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Red Rocks revenue doubles in five years, and here's why

A Skrillex show from 2012.
A Skrillex show from 2012.

Revenue from Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been steadily increasing, according to numbers provided by the city of Denver, which owns Red Rocks. In 2006, for example, the iconic venue pulled in $5.7 million in revenue, and the total five years ago was just over $7 million. By 2013, the projected revenue (final figures aren't available yet) was $14.6 million.

Why the increase? According to city spokesman Brian Kitts, the reason has to do with the rebounding economy. In recent years, Red Rocks -- which is at the center of a lawsuit filed by four concertgoers who were injured by falling rocks in 2011 and detailed in this week's cover story, "Rocks and Roll" -- has booked more shows and sold more tickets.

The first concert at the Red Rocks amphitheater took place in 1906. According to local historian Tom Noel's book about the iconic venue, Sacred Stones, the first musicians to perform on the Red Rocks stage, as it existed back then, were a 25-piece brass band headed by then-popular Denver bandleader Pietro Satriano.

By the early 1960s, the tenor of the concerts at Red Rocks had changed from brass bands and symphonies to rock and roll. Over the next century, Red Rocks would host some of rock's greats, including the Beatles, Bob Dylan and U2. In recent years, the outdoor amphitheater has hosted performers such as Widespread Panic, Wilco, Wiz Khalifa and the multi-day electronic dance music-centric Global Dance Festival.

So exactly how many events has Red Rocks booked in recent years? And how much money has it made? We've compiled the data below based on information provided by the city and gleaned from Red Rocks' online concert archive.

2006

Number of events, including concerts, Film on the Rocks and graduations: 57

Total revenue: $5,734,602

2007

Number of events: 84

Total revenue: $7,916,556

Fans at the 2008 Monolith Festival at Red Rocks.
Fans at the 2008 Monolith Festival at Red Rocks.
Mark C. Austin

2008

Number of events: 74

Total revenue: $7,392,585

2009

Number of events: 70

Total revenue: $7,096,258

The Dum Dum Girls play Red Rocks in 2010.
The Dum Dum Girls play Red Rocks in 2010.
Aaron Thackeray

2010

Number of events: 75

Total revenue: $8,714,104

2011

Number of events: 83

Total revenue: $9,948,758

The crowd at a Big Gigantic show at Red Rocks in 2012.
The crowd at a Big Gigantic show at Red Rocks in 2012.
Britt Chester

2012

Number of events: 100

Total revenue: $12,565,165

2013:

Number of events: 93

Total revenue (projected): $14,606,465

For more on the ongoing lawsuit involving concertgoers who were injured by falling rocks at Red Rocks in 2011, read this week's cover story, "Rocks and Roll."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com


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