Red Rocks Limousine
This article was obtained from the Denver Post:
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Red Rocks’ commemoration (on June 15, 1941), we’ve compiled 75 facts about Colorado’s favorite music mecca.
- Red Rocks gets its color from iron oxide, the same compound that gives blood and rust their ruddy appearance.
- By the end of 2016, there will have been almost 2,700 shows organized at Red Rocks.
- The venue has broken its own record for most shows in a year for the last six years — from 73 paid events in 2010 to 155 in 2016.
- Because of its surge in popularity, it isn’t unusual for up 20 bands to pitch to play a given day on the schedule.
- Famed Colorado concert promoter Barry Fey is credited with turning Red Rocks into a destination venue.
- Along with Civic Center Park, Red Rocks is one of two Denver National Historic Landmarks.
- Widespread Panic holds the title for most shows at Red Rocks. The band will play its 49th, 50th and 51st shows there this year.
- In 1985, from Aug. 9-12, Red Rocks belonged to Huey Lewis and the News. The band set the record for most consecutive shows at the venue that year.
- For all you Red Rocks runners: There are about 8,700 seats at Red Rocks, which span about 2.5 miles in length.
- There’s a 100-foot difference in elevation from the stage to the top row.
- From the top row, you can see all the way to DIA — about 39 miles away.
- In 1988, the year that Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater opened, the number of shows Red Rocks booked fell from 55 to 21 shows.
- Though it’s located in Morrison, Red Rocks is owned by the City of Denver.
- Neil Young inspired a technical adjustment in the venue’s design. After one of his shows, he took note that electrical transformers were causing feedback on his tube amps. The venue moved
- the transformers outside of the venue the following year.
- There have been more shows scheduled at Red Rocks in the last decade than there were in the preceding 60 years.
- Guitarist Warren Haynes once played the venue eight times in one year: In 2004, he performed there with the Grateful Dead for five shows, the Allman Brothers twice and once with Gov’t Mule.
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With 26 years under its belt, Reggae on the Rocks is the longest-standing concert series at the venue.
The earliest recorded instance of a “lighter in the air” moment in the crowd happened in 1944, when Metropolitan Opera star Regina Resnik asked the 5,000 audience members to light a match at the same time after the lights went out.
At 70 years old, Dolly Parton will play her first-ever show at Red Rocks this year on July 27.
In 1959, singer-songwriter Ricky Nelson played the venue’s first-ever rock show.
The venue was once listed as one of the seven wonders of the geological world.
In 1971, a riot broke out at a Jethro Tull concert at the venue after fans crashed its gates. Police used tear gas to subdue the crowd while Ian Anderson and his band continued to play. The city canceled the rest of the concerts scheduled at the venue that month.
Red Rocks is considered sacred by 32 American Indian tribes.
The area that Red Rocks inhabits was once an ocean floor. A sediment-spreading alluvial fan contributed to the structure’s formation.
In 1909, a cable railway was completed that could carry 100 visitors to the top of Mount Morrison. It was discontinued 20 years later.
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Fiddlers Green, Pepsi Center, Ogden Theatre, Fillmore Auditorium, Blue Bird, Boettcher Hall, 1st Bank Center, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Dicks Sporting Goods Park, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Hermanas Hideaway, Oriental Theatre, Paramount Theater, Buell Theatre, Soyled Dove Underground, Wells Fargo Theatre, Broomfield Events Center, Hudson Gardens, Comfort Dental Amphitheater.
Drivers are well dressed and professional.
Red Rocks was first purchased by Marion Burts in 1872 and has changed hands 22 times.
The theater was designed by architect Burnham Hoyt, who modeled it after the Theatre of Dionysus at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
The highest seat at Red Rocks has an elevation of 6,435 feet.
The City of Denver bought Red Rocks from John Brisben Walker in 1927 for $54,133, or about $744,362 today adjusted for inflation.
The Utes inhabited the area around Red Rocks for hundreds of years until they were displaced in the late 19th century.
Red Rocks Park was initially called the Garden of the Angels. It was given that nickname by Jefferson County Judge Martin Van Buren Luther on July 4, 1870.
Avi Limo offers service to these and more concert venues: Fiddlers Green, Pepsi Center, Ogden Theatre, Fillmore Auditorium, 1st Bank Center, Blue Bird, Boettcher Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Dicks Sporting Goods Park, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Hermanas Hideaway, Oriental Theatre, Paramount Theater, Buell Theatre, Soyled Dove Underground, Wells Fargo Theatre, Broomfield Events Center, Hudson Gardens, Comfort Dental Amphitheater, First Bank Center.
The first performance of record at Red Rocks took place in 1906 at the park’s unveiling after being renovated by the Walkers. It featured Denver bandleader Pietro Satriano and his 25-piece brass band.
The Trading Post was built in 1931; it opened selling hot dogs for a dime and ice cream for a nickel.
Parks and Improvements chief George Ernest Cranmer convinced Denver’s then-Mayor Benjamin Stapleton — who viewed theaters as sinful — to make Red Rocks Park into a venue by suggesting the use of the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps workers and promising a venue that would outdo Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods and rival L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl.
The Beatles’ 1964 show at Red Rocks was the only show that didn’t sell out of their first American tour. Red Rocks is one of four venues that the Beatles visited on that tour that still stands.
Berry Fey’s first Red Rocks booking was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Complaining there was nothing to do in Denver after the show, the band took acid with its opening act, Eire Apparent, and went into the mountains, according to its bassist.
After raucous crowds for Ray Charles (1962) and Peter, Paul and Mary (1964), the city banned alcohol, cans and bottles at the venue.
After Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre opened, Barry Fey hired out planes to fly banners over the venue that read “I’d rather be at Red Rocks.”
In-house concessions for beer and wine opened in 1997, marking the end of Red Rocks’ status as a BYOB venue.
Red Rocks has won Pollstar’s award for best small outdoor venue so many times that the award was renamed “The Red Rocks Award.”
Willie Nelson has begun every one of his Red Rocks shows with “Whiskey River.”
In 2000, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” marked the first screening of Film on the Rocks. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra performed.
After each of its Red Rocks shows, Southern arena rockers My Morning Jacket ceremonially hike to the top of the venue with their touring contingent to recap the evening.
In 1958, George Cranmer flew famous German composer Wolfgang Wagner and his acoustical expert Werner Gabler to Red Rocks to make suggestions to how to improve performances there. The two recommended $175,000 worth of tweaks, many of which were implemented by the following year for the state’s Centennial Celebration.
Alt-rockers Wilco played their first Red Rocks show in 1997, opening for Sheryl Crow.
In 1996, the Smokin’ Grooves tour brought Red Rocks its first hip-hop show. Busta Rhymes performed with A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill, the Fugees, Ziggy Marley and Spearhead.
U2’s 1983 concert film “Under A Blood Red Sky” was a turning point for both the band and the venue, launching both into international acclaim.
Despite the venue’s knack for pulling big names, the Rolling Stones have never played Red Rocks. Despite constant rumors, the British rock band has yet to book the venue.
The Lumineers’ second show at Red Rocks was almost derailed because of rain. They had scheduled the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to back them up, who by union rules, could have backed out of the performance because of a storm. (The CSO played.)
Both of Red Rocks massive monoliths — Creation Rock and Ship Rock — are 300 feet tall, almost as tall as London’s Big Ben.
Every piece of sandstone used in developing Red Rocks was harvested from the same quarry in Lyons.
Red Rocks was discovered in an army expedition led by Stephen Long in 1820.
The late Red Rocks promoter Barry Fey apparently had made an agreement with Morrison to be buried in the town but lost paperwork, and a law that forbade nonresidents from being interred there forbade it.
Scores of runners exercise on Red Rocks every day — including artists. Last year, Grammy Award-winning artist Sam Smith photobombed a 7NEWS interview with joggers on the rocks, who had no idea who he was.
Some locals swear the venue is haunted by a ghost called the Headless Hatchet Lady, a wraith who preys on amorous teenagers.
In 2014, three people were injured in a shooting that took place at Red Rocks during a Schoolboy Q concert.
An estimated 750,000 non-concertgoers visit Red Rocks every year.
Concert promoter AEG and Live Nation book the vast majority of shows there, but Red Rocks is an open venue, meaning anyone can book it.
In 1911, Mary Garden’s rendition of “Ave Maria” became the first solo performance at Red Rocks.
About 60,000 people attended the first annual Easter service held at the venue in April 1947.
The backstage area at Red Rocks served as a shelter for nonperishable food during the Cold War.
The redwood benches lining the rows of the venue were replaced in 2008, spawning an auction that saw pieces of the well-worn wood sell for upward of $250.
In 1958, Jerry Lewis became the first stand-up comedian to headline Red Rocks.
In 1999, KTCL’s Rave on the Rocks marked Red Rocks’ first headlining set by a DJ outfit. The Chemical Brothers performed with Fatboy Slim.
After Hurricane Katrina struck, the Dave Matthews Band added a fourth night to its three-night, tour-ending run at Red Rocks as a benefit, raising $1.5 million for disaster relief.
There is no private backstage entrance to Red Rocks. Musicians (and their roadies) load in via the hill by the Trading Post, the same hill the spectators from the lower South lots pass by on their way to the venue.
It took the Civilian Conservation Corps 12 years to build Red Rocks, including dynamiting several massive boulders from what’s now the audience seating.
Red Rocks was dedicated on June 15, 1941, in a ceremony highlighted with performances by Metropolitan Opera soprano Helen Jepson.
Every Red Rocks headliner gets a “Piece of the Rock” award for playing the stage — a piece of sandstone with the artist’s name carved into it. John Tesh received the first one in 1994.
Just as all artists take a piece of the venue with them, they leave something, too: The hallway leading to the backstage sound equipment is lined with hundreds of signatures from members of bands who’ve played there over the years.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built barn-door entrances in the backstage area to accommodate the height of a rider on a horse.
The rental fee for Red Rocks is at least $7,500, and costs associated with a concert — including sound, lights and security — run upward of $100,000. Still, that’s a small price to pay if shredding Red Rocks is on your bucket list and you can play only three chords.
Interviews with Brian Kitts, Marketing and Communications Director for Denver Arts and Venues; Tad Bowman, Venue Director for Red Rocks & Denver Coliseum; Patrick Hallahan, drummer for My Morning Jacket; Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites of the Lumineers; Chuck Morris, CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains. Additional information sourced from “The Denver Westerners Roundup” (1972); Red Rocks Concert and Dedication program (1941); “Denver Mountain Parks Master Plan” (2008); “History of Red Rocks Park” (1962); “Sacred Stones: Colorado’s Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre” (2004).
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the specific sources cited in compiling this article.
This article was obtained from the Denver Post.
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