On my first trip to Red Rocks in 2009 we had no clue what we are doing. We stayed in a dinky hotel near Red Rocks and took turns staying sober to drive to Red Rocks every night. Silly!
FIRST RED ROCKS SHOW IN 2009 – PHISH
After 5 years in Denver and too many trips to Red Rocks to count, I am now an expert on how to get to and from the show, what to bring and how to get around the venue like a pro. If you are making the pilgrimage across the country for a show or even if you live nearby – this guide is for you!
TO AND FROM THE SHOW:
Bus To Show – These converted school buses have been taking concertgoers to shows for years. Round trip is super cheap at $25 ahead. Buses pick up in Denver, Ft. Collins, and Boulder.
CID Shuttle to Red Rocks – When purchasing your tickets you may see the option to buy a shuttle pass from CID. These buses pick up from Boulder, Downtown, and Capitol Hill. They also have a good option for a smaller private 14 passenger van.
J2G Bus – J2G busses only run for specific shows so you will have to check their websites for information. Buses include beer from a local brewery and other special discounts at bars and dispensaries around town. Some shows may include a before and after party as well.
It is super easy to get Uber or Lyft to red rocks. towards the end of the show, I would suggest starting checking your app. Service can sometimes suck inside of Red Rocks so it may take a while to schedule a pickup up. There will be plenty of Ubers and Lyfts in the area so it may just take some time.
You can cab and there is a cab line near the post office for those who want to take one… but this is probably your most expensive option.
If you are driving to the show go early to park in upper north. This is my favorite spot to park because you can enter the venue at the top or bottom – top being the easiest on your legs and lungs. Plus, you get to drive through a tunnel that is super awesome.
Act like a local and know the names of the various parking lots so you can find your way around
Upper North – This lot does fill up fast so it’s for the early birds. Why is this lot so awesome? One, you get to drive through a tunnel, two you can access the venue from the top or bottom. It’s WAY easier to enter from the top then walk down to your seat. This is also where you will find limousine parking.
Upper South – Been to this lot once in my entire life. Entering the venue from here will rap you around the venue on a raised walkway and funnel you in and out like cows. Be sure to moo!
Lower North – If Upper North is full you will be directed to this lot. You can easily walk to Upper north from the north side of the lot or walk downhill and you will see a cut through to Upper North. This used to be a super steep hill that people would scale up and down until a few years ago when they added stairs. Continuing walking and you will see a stairway on your right leading into the venue. This is my preferred entrance and exit.
Lower South – This lot is also one of the first to fill up and home to Shakedown Street. Find beer, water, grilled cheese, posters and heady crystals here. Aka this is where vendors set up.
Bus Lot/Lower South Lot 2 – South of Lower South is where you will find the busses.
Can’t find a spot? Totally cool to park on the road! Best to flip around and park facing the opposite way for an easy exit.
Box Office/Will Call – Will call can be easily accessed by the first two entrances from i-70 (1 & 2 on the map) not so easy from Morrison (3 & 4 on map). Most busses enter from i-70 and will stop at will call for riders to grab their tickets. If you come from the Morrison entrance, unfortunately, you may have a walk to the box office.
IN THE VENUE
If you are coming from the Bus Lots, Lower South/Shakedown, I highly suggest entering from the Lower South entrance – the dotted line next to Upper South lot on the above map. Walk up the road, passing the Trading Post on your left, until you see a big staircase. This is the easiest way in and out of the venue. Seriously – always enter and exit this way. The exit is larger than the other therefore it moves faster. So when you are in the venue looking at the stage – exit bottom left!
From top to bottom Red Rocks is a 100 elevation gain and you’re already at 6,450 above sea level so, you will feel it walking up and down the stairs so take your time.
Finding your seat
If the show is GA, it’s a complete free for all. You can go early and get in line to claim your spot. If the show has reserved seating typically the very bottom and top are GA and the middle reserved.
A few choice words on the standing room: If you are in the lower part of the venue you will most likely be two deep to a row. One person on the wooden ledge one person back. This is totally normal. The higher up you are the more room you will have. If you need space and wanted to be up close, get VIP. If its a reserved show, you will find people in your seats just kindly ask them to move. They probably have no clue it’s reserved seating.
Reserved seating is typically frows 10 – 60 ish. So the middle sections with GA at the very top or very bottom.
The higher up you go the windier it can potentially be which sometimes really effects the sound. But damn, your view will be good. If you’re only going one night I suggest watching part of the show from down low and going up at least once to take in the view from the top.
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Courtesy of: Blue Mountain Belle