Red Rocks is reopening its doors to concertgoers starting April 23. The state is allowing the venue to open under the 5 Star Certification Program, which basically requires businesses that want to operate outside of local guidelines to take extra steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Like many other cultural spaces, Red Rocks was forced to shut down during the early days of the pandemic last year. A few socially distanced shows took place over the summer before the venue closed once again for the colder months.
Now, its spring awakening will welcome up to 2,500 ticket holders per show.
Red Rocks, which turns 80 this year, has announced a slew of shows including the jam band Lotus, country music singer Brantley Gilbert, ’80s hitmakers Foreigner, the Colorado Symphony, Goo Goo Dolls, and Wilco and Sleater-Kinney on a double bill. Performers like Nathaniel Rateliff, Jimmy Buffet and Lynyrd Skynyrd will visit Red Rocks later this year. Sprinkled throughout the venue’s calendar are a number of multi-band line-ups and tribute bands.
“Nerdy trivia — the website updates when a promoter cancels a show or puts a new one on sale,” wrote Brian Kitts, marketing and communications director at Denver Arts and Venues, the city agency that runs Red Rocks, in an email to Denverite. “So, it is up to date as of now but will likely change A LOT between now and as the season gets going. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes of rescheduling shows from this year to 2022, adding new shows for this year and adding protocols. There are a lot of shows currently listed that will leave the calendar and a lot that will be added.”
Getting back into the swing of things is a slow process in a pandemic, and some shows have already been canceled and a few slated for April have been rescheduled to later in this year or 2022.
Red Rocks advises future concert attendees to keep their masks on except when eating or drinking and to practice social distancing. The venue will incorporate designated seating — sort of.
“There will be a designated quadrant system in the venue, at least for the beginning of the season,” Kitts wrote. “It will require and maintain social distance. Within that quadrant, though, there isn’t assigned seating as long as the necessary distance is between ticket holder groups. As always, designated seating does apply to accessible seating.”
As for the time-honored tradition of tailgating in the parking lot, Kitts advised concert-goers to proceed with caution.
“Fans are expected to maintain the same group in the parking lot as they would in-venue – so, not gathering in larger groups than who they came with or who they’ll be with in the venue,” he wrote.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as we get it.