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The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles

Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in LA, Summer Home of the LA Philharmonic

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Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles California LA
Shana Ting Lipton

Vibe and Atmosphere at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl will always remain for me one of the best date spots in LA. Of course I have some lovely childhood memories of going there with my parents. But something about the Bowl--its architecture, outdoor setting and amazing sound system--is magical.

It's a lot of fun to go with groups of friends as well. People load up their picnic baskets with wine, food and drinks. If you're sitting in the bleachers, it's wise to bring cushions as the hard seating can be pretty brutal after an hour or two.

There are two screens that flank the actual Bowl, so often it's not necessary to bring binoculars, but it's not the worst idea either if you're seated really far back.

The much coveted box seating--which gets a bit pricey at $120 a seat--contains folding chairs made of fabric. Even so, it's wise to bring a cushion--and blankets too. There are fold-out tables there as well. You may also order dinner from the Patina Restaurant Group, which is served at your box. You can order from any of the servers milling around the area.

I had the pleasure of being there for the special concert inaugurating Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel's musical directorship over the LA Philharmonic. You haven't lived in LA until you've seen fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl. This performance was epic and much-anticipated to boot. It was a huge feather in LA's cap to nab Dudamel--a world renown 'boy wonder' of the classical scene.

The Hollywood Bowl is of course the 'summer home' of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

History:

  • The first official Hollywood Bowl season "Symphonies Under the Stars" started on July 11th, 1922
  • In 1937, the Hollywood Bowl hosted a memorial concert for George Gershwin which featured Fred Astaire and Al Jolson
  • Frank Sinatra made his Bowl debut on August 14, 1943; it was also his first time appearing with the LA Phil

Bands and Performers That Have Played at the Bowl

  • John Williams
  • Peter Gabriel
  • James Taylor
  • Sonic Youth
  • The Eagles
  • Paul McCartney
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Kings of Leon
  • Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Sergio Mendes

Capacity: nearly 18,000

Opening Months: Year-round

Getting to 'The Bowl'

By car, the most direct route to the Hollywood Bowl is the 101 freeway. Get off at the Highland exit, turn right and follow the signs to the Bowl.

If you don't want to deal with the stress of on-site parking, for $5 per person roundtrip pre-purchased or $8 purchased on the day of show, Park & Ride will shuttle you to the Bowl. Parking is free. Park & Ride services four neighborhood locations.

If you are paying on the eve of the event, please bring exact change and arrive at least 20 minutes early.

Park & Ride tickets are available for purchase in advance online through Ticketmaster.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus lines #156 and #222 service the Bowl.

Parking

Unfortunately--like other venues in the area (the Greek and the Ford), stack parking is the norm. It costs $15-$18 for cars and $9 for motorcycles.

The main Bowl parking area is Lot A. Three other on-site parking lots also serve the Bowl: Lot B (west side of Highland), and Lots C and D (east side of Highland). You can save $1 by purchasing your parking in advance of your visit. All lots are open up to four hours prior to performances.

Reference: map of Hollywood Hills East

The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90068
323-850-2000

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