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What to Wear and How to Prepare for a Red Rocks Concert

BY: Eddie Schmid | Jul 14, 2015
What to Wear and How to Prepare for a Red Rocks Concert

For many touring musicians, playing Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a watershed moment—the outdoor equivalent of Radio City Music Hall. In and around Denver, concerts simply don’t get better than this. Red Rocks is an outdoor venue, a naturally occurring amphitheater carved into a red cliffside in Morrison, Colorado, with a full sweeping view that extends to downtown Denver. Its two signature red sandstone monoliths help to create some excellent acoustics. 

But this unique atmosphere requires some unique preparation before the show. Here are some tips for what to wear and how to prepare for Red Rocks concerts in all kinds of weather conditions.

Mind the Sun and Heat in Summer…

Denver is blessed with around 300 days of sunshine per year—one of the main reasons Red Rocks concerts can be so consistently enjoyable (concert season typically runs from April to October). But the bright sun can leave its stinging mark on the unprepared, so be sure to pack sunscreen and bottled water. Sealed plastic water bottles, empty plastic water bottles, and empty aluminum bottles are allowed.

…But Always Prepare for Cold and Rain

Denver’s dry desert heat gives way to chillier weather at night. Even in July and August, when the sun goes down, the temperature can eventually drop as low as 50 degrees. Come prepared with a sweatshirt or a blanket (blankets up to 40”x60” are permitted). And you never know when the weather will turn nasty, so it’s a good idea to keep an umbrella handy.

Mind the Altitude

Red Rocks sits at about 6,450 feet above sea level. Local Coloradans and frequent adventurers will likely be accustomed to this, but it can take a couple days to adjust if you’re from out of town. Be sure to stay hydrated in the days leading up to the show, and you’ll fare better. You should also take care when drinking alcohol—altitude heightens the effects of booze.

Bring a Seat Cushion—You’ll Be Sitting on Rocks

Most of the “seats” at Red Rocks are actually big rock slabs. Now, if the band is consistently churning out those crunchy guitar solos that you crave, you may be on your feet holding up your lighter for the whole show. But it’s best to prepare for a little downtime. To ensure comfort for your tush, bring a seat cover (covers up to 18” wide are allowed).

Pack a Picnic

Unlike a lot of venues for Denver concerts, Red Rocks is pretty lenient when it comes to outside food. You are free to bring in a soft-sided cooler (10”x7”x7”) or cloth bag with snacks, as long as it fits under your designated seat. Make sure to put the food in a clear plastic bag for security to see.

Party in the Parking Lot

Before many shows—particularly those of the jam-band persuasion—the parking lot is a hot spot for tailgating and partying. When the mood is right, a friendly reveler just might share a sandwich, cold beverages, or whatever other special wares they may have on hand. Bring something to trade to amplify the good vibes, brah.