 1910 on a temporary platform; and from his dream, the history of Red Rocks as an entertainment venue began.
In 1927, George Cranmer, Manager of Denver Parks, convinced the City of Denver to purchase the area of Red Rocks from Walker for the price of $54,133. Cranmer convinced the Mayor of Denver, Ben Stapleton, to build on the foundation laid by Walker. By enlisting the help of the federally sponsored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Work Projects Administration (WPA), labor and materials were provided for the venture.
Denver architect Burnham Hoyt designed the Amphitheatre with an emphasis on preserving the natural beauty of the area. The plans were completed in 1936, and the Amphitheatre was dedicated on June 15, 1941, though the actual construction spanned over 12 years. In 1947, the first annual Easter Sunrise Service took place. Since then, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has attracted the best performers to its stage.
Gradual earth movement slowly raised the great sandstone ledges from the prehistoric ocean floor, to form the "walls" of the Amphitheatre. Within these walls is contained a record book of the ages as nearby dinosaur tracks tell of the Jurassic period of 160 million years ago. Fossil fragments of the giant 40-foot sea serpent, Plesiosaur, the marine reptile Mosasaurus, and flying reptiles captivate students and geologists alike.
Some of the rock formations in Red Rocks slope as much as 90 degrees, while others tilt backwards. The southern monolith, that bears resemblance to a ship, is named "Ship Rock." On the opposite side of the Amphitheatre stands "Creation Rock." Both of the monoliths are taller than Niagara Falls, and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre was once listed as among the Seven Wonders of the World.
Concert Venue Near Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
The Astronauts, a landlocked 1960s surf band from Boulder, outselling the rival Beach Boys in Japan… John Denver insinuating himself into the public’s consciousness with “Rocky Mountain High,” Joe Walsh writing his signature tune “Rocky Mountain Way” in the mountains of Boulder County, and songs spilling out of Dan Fogelberg perched 9,000 feet up on top of the Rockies… Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band giving rise to a rootsy community… 30H!3, the Fray, Flobots and One Republic fueling today’s scene…
Little did the world know that these and dozens of other confident young artists would come to define Colorado’s amazing and diverse musical legacy. Now, an exciting plan is unfolding to create the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, located on the second level of the new 1stBank Center concert venue. The Hall, a non-profit organization, will honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions, preserve and protect historical artifacts, and educate the public regarding everything that’s great about our state’s music.
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame will directly benefit the University of Colorado’s School of Music. In conjunction, they will deliver impactful music education programs including a guest lecture series by musicians and industry figures, student internship opportunities and an accredited course.
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame will provide a dynamic, hands-on environment designed for thousands of visitors before and after concerts. They will learn about the newest members of the “Hall of Fame” through memorabilia and touch screen kiosks that include bios, photos, audio and video, profiling each enshrinee in high-quality, thoughtful ways.
Each year, the community will fete newly elected Colorado music legends with an awards dinner and a concert to celebrate their induction. Both gala affairs will be major fund-raising events benefiting CU.
In addition, the colorful and entertaining “Wall of Fame” exhibition will be devoted to over 100 Colorado acts that have contributed to the regional music scene since the 1950s. The Hall will also showcase special temporary exhibitions that focus attention on a wide variety of Colorado rock history subjects–i.e., Caribou Ranch (the famed recording complex outside of Nederland), Red Rocks Amphitheatre (the planet’s most awesome and important outdoor concert venue), and the market’s intimate-sized clubs (from Ebbets Field to the Fox Theatre).
Through static displays as well as interactive elements, these significant collections will be a key to attracting repeat visits and ultimate success. Traveling exhibits and artifacts on loan will also be made available. The Hall’s merchandise area will include promotional products and branded apparel, recordings and books about Colorado music, fine art photography prints and more. A regularly updated Web site will feature information on upcoming events and unique content (questionnaires, on-demand listening).
Chairman of the board Chuck Morris and curator/director G. Brown believe in the power of Colorado rock history to inspire lifelong music fans. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame will establish a permanent institution in the service of those traditions. Help shape our state’s musical future!