Every once in a while, greatness is rewarded with well-earned accolades and recognition. Many artists and fans rank Red Rocks Amphitheatre as among the best venues in the world. Natural beauty, excellent curation, and production value certainly explains a lot of the fascination. It’s on many people’s bucket list to visit and attend a show. If you’ve been there, you understand the magical appeal. If you haven’t, well, what the hell is holding you back from living your best life? The top ten lists and number of people who have raved at and about the mountain side landmark are too many to mention, but the latest honor bestowed to Red Rocks is quite a feat. Billboard’s Boxscore keeps track of statistics from record sales to concert tickets from bands, festivals, and concert venues. Their annual year-end wrap-up listed Red Rocks as the most attended and highest grossing venue in the WORLD!

That is a noteworthy accomplishment given the unstable landscape of venues and live music coming into this decade.  Along with unprecedented disruptions in all facets of life due to the plague, live music attendance has been heavily impacted. Restrictions on crowd size capacity, ticket sales, and travel put some major obstacles in the way these past two years. Thanks to being an outdoor venue with an impeccable reputation, Red Rocks continues to serve as a destination for fans from all over. Making up for lost time, in 2021 they beat their own record for most events, hosting 233 paid events, with 177 live music concerts, 20 yoga and fitness gatherings, and 36 screenings for their Films on the Rocks series. Their health and safety guidelines helped attendees breathe easier. Nearly one million people who went to a show at Red Rocks in 2021, earning them over a cool 61 million bucks. They opened back at full capacity in June, two months after the season started.

This past year marked their 80th anniversary operating as a live music venue, and they celebrated accordingly by being busier and holding more ticketed paid events than any other in the world. Executive director of Denver Arts & Venues, Ginger White said in a statement: “It’s been an absolute whirlwind, and extremely gratifying getting from a year that devastated so many in our industry to our own record-breaking season. We’re proud to play a part in Denver’s economic and cultural recovery by providing so many Colorado residents and visitors a place to gather for the joyous return of live music.”

So what is it about Red Rocks that makes it so special? It’s hard to put into words, but it’s the whole experience of going to a show there. From the world-class tailgating that warms up the crowd in the parking lot, the short hike to get inside the gates, and the fact that every seat in the house has great sound and views. The acoustics created by the sound system and the natural amphitheater of rocks and the view of the mountains and the plains adds to the energy of the crowd which has plenty of space to dance or sit along the rows and rows of bench seating. It all comes together with the lineups that are extremely diverse and truly offer something for every taste. Many artists perform for consecutive nights to give fans a unique way to experience live music and more chances to see them play on the historic stage. As the years go by, Red Rocks keeps getting better, and it’s easy to see why people flock there and artists yearn to perform nestled among the jutting stones. 

Shows announced so far for 2022:

​​Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks: Diplo, Sofi Tukker: Friday January 28

Gorgon City: Thursday, April 14

NGHTMRE: Friday, April 15

Kevin Gates and Gucci Mane: Saturday, April 16

Pepper and Method Man & Redman: Wednesday, April 20

Galantis x 3Lau: Friday, April 22

Dom Dolla: Sunday, April 24

Trevor Hall and Citizen Cope: Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29

Sublime with Rome: Saturday, April 30

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit: Tuesday, May 3, and Wednesday, May 4

Hippie Sabotage: Thursday, May 5

Brantley Gilbert: Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7

Russ: Monday, May 9

Turnpike Troubadours: Saturday, May 14

Kaleo: Monday, May 16

The Infamous Stringdusters and the California Honeydrops: Thursday, May 26

Ziggy Marley & Stephen Marley and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals: Sunday, May 29

Lord Huron: Wednesday, June 1, 8 p.m. and Thursday, June 2

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Saturday, June 4

The Revivalists: Friday, Jun 10

Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Saturday, June 11

Tash Sultana: Sunday, June 12

Glass Animals: Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15

Chicago and Brian Wilson: Thursday, June 16

Bleachers: Monday, June 20

Barenaked Ladies: Tuesday, June 21

Andrew Bird and Iron & Wine: Wednesday, June 22

Kraftwerk in 3-D: Thursday, June 30

Rainbow Kitten Surprise: Monday, July 11, and Tuesday, July 12

David Gray: Thursday July 21, and Friday, July 22

STS9: Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 23

Goo Goo Dolls: Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28

Mt. Joy: Wednesday, Aug. 17

Brandi Carlile: Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10

The Head and the Heart: Thursday, September 15

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Monday, Oct. 10, and Tuesday, Oct. 11

Midland: Saturday, October 22