Five Rules for Enjoying a Show at Red Rocks

How to do concerts right at the iconic venue.

1. Drink the right stuff

Yes, most of us already live a mile high, but the elevation at Red Rocks is 6,450 feet. Bring a bottle of water or hydration pack and empty it by the time you get to the gate. Then refill it inside the venue. If you’re tailgating, it’s now okay to bring beer and wine (not the hard stuff) into parking lots. Inside, order a grownup frozen lemonade or margarita— after you stop at the “secret” restroom (left of the stage, down a staircase left of the concessions).

2. Consider your shoes

You want to wear those cute heels? Uh, no. Sandals? Another no. You will be hiking up to one of the least accessible concert venues in the world. There’s the walk to and from your car, the hike up and down the steps, and the potential for bad weather. Wear closed-toe shoes with traction.

3. Choose your lot in life

If you want to park in the favored Upper North lot, with the easiest access to the venue, lively pre-show parties, and new restrooms, plan on arriving by 5 p.m. The later you arrive, the farther you’ll be from the venue, which means the closer you’ll be to the exit. You also can park on the road. In any case, those lacking patience will want to leave as the encore begins.

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4. Plan on poor reception and surge pricing

For some reason, your phone is going to freak out just as you’re supposed to open your barcode at the entry gate. So before you leave for the show, save a screenshot. This may also be an issue when summoning a rideshare, a reasonable option on arrival but generally expensive on departure.

5. Prepare for stormy weather

There’s no shelter at Red Rocks, so bring one of those cheap plastic rain ponchos that will withstand wind, rain, and hail. Sorry, but umbrellas are not permitted. Look for the full list of permitted and prohibited items, a venue map, and a full list of FAQs at