Jul 21, 2017
Tonight, Executive Director of Parks & Recreation Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Councilman Jolon Clark (Dist. 7), city officials and community members celebrated the grand opening of Denver’s newest outdoor concert venue, Levitt Pavilion Denver, with a free concert featuring Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams and Andy Thomas' Dust Heart.
Located near public transportation and regional bike paths, Levitt Pavilion features relaxed, lawn seating that utilizes the natural topography of Ruby Hill Park. Each year, the amphitheater will host 50 free concerts, featuring a diverse range of music genres from local to international talent. The site is a family-friendly environment with an open-air stage, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, backstage office and performer dressing rooms, public art and an outdoor concessions plaza.
“The addition of the Levitt Pavilion Denver at Ruby Hill Park is an important part of the city’s long-term planning efforts to integrate arts and culture into green spaces and to bring those opportunities – free of charge – to everyone in our community,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Levitt Pavilion is the centerpiece of Ruby Hill Park’s Master Plan, which has already become a destination with the bike park, wintertime rail yard and other recent upgrades. By activating our parks with unique experiences like the ones that Levitt Pavilion Denver will provide, we create community and improve neighborhoods.”
The Pavilion’s schedule includes three free family-friendly concerts each week during the summer, and 15 to 20 ticketed shows each year. UB40 with Matisyahu follows opening night with a ticketed performance on July 21. Outside of the free and ticketed Levitt Pavilion Denver concert series, the facility will be available for use by schools, arts and culture organizations, other concert organizers and nonprofits.
In 2007, Denver voters overwhelmingly supported the Denver Better Bond Program that allowed the city to enhance and construct facilities that touch the lives of all residents. The design and construction of a new outdoor concert venue in Ruby Hill Park was among those projects recommended by Mayor Hancock in 2012 to receive funding through available cultural bonds.
The amphitheater is part of the third phase of Denver Parks and Recreation’s multi-phase Master Plan to revitalize Ruby Hill Park. Phase 1 was completed in 2011 and included park-wide irrigation replacement and new facilities on the upper west side of the park: playground area; picnic shelter pavilion; restroom; community garden; upgraded walkways; upper roadway; and parking lots. Phase 2 of the Master Plan included the new mountain bike skills park which opened in July 2016, along with improvements to the adjacent parking area.
Levitt Pavilion Denver is the result of a partnership between Denver Parks and Recreation and the Levitt Foundation, who has built venues and concert sites across the U.S. in cities including Memphis, Arlington and Los Angeles. The site will be programmed and operated by Friends of Levitt Pavilion Denver, a local nonprofit dedicated to building community through music. The City and County of Denver has also partnered with the Levitt Pavilion Denver to include musical performances on its municipal TV channel, Denver 8, and associated online sites. Denver 8 will bring many of the shows to the channel as live events and record additional concerts for scheduled programming, “Live at Levitt.”
Ruby Hill Park is located off South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue, offering year-round activities for the public and 80 acres of green grass with panoramic views of both the Rocky Mountains and Denver skyline.