It’s obviously an epic concert venue, but I’ve fallen in love with shooting photos here too! Emma and Will recently had their engagement photos done at Red Rocks to honor the bond they share over music. If their names sound familiar, you might remember this adorable surprise proposal. Music is a huge part of their relationship, and they even went to Red Rocks for the first time together. Will and Emma are locals, so it only made sense to shoot their engagement photos at the venue.
Whether you’re going to your first concert or feel like it’s the perfect spot for you and bae to take photos, there’s a definite learning curve when it comes to this bucket-list spot. Check out my top Red Rocks Amphitheatre tips and tricks.
The seating setup isn’t the same for every show. Some shows are all general admission, which means you find an empty spot once you show up. Some shows have reserved seating, and staff members will happily help you find your seat. Other concerts are a mix, with reserved seating at the first few rows in the front and general admission toward the top. You’ll want to bring a blanket to “claim your space,” especially if you’ll be up and about to grab a beer or use the bathroom. Seating is always different, so make sure you read carefully before you buy your ticket. Red Rocks is also super laid back about bringing things in – you’re allowed single-pocket bags that are no larger than 13” x 15” x 8”. You can also bring in empty hydration packs and stadium seats. There’s no re-entry, so once you’re in, you’re in.
Yes, it’s only a 30-minute drive from Denver, but there are so many other factors to think about for getting to Red Rocks. There’s always weekday traffic to battle, and for shows, you’ll get slowed down as soon as you get off the exit. My punctual boyfriend’s tip: decide what time you need to leave, then give yourself at least an extra half hour on top of that. Once you’re there, don’t forget about the long trek up to the actual amphitheatre! If you can, try to get to Red Rocks about an hour before your show starts. That will give you time to walk up, get in line for entry, find your seat, use the bathroom, and grab a drink.
One of the best parts about Red Rocks is being able to bring things in with you. Give me ALL the snacks. You can also bring non-alcoholic sealed drinks in, so make sure you’ve got plenty of water with you. If you like your drinks cold, you’re allowed to bring in soft-sided coolers that are six-pack size or smaller. Heads up – if you want to bring an apple or something, make sure you slice it. They weirdly don’t allow whole fruits. I don’t make the rules.
Wherever your seat is, you’re going to be climbing up or down some big-ass steps. Add that into all the walking you’re doing, and I would 10/10 NOT recommend wearing heels or wedges. Vans or sneakers are the move. Do make sure to bring a sweatshirt or rain jacket though! You’ve heard me say it a gazillion times – Colorado’s weather is hella unpredictable, and there aren’t many areas to seek shelter if some gnarly weather rolls in.
There are several parking options at Red Rocks and the process can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar. They have five lots that staff will direct you to as you pull in. The upper lots are the closest to the venue, which means less walking, but they also fill up the quickest and take a lot more time to get out of after the show. The lower lots are more of a party vibe and will get you on the road quicker when you’re leaving, but do require way more walking up to the top. Alex and I always park in the furthest lot so we’re not stuck in traffic on the way out.
Red Rocks isn’t just a concert venue – it’s a beautiful park that’s home to animals and plants, so we need to keep it clean. Don’t trash the parking lot, be respectful of the venue, and clean up after yourself.