You've probably driven past it numerous times on your way to the 101, or maybe even seen it's iconic "band shell" while hiking through Runyon Canyon. Maybe you even noticed thousands of tie-dye wearing hippies permeating its parking lot when Phish played a show there last August. That sure was a trip (no pun intended). Since opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been as much a part of Los Angeles history as the iconic sign that stands above it. It's the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is featured prominently in two Bugs Bunny movies, and has the distinct honor of being the location for one of the only live albums the Beatles ever recorded. Much props to the Fab Four for keeping it in Hollywood! So with the summer concert season fast approaching, here's everything you need to know when visiting the Hollywood Bowl.
How do I purchase tickets?
There are more than just concerts playing at the Hollywood Bowl with plenty of great events for all ages, including fireworks shows, outdoor movie screenings, even several world music shows that are just for children. But how do you purchase tickets to all these cool events? It's real simple. All you have to do is visit www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/index.cfm, then click on the event you'd like to see for info on buying tickets. And that's it! There are also various packages available if you'd like to become a season ticket holder.
How do I get there by public transportation?
There are two options if you plan on taking the Metro to the Bowl. Those coming from the Valley should take the No. 156 Local. If you're coming from the West Hills or Hollywood, go with the No. 222 Local.
How do I get there by car?
The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue, so anyone coming from the Valley or the West Side should take the 101 and get off at the Highland exit. It'll take you right there. Everyone else should take that wonderful short cut of a street known as Fountain.
What's the parking like if I drive?
Be warned that parking at the Hollywood Bowl is very limited, so if you do plan on driving you're going to need to park somewhere off-site. But fear not, the wonderful people at the Bowl have two wonderful services in place so that you don't have to walk from wherever you parked. According to the website, more than a third of the Hollywood Bowl's audience use the Park & Ride and Bowl Shuttle services to get to the venue. And it's highly recommended that you do the same (if you own a car). You can find all the info you need on lots to park in, as well as departure times, by visiting www.hollywoodbowl.com/visit/getting-to-the-bowl.
What's the seating situation like?
Like its name says, the Hollywood Bowl is shaped like a bowl, with rows and rows of wood benches serving as the only seats in the place. It's not the most comfortable way to watch a concert, but what can you expect from an outdoor amphitheater – leather sofas? Still, the acoustics at the Bowl are good enough so that most seats feel like you're sitting in the front row.
What kind of food do they serve inside?
Here you'll find all the traditional concession stand eats served at any stadium, like hot dogs, candy, soda, beer, even wine. But what makes the Hollywood Bowl different is its designated pre-concert picnicking areas. It's first come, first serve if you want to reserve a spot. But you better get there early, because sometimes people picnic for as long as four hours before the show. But in case you feel like having someone else do the cooking for you, Patina Restaurants offers a catering service for concert attendees sitting in the box seats. You can find a full list of the type of food being offered by visiting www.hollywoodbowl.com/visit/restaurants.cfm.
Are there any good places to eat around there?
Given its Hollywood location, the Bowl is a stone's throw away from plenty of great restaurants like Musso and Frank Grill, if you're in the mood for a steak; the Eva Longoria-owned Beso, for American food with a Latin twist; and all the great restaurants located a short walk away at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Where can I learn more about the Hollywood Bowl?
The Hollywood Bowl has a very extensive website that should answer any and all of the remaining questions you might have. But that's assuming everything you needed to know wasn't already answered in the last five minutes (wink, wink!).