By Daliah Singer, 5280 Magazine
Outdoors concerts are on our minds this week as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival gets underway. There's just something special about whiling away a Sunday with a picnic and City Park Jazz or breathing in fresh air while guitar solos by your favorite band reverberate off the walls at Red Rocks. Soon(ish) Denver will have another open-air venue: The Levitt Pavilion Denver.
Yes, it's a little early to get excited about a venue that won't open until 2016, but there's a heck of a lot to look forward to:
1) Construction (slated to start in 2015) is part of the Ruby Hill Park master plan, which will revitalize the spot into a more welcoming and functional area for residents. We already adore Ruby Hill for its sledding area and winter rail yard. The pavilion gives us another excuse to take in the 360-degree views afforded by the park's high elevation.
2) Levitt Pavilions is a national nonprofit dedicated to creating "community through music." The sole purpose is to bring people together and turn underutilized areas into "welcoming destinations." (When the Denver location opens, it will be the seventh in the country.)
3) The best part: All concerts at the Pavilion will be free. Yes, free. Up to 7,500 people can pull up lawn chairs to enjoy 50 no-cost concerts a year, highlighting all genres and including local, national, and international acts. When the venue isn't being used for this free concert series, schools, arts organizations, and nonprofits can request access.
Three years is a long time to wait, but we don't mind. Any organization that improves cultural awareness and access for all citizens is worth it.