Summers of Stars
Hosting literally thousands of concerts and events over the past 75+ years, the history of entertainment at Red Rocks tends to follow the arc of popular culture and popular music. Opera, classical and chamber music performances of the early 1900s to 1940s gave way to the rock and roll and psychedelic music of the 1960s and 70s. Soft rock took over the venue for the majority of the 1970s, a genre deemed “safe” for the amphitheatre after a tumultuous and legendary Jethro Tull concert in 1971 resulted in a ban on rock and roll music being performed at the venue enacted by then-Mayor William H. McNichols and San Feiner, director of the city’s Theaters and Arenas division at the time.
Eventually the ban was lifted, paving the way for performers then and now considered musical superstars of all genres to fill the amphitheatre, including jam bands, new age rock artists, alternative, indie, rap and hip-hop and now, EDM performers and DJs.
Below are some of the most notable performances in Red Rocks history.