Reader: Levitt Is the Best Outdoor Venue That's Not Red Rocks
Joel Rekiel

Reader: Levitt Is the Best Outdoor Venue That's Not Red Rocks

For many readers, it seemed like sacrilege: In the Best of Denver 2019, we named Levitt Pavilion the Best Outdoor Venue in Denver. Yes, Levitt Pavilion, rather than Red Rocks.

But as we explained in "Why Levitt Pavilion Beat Red Rocks as Denver's Best Outdoor Venue," there was a method to our madness. Red Rocks is one of a kind. When national publications draw up lists of the best outdoor venues in the world, Red Rocks often wins. The music-industry publication Pollstar even named an award after Red Rocks after having recognized the venue eleven times in a row; that way, Pollstar could honor other venues.

And in Denver, there are definitely other venues worth honoring, chief among them Levitt Pavilion. While readers again chose Red Rocks for the Best Outdoor Venue award, some music fans are already singing the praises of Levitt Pavilion.

Says Ben: 

I love the Levitt Pavilion Denver. It's nice to have an outdoor venue dedicated to independent acts, and with the ample grassy space, it's been a great way to introduce my kids to the live music experience. Plus, most of the shows are free! I can't wait to see the lineup announcements for this summer!

Says Jason:

 If Levitt truly beat Red Rocks, it’s due to the people of Morrison and their bitching about noise.

Tom responds:

Honestly, after the novelty wears off, Red Rocks is just another enormous shed with a monster walk up a hill and then a monster walk up a monster flight of stairs. Crowds are usual pretty crusty, too.

Adam adds: 

Red Rocks pricing and lack of a box office is getting real tiring. $70 for a show plus a way there and back gets expensive! Loving the Levitt, been there a few times last two summers and ready to do it again!

But Red Rocks fans aren't swayed by Levitt. Lizzie replies: 

It's cool and I love it (and live beside it) but I’m sorry, it’s no Red Rocks.

Adds John:

 It’s a good spot; I saw Charlie Tuna there. However, it’s no Red Rocks...not even close. Hell, it's not even really that much of a venue: It’s a hill and a tiny stage. I mean it’s really small, not like Fiddler's Green, for example.

Ron opines:

 Everyone should go to Levitt instead. Red Rocks tix are getting to be impossible so you enjoy Levitt and I'll make do with the broken down second place venue while you do that.

Ad suggests: 

Article should be titled: Best Denver Outdoor Venue that is not Red Rocks.

And Zach concludes:  

We all know that Red Rocks is one of the best venues in the world - Levitt Pavilion definitely earned this Westword distinction by putting on amazing concerts and doing great things in the local community. No need to hate...just come enjoy a FREE concert this summer right here in SW Denver!

While Levitt brings in big acts, it hosts many smaller artists, from national touring bands on the brink of success to local outfits that have mostly played bars and house shows. The diversity of the past season — with an emphasis on Spanish-language and bilingual bands — makes Levitt a spot for discovering emerging groups as well. If finding out about new music is your passion, there's no better place to do so without shelling out your paycheck...while also taking comfort in the fact that artists are being paid industry standards.

More than fifty of Levitt’s concerts each year are free. Absolutely free. No $49.95 general admission tickets. No sky-high service fees (the paid concerts, booked by Emporium Presents, which was recently purchased by Live Nation, do have service fees, but even paid-concert prices at Levitt are reasonable compared to those at other venues). The nonprofit also hosts fundraisers, local breweries, and food trucks dishing out Denver delicacies. When Levitt's not running shows, it's creating music education programs in schools.

Have you been to Levitt yet? What did you think? Post a comment or share your thoughts in an email to editorial@westword.com.  

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