As the largest natural amphitheater in Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is undoubtedly an ideal place to soak in the quintessential Southern California evening—warm summer sunsets, beautiful people, the occasional star sighting, gourmet food, and the sweet sounds of live music. This is Hollywood.
With its inaugural season dating back to the summer of 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has continued to draw performers and fans year after year. Its iconic band shell framed by tall trees on the west side of Hollywood has welcomed stars such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, and Lady Gaga. Even the Muppets have graced the Bowl stage!
The Hollywood Bowl season runs from June through September and tickets go on sale in late April—unless you're a subscriber, which permits you early access. The summer concerts include a wide variety of musical genres, from midweek classical performances by the LA Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to jazz legends like Herbie Hancock and the Count Basie Orchestra swinging on the stage. Big names get plenty of stage time at “the Bowl” too, with top draws including Bruno Mars, Blondie, Paul Simon, and Common. Cultural events, some designed for families, include the annual Mariachi Festival and Native American musical events.
The Bowl also hosts a number of annual events including Jazz at the Bowl, the Playboy Jazz Festival, a 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, KCRW’s World Music series, and movie nights where you can watch big screen blockbusters like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with the score performed live by the LA Philharmonic.
Whatever you come to hear, one of the best parts of any visit to the Hollywood Bowl is the food. A pre-concert picnic is a highlight of any summer Bowl concert. Bring your own food and drink (including alcohol) to enjoy early at one of the Bowl’s 14 different picnic areas (not at lease events, however).
Or enjoy one of the offerings from the Bowl’s array of food services. Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine offers more than 16 venues for satisfy every kind of diner. Enjoy a sit-down dinner at one of the two full services restaurants (reservations recommended) or pre-order a picnic box to enjoy before the show. Street food stands serve tacos, gourmet pizzas, and sweet treats throughout the grounds as well. Lucky enough to score box seats? Pre-order a three-course dinner with wine served right to your chair.
Even if you can’t score a ticket to a show at the Bowl, check out the Hollywood Bowl Museum. Admission is free, and it’s a great stop for visitors of all ages—parents can reminisce about the Beatles’ historic visit in 1965 and Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s remarkable jazz concert in 1956. Kids, meanwhile, will be entertained by the hands-on displays including computers, films, and cartoons featuring the Hollywood Bowl.
Insider tip: On most summer mornings, you are welcome to bring well-behaved children into the Bowl to listen to a rehearsal.