The Hollywood Bowl is one of the top live music venues in Los Angeles. The enormous natural amphitheatre is carved from the famous Hollywood Hills, and together with the stage’s concentric-arched bandshell, the acoustics are extraordinary. The world-famous landmark opened in 1922 and has hosted some of the biggest entertainers in music. The Art Deco-style venue is also the summer home to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the LA Philharmonic.

    Watching a concert under the stars in the scenic hillside setting is a summertime ritual for many Angelenos and visitors. The annual season usually runs from April to October. The program ranges from jazz bands and orchestras to children’s sing-a-longs and well-known artists from every genre of music. For a quintessential Los Angeles experience, grab your partner, friends or family and spend a magical evening in the Hollywood Bowl.

    Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles and 10 Best Things to Do for Couples in Los Angeles (Read all about Los Angeles here)

    photo by Eric Chan (CC BY 2.0) modified

    What are the highlights and features of the Hollywood Bowl?

    The Hollywood Bowl is an incredible place for music lovers of all ages to enjoy, especially for an evening of stellar music in an open-air setting. Set against a backdrop of picturesque mountains, with views of the iconic Hollywood sign looming in the northeast hill, the location is incomparable. Seating stretches from the curved white stage to the top of the Bowl. You can choose from canvas-covered box seats, stadium-style seats with built-in cup holders, or bench seats that go all the way to the back.

    The Hollywood Bowl has 14 grassy areas that are great for picnics. You can bring your own food and drinks or buy from concession stands. Alcohol is only allowed in during LA Philharmonic events.

    photo by Eric Chan (CC BY 2.0) modified

    A brief history of the Hollywood Bowl

    The Hollywood Bowl’s story began in 1919 when members of the newly formed Theatre Arts Alliance were looking for an ideal outdoor venue to host music and theatre productions. The current site’s proximity to downtown Hollywood and its magnificent natural acoustics made it an obvious choice. It was around this time the arena got its name the Hollywood “Bowl” thanks to the natural curve in the hillside where the seats are.

    Since officially opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been a glitzy Angeleno institution. It attracts the city’s elite and the who’s who of Tinseltown and the music industry. Legendary artists who’ve performed here include Frank Sinatra, French opera star Lily Pons, Luciano Pavarotti, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and The Doors.

    Good to know about the Hollywood Bowl

    During concert season, the LA Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s morning rehearsals are occasionally open (and free) to the public. Call beforehand to confirm days and times. You can also hang out at the venue when there’s no event. Exploring the grounds of the historic amphitheatre gives you time to appreciate the enormity of the place. Be sure to visit the Hollywood Bowl Museum situated at the bottom of Peppertree Lane. The multi-level museum has fascinating exhibits and artefacts from the Hollywood Bowl’s 100-year history.

    Attending an event at the Bowl requires some planning. On performance nights, parking near the venue is expensive and limited. Save yourself the hassle and leave your car in one of the Bowl Park & Ride lots then take a shuttle bus to the Bowl. You can also ride a bicycle, use a ridesharing service, or hop on the Metro Red Line to the Hollywood & Highland Station and walk up the hill. Bring a jacket or blanket as it can get chilly at night.

    Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles

    Location: 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA

    Phone: +1 323-850-2000

    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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