As summer fast approaches, one thing that comes to mind is going to concerts. While crazy packed music festivals (*cough* Coachella) aren’t completely out of the question, I personally love going to classical concerts; as the Hollywood Bowl is the summer “home” of the LA Philharmonic, I have a feeling I’m going to be there at least once this summer.
The Hollywood Bowl officially opened its doors to the public on July 11, 1922 with its premier concert given by the LA Phil conducted by Alfred Hertz. Ever since then, the performances have been diverse: from the Beatles and Judy Garland to various classical ensembles, playing music ranging from pop and EDM to jazz and classical.
When the Hollywood Bowl opened, its stage was a wooden platform with a canvas top and the audience sat on moveable benches set on the hillsides of the surrounding canyon. In 1926, a group of Los Angeles architects built the Hollywood Bowl’s first hard shell. The Bowl has an official seat limit of around 17,500, which at first seems like a lot of people. However, the venues attendance record was set in 1936, with a grand total of 26,410 guests attending a concert given by Lily Pons.
It has made a famous appearance in movies like Double Indemnity, Olly Olly Oxen Free, and Yes Man.
I believe that art, and especially music, is a huge part of both culture and the life of a city in general. Places like this and others like it, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, show the great appreciation for music and the arts that the city of Los Angeles has. Looking at the history of these places and the variety of groups and performances that they have hosted just goes to show the growing diversity of the city as a whole. However, this can also be looked at another way. Even though the city has this apparent appreciation for music, it shows almost no support for artists and musicians who are just starting and just want to share the gifts, but don’t necessarily have the means to. Unless they “make it big”, they are left to fend for themselves, which more often than not means never being heard.
Any way you slice it, the Hollywood Bowl is a fantastic venue to relax and hear some incredible music. The acoustics are incredible and there is usually always something for everyone in attendance on any given night! I’ve been to the Hollywood Bowl once before, and am hoping to go again to see the LA Phil perform music from Harry Potter later in the summer.