Work on Levitt Pavilion amphitheater underway in Ruby Hill Park

Work on Levitt Pavilion amphitheater underway in Ruby Hill Park

By Joe Vaccarelli |
The Denver Post

City breaks ground on amphitheater that will bring in 50 free concerts each year

It’s been an idea nearly five years in the making, but the Levitt Pavilion amphitheater at Ruby Hill Park will soon be a reality and should be open in July 2017.

The city and Levitt Pavilion Denver officially broke ground on the project Thursday at the southwest Denver park that will bring a state-of-the-art music venue to the city that will offer 50 free concerts and 60-70 other events each year.

“This is for the community. It’s a game changer for local musicians,” said Chris Zacher, CEO of Levitt Pavilion Denver, a nonprofit that raised money to build the amphitheater.

Levitt Pavilion Denver Breaks Ground Next Week, Seeks to Boost Local Musicians

By Mariah Taylor, Westword

They say that 80 percent of success is showing up, but what if you can’t afford a ticket? The cost of entertainment today can be high, and sometimes seeing live music — especially big-ticket national touring acts — can seem like a pastime for the wealthy only. In Denver, a nonprofit is seeking to remedy that disparity with the opening of a large new venue. On Thursday, November 10, Levitt Pavilion will celebrate the groundbreaking of its newest concert venue in Denver’s Ruby Hill Park — one that will showcase fifty free concerts a year, as well as local beer and food trucks in a custom-made, open-seating facility. The venue will be operational sometime after July 15, 2017.


Colorado Music Collective Forges Connections and Faces the Challenges of Denver's 'Cultural Renaissance'

By Katie Moulton, Westword

On Monday, October 3, a motley crew gathered at Syntax Physic Opera for happy-hour drinks and industry talk. But this wasn’t your typical after-work wind-down: It was the ninth installment of the Colorado Music Collective. The room was filled with members of Denver’s independent music community, including bookers, publicists, festival organizers, sound technicians, writers, musicians and, on this night, several students from the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies department at the University of Colorado Denver.


Enjoy Some Incredible Musicians While Supporting A Colorado Nonprofit

By Matthew J. Buettner,

DENVER (CBS4) – Coming to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival next week? Well the fun doesn’t stop there. It’s only a short walk from the Colorado Convention Center to the Summit Music Hall to see some great musicians and support a Colorado nonprofit organization.

“The Voice” runner up, Laith Al-Saadi, along with Colorado’s rising star Brent Cowles and Garrett Lebeau from Austin, Texas, will be performing on Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. to benefit Levitt Pavilion Denver.

Nonprofit Puts On Free Concerts To Build ‘Community Through Music’

Nonprofit Puts On Free Concerts To Build ‘Community Through Music’

By Matthew J. Buettner,

DENVER (CBS4) – A nonprofit organization in Denver dedicated to building community through music is putting on a series of free concerts this year.

Levitt Pavilion Denver began its string of free concerts this summer. The nonprofit is working to get its new venue in Denver’s Ruby Hill Park operational by July 2017, but the organization has been putting on the free shows in Civic Center Park this year in advance of that.

“We believe in embracing the local, including the musicians, architects, construction company, staff, artists and sponsors. Levitt Pavilion Denver is more than just another music venue — it is a nexus for local nonprofits and arts groups across the Rocky Mountain region.”

Q&A – Levitt Pavilion Brings Free Concerts & Community Haven to Denver

Q&A – Levitt Pavilion Brings Free Concerts & Community Haven to Denver

By 303 Magazine

Levitt Pavilion opens summer 2017, and with it comes a variety of free live shows for Denver. The nationwide organization is constructing its next community music amphitheater in the massive 83-acre Ruby Hill Park. The South Denver park was historically a mill town along the South Platte River. Now, it’s mostly known for winter sledding and skiing—but not for long. It’s quickly becoming a haven for Denver’s community arts and so much more with Levitt Pavilion raising its foundations and the recent openings of both a children’s park and a bike park.

Working with local and national artists alike, the venue will enhance accessibility and outreach for many artists with no-cost summertime spotlights. Levitt Pavilion kicked off a preview concert series with Colorado natives Flobots, with the free concerts continuing through October with various musicians and comedians in Civic Center Park.

Comedy Line-up Added to Civic Center Concert Series

DENVER —Levitt Pavilion Denver and Sexpot Comedy have collaborated to add five talented and up-and-coming comedians to this year’s Civic Center Concert Series. The series is a teaser concert series featuring five FREE concerts in Denver’s historic Civic Center Park. It is an exciting prelude of what’s to come when Levitt Pavilion Denver formally opens in 2017 at its permanent location in Ruby Hill Park.

Levitt Pavilion Denver unveiled the five headlining musical acts last month and are now pleased to announce the partnership with Sexpot Comedy and the addition of the comedians to the shows.

Sexpot Comedy is responsible for more than 35 live shows each month in Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. In 2015, Sexpot Comedy was named one of the five funniest nights in America by GQ Magazine and have received numerous other awards and accolades nationwide.  

The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts—reflecting the casual, family-friendly atmosphere of all Levitt concerts.

Levitt Pavilion Denver announces free concert series

The Denver Post, Hey Reverb

Ruby Hill Park’s Levitt Pavilion Denver has announced a run of free concerts in anticipation of the venue’s unveiling next year.

The five concerts will be held on Fridays at 6 p.m. in Civic Center Park from August to October. Denver’s Flobots will kick it off on August 12, and Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Fullbright will close the series on October 7.

The concerts are meant to preview Levitt Pavilion Denver, which aims to host 50 free concerts every year from its projected launch in 2017.

The venue has not announced which artists it plans to book for its inaugural year.

“The artists were selected to appeal to a wide range of tastes, and they reflect the high caliber of talent that will be presented every year on the Levitt Pavilion stage beginning next summer,” said Levitt Pavillion executive director Chris Zacher in a release.

Ruby Hill Park amphitheater has architect, will open in 2017

By Joe Vaccarelli
YourHub Reporter

Denver has selected an architect to design an outdoor music venue in Ruby Hill Park, but it will open one year later than originally planned.

Denver-based Studiotrope Design Collective was picked by a design review committee to design Levitt Pavilion Denver on the north side of the 88-acre Ruby Hill Park in southwest Denver. The state-of-the-art amphitheater will host 50-plus free concerts each year consisting of national and local acts.

"We were kind of blown away by the work (Studiotrope) had done," said Chris Zacher, CEO of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Denver. Zacher will book the bands to play at the venue. "It's an opportunity to work with a great team.


Levitt Park House Facebook 851 x 315_04-23-15_2.jpg

DENVER - Colorado Harvest Company presents a fundraiser for Levitt Pavilion Denver, featuring live music, a crayfish boil, silent auction and the opportunity to win two tickets to the sold out July 4th Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” show in Chicago, with travel package.

The event takes place Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 12 p.m. at The Park House, 1515 Madison Street, Denver, Colorado. $20 donation at the door is requested. All proceeds benefit the Levitt Pavilion Denver project. Tickets can be purchased at

Each $20 donation includes one event ticket and one chance to choose the winning balloon containing two tickets to the sold out July 4th Grateful Dead "Fare Thee Well" show in Chicago. Travel package includes two round-trip plane tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines, one night in a downtown Chicago hotel, and two tickets to the official after-party.

The event also features a silent auction to be held both online and as a live event. A link to the online auction will be posted at on May 9, 2015.

Silent auction highlights include: VIP Red Rocks for Trampled by Turtles and Elephant Revival (VIP backstage tour and private backstage dinner for two), Live Nation tickets, massage and spa services, UMS tickets, a signed hockey stick from the Colorado Avalanche, fine art and jewelry, gift baskets and certificates, one week at a resort in Kauai, and more to be announced at the event.

Live music begins at 1 p.m., featuring: Chris Dismuke Music, Whiskey Treats, Zydecoasters , Dover Prose (headlining inside at night), with special guests the Colorado Blues Society Youth All-Stars

Chris Dismuke Music
Whiskey Treats
Dover Prose

With special guests the Colorado Blues Society Youth All-Stars

Purchase tickets here:

Press Requests: Charis Denny,

Chris Zacher and Lisa Gedgaudas Receive Inaugural Cultural Leadership Award

DENVER – Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announces the winners of the inaugural Cultural Leadership Award. The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes outstanding alumni of CBCA’s Leadership Arts program who have made a significant impact on arts & culture in Colorado through a personal commitment to the arts. The initiative was spearheaded by the Leadership Arts Alumni Network.

2015 Cultural Leadership Award Winners

Lisa Gedgaudas (Leadership Arts 2009) – As the Create Denver Program Administrator for Denver Arts & Venues, Lisa works to develop and support Denver’s vibrant creative sector. She launched the Denver Music Summit, created the PS You Are Here neighborhood placemaking grant program, and is working on affordable housing for artists.  She serves on numerous committees to ensure creatives have sustainable and growing careers.

The most influential people in Denver entertainment in 2014

If you’ve spent any time in Denver, you already know about the beautiful rolling hills in Ruby Hill Park. What you may not know is that Ruby Hill is the future home to the Levitt Pavilion, a new amphitheater that is being created by a nationwide non-profit dedicated to bringing free concerts to communities across the country. Chris Zacher is the Executive Director of the Levitt Pavilion, and he’s at the forefront of this community-driven goal to make the performing arts accessible to everyone. The goal of the Levitt Pavilion is to produce at least 50 free concerts per year, and the musicians that will be playing those concerts will be paid as well. It’s being considered a game-changer in the local music scene, which is currently surviving in an environment in which bands play for bar tabs and parking fare. The Levitt Pavilion is a very exciting addition to the large venue options in Denver, ensuring that musicians’ work is valued, while also ensuring the accessibility of the arts for everyone, regardless of economic situation.

Musicians help envision new amphitheater for Ruby Hill Park

Colorado music industry professionals gathered at Denver’s Oriental Theater Monday night to voice their wants and needs regarding the city’s plans to build a new 7,500-seat amphitheater in southwest Denver.

The new amphitheater, which is scheduled to open in July 2016, will host 50 free concerts every summer and serve as a platform to support Colorado artists.

For the project, the city of Denver is partnering with Friends of Levitt Denver Pavilions, a Denver nonprofit supported by a national foundation called Levitt Pavilions, which hosts free outdoor concert series nationwide.


The Levitt Foundation Wants Your Input on its New, 7,500 Person Amphitheater in Denver

By Bree Davies Thu., Nov. 13 2014 at 4:19 AM

Back in June, it was announced that part of the Ruby Hill Park revitalization project was to turn part of the space into a 7,500-person ampitheater. In a public-private partnership, the City of Denver and Levitt Pavilion Denver (one of several philanthropy projects supported by the Levitt Foundation, which has established similar outdoor venues across the country) plans to open a concert and art space at the park (near South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue) in 2016.


This Monday, November 17 at 6 p.m. at the Oriental Theater, those involved with Colorado's music industry at large are invited to an open forum to discuss plans for the pavilion. Levitt Pavilion Denver has not solidified architectural plans for the venue as of yet, and would like musicians, promoters and anyone involved with the local music scene to share their vision for a perfect performance space.

See also: A 7,500-person Amphitheater on Santa Fe Will Host 50 Free Shows a Year

When Chris Zacher, executive director of Levitt Pavilion Denver, sat down with architects last year to start drawing up plans for the venue, he says found himself coming back to thinking about what artists might want. "I wanted to look at the facility from the artist's standpoint - I think that so often when these things are designed they are all about the patron, which is important, obviously." He shares that while it is imperative to create a venue with great sound, good sight lines and comfortable seating for the audience, Zacher wanted to know what makes a performance space great from the back end.

He's hoping that through the open discussion platform, artists will share things like what the structure of an ideal green room might look like, how wide and deep a stage needs to be to accommodate different kinds of acts and how best to make loading gear and equipment in an easy task.The venue is slated to host fifty free concerts a year, half of those being local acts. Zacher wants to also make sure the front-of-house is conducive to a great show for performers, regardless of the audience size. "It comes back to the artist -- how do you design a venue and not have the artists swallowed up when there is only a 1,000 people there?"

Zacher says that this evening of conversation will give the local music community a chance to share its ideas while also giving the Levitt Pavilion Denver an opportunity to introduce itself to the people it will be working with. There will be a short presentation on the future venue, information on how artists can submit to perform on future bills at the amphitheater and little more about what that selection process itself will look like. He sees the space as an incubator for Colorado music makers and a chance to use the network of other Levitt Pavilions outside of the state to promote and book local bands nationally.

"We really want this facility to speak to the people of Denver," says Zacher. "We want (artists) to understand that we're paying, on average, more than these local bands are making at other venues in town. When we talk about increasing access to the arts, especially from the artists' side, how do we take care of them and make them feel special and start to really foster a sense of community in Denver?"

Zacher says part of working with the community entails partnering with already established local music-minded programs and companies like Illegal Pete's and Greater Than Collective, which it is collaborating with to find a way to fund a hostel for touring musicians to stay in. Levitt Pavilion Denver is also working with Youth On Record to create a scholarship fund for its students, as well as develop a program where kids can have a chance to produce a concert each year at the venue.

Anyone interested in participating in the Levitt Pavilion conversation is welcome to join in this Monday, November 17 at 6 p.m. at the Oriental Theater. Musicians are also invited to bring instruments for a post-meeting jam session. The stage will be fully backlined (drum kit included,) so just a musical instrument is all that is needed to join in. For more more information on Levitt Pavilion Denver and this forum, visit the organization's website.

Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies

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Levitt Denver is asking area musicians to help design pavilion

By Matt Miller

The Denver Post

Posted:   11/16/2014 12:01:00 AM MSTAdd a Comment


An artist's rendering of the Levitt Pavilion, which will be built in Denver's Ruby Hill Park in 2016. (Courtesy of Levitt Denver)

As Levitt Denver enters the next planning stage of its upcoming 7,500-capacity amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park, project managers want local musicians to help design it.

"You can have a beautiful amphitheater, but if it sucks for the artists, they're not going to want to come back," said Levitt Pavilion executive director Chris Zacher. "We're trying to increase access to the arts from both sides (patrons and artists)."

Levitt Denver is hosting an open forum Nov. 17 for the music community to get involved in the design of the pavilion, set to open in July of 2016.

Ever wish the green room in a venue was just a little bit bigger — with showers, a fridge? Or maybe the backstage area could be better organized to make load-in smoother. These are all suggestions Zacher is hoping to hear.

"It shows that what we're building is a cultural institution," Zacher said.

After getting input from the music community, Zacher said they will bring the ideas to an architect who will start working in early 2015. "We're going to listen to everything everyone has to say," Zacher said. "Obviously there's a line; you can't have pools and hot tubs. But when someone comes to us with a brilliant idea, we'll take it into consideration."


The pavilion will host 50 free concerts a year featuring local, national and international musicians, as well as five ticketed concerts a year with the budget to bring in acts equivalent to the Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series, he said.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen communities through live music experiences. It is in a public-private partnership with the city and county of Denver. The city is providing $2 million to fund construction of the amphitheater. It is currently 80 percent funded and construction is expected to start next fall. Denver will be the seventh Levitt pavilion nationwide.

Zacher expects 200-300 people to attend the forum, which will also feature an open jam session for musicians and a chance for artists to win an opening spot at the Levitt Pavilion's debut concert.

Matt Miller: 303-954-1785, mrmiller@denver

Levitt denver music forum

Project managers are asking for suggestions from the Denver music community to help design the new 7,500-person amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park. The Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave., Nov. 17. Free. 6 p.m.

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