Pret-a-Reporter

Secrets of The Hollywood Bowl

An insider's guide to the industry's most popular summer concert venue, from the $2,000 VIP valet parking to who has the best seats in the house.

Every year since 1922, the los Angeles Philharmonic relocates to the Hollywood Bowl for its storied summer season and fills the neighboring hills with, well, the sound of music. Built on the site of the former Daisy Dell, the outdoor amphitheater has attracted some of the world's most sought-after musical acts (the Beatles performed there in 1964 and 1965; Cher gave her final two concert performances on the Bowl stage in April 2005), making the venue's 500-plus four- to six-seat private boxes a popular summer destination for the industry elite. "The Bowl has great historical significance," says Playboy's Hugh Hefner, who, alongside Bill Cosby, hosts about 18,000 guests at the Bowl's annual Playboy Jazz Festival each June. "I remember seeing it in classic films like Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra." When the season of more than 70 events kicks off June 17, showbiz heavyweights including Helen Mirren will pour through the theater's VIP West Gate entrance (2301 N. Highland Ave.) and pack the exclusive lower bowl for concerts by Hall of Fame inductees Harry Connick Jr. and Gloria Estefan. Box tickets are available for certain concert series (sorry, Fantasia weekend is sold out!), but prices begin at $450 a box, per show. Behind the boxes are four tiers of more wallet-friendly spots, including bench seating (starting at ticketmaster.com as low as $1). Producer Sid Ganis says he depends on high-profile friends like Abrams Artists Agency's Harry Abrams for his box invites: "I want to get season tickets, but my friends always invite me [into their boxes]. What could be better?"

 

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