Here's how a $6 million renovation has changed Fiddler's Green Ampitheatre

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Brandon Marshall
AEG Live Rocky Mountains CEO Chuck Morris (right) and AEG General Manager Rob Thomas (left).
When you're near the top of the grassy slope at Fiddler's Green, the massive stage below dominates the foreground. It has hosted Bob Dylan, John Denver, Lollapalooza (back when it was still a touring event), Wiz Khalifa and plenty more, but in 1982 that stage was just an asphalt thumbprint next to the street.

The lawn was there then, but it was smaller, and the facility mostly hosted community festivals and the occasional classical-music performance. Today, Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre can accommodate more than 17,000 people and is one of the largest music venues in the state. And thanks to its newest tenant, AEG Live, it's undergoing a $6 million renovation that will update everything from the sound system to the concession stands. The majority of the work will be done in time for this weekend's Volunteer Jam with headliner Charlie Daniels; local policemen, firefighters, military members and other public servants and first responders will see the concert for free. To date, there are eighteen other shows booked at the venue this year, with more to be announced.

:See also: A slideshow of Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre's $6 million renovation

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Eric Gruneisen
Most of the structures on the grounds have been completely rebuilt, including this concession stand.

"We'll be working right through the summer and into next year to make everything as close to perfect as possible," says Chuck Morris, president and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains.

The Museum of Outdoor Arts, a nonprofit organization based in Englewood, owns the amphitheater. MOA describes itself as "a forerunner in the placement of site-specific sculpture in Colorado," and in addition to an actual museum attached to its headquarters, it oversees the extensive collection of public art in Englewood's Civic Center. It also owns, among other things, both Fiddler's Green and the adjacent Samson Park.

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Eric Gruneisen
Among the many changes at Fiddler's Green Ampitheatre are a rebuilt stage and new speaker bays (at left).

Since 1988, the organization has leased the amphitheater to large concert promoters, including MCA Concerts, Universal, House of Blues and, most recently, Live Nation. MOA recently negotiated a fifteen-year lease with AEG Live, which now operates the venue. "We thought having a big outdoor place would be the natural way to fix the missing link for us for certain acts that want to play here," says Morris.

Along with Fiddler's, AEG Live Rocky Mountains now operates the Gothic, Bluebird and Ogden theaters, as well as the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield. It also books many of the shows at Red Rocks and some at the Pepsi Center. In total, the company could conceivably sell some 54,000 tickets to concerts on a single night in the Denver area.

More photos and details are on the next page.


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43 comments
Marcella Ramirez
Marcella Ramirez

Went to concert and wow what an improvement I plan to go to more concerts People it's sound is amazing and the bathroom and stands were easy to get to clean very nice renovation gd job to all that worked so hard to prepare for the special event for the troops

guest
guest

Paid face value for 10 grass seats to this show and invited people from as far away as Durango. When we walked up security said flatly we could not even bring in a blanket on the pretense that too many people were coming. We could choose between standing all day or sitting on wet grass. Not on tickets, not on website, nothing. We sold the tickets and walked away. Thanks a lot.

Ben Deco
Ben Deco

It hasn't. There's still noise limits and curfews. That place blows.

Michael A Nelson
Michael A Nelson

The biggest problem with Fiddler's (besides the fact that when "edgy acts" play there the security is akin to a nazi death camp) is that the music is never loud enough unless you can spring for the reserved seats. I assume that you can chock that up to the location in an overpriced beige suburban hellscape. Having to end the music early isn't great either. No amount of money can fix that, I'm afraid.

Mike Field
Mike Field

Expect convienience fees to go even higher than they are now. Dumb and greedy.

Sarah White
Sarah White

I grew up in heritage place across the street from fiddlers and it's the damn neighborhood that's part of the problem with fiddlers. The neighbors would all complain so they made a curfew that conceets had to end by 10 on weekdays, 11 on Saturdays. Ridiculous.

Rob Salyers
Rob Salyers

How often have you linked this? Did part of that budget go towards them paying Westword to promote their renovation?

Mike Downing
Mike Downing

Fiddler's Green has always sucked since it's inception. Reason #1 is it had to compete with Red Rocks for Colorado outdoor concerts. Reason #2 is it's location. Red Rocks reigns supreme when it comes to the summer concert season in Denver.

Dan Simpson
Dan Simpson

I`d wager it will still be atrocious.

Jeff Cook
Jeff Cook

terrible place to see a show!

Angel L. Canann
Angel L. Canann

My favorite thing about it; aside from all the great memories there, is that no matter who buys it or how many times the name changes, everyone still calls it Fiddler's Green, and the signs on Arapahoe never change.

Jacob Edward
Jacob Edward

Why do people make such a big deal about the curfew? Concerts at venues like the Fillmore, Ogden and Bluebird all seem to end around 11 pm anyway. Pretty sure the noise ordinance is city wide.

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

How do you make up 6mil in reno's ? High beer prices and " service fees " on you ticket.

Joshua Ward
Joshua Ward

Is there still a curfew? The curfew is why this venue sucks.

Dustin Hoeft
Dustin Hoeft

Bitch bitch bitch the main thing wrong in denver is people too stoned to even move and im a pot head! Quit your bitchin system killed it here im sure when u saw old ass phish here they sucked fyi it wasnt the venue

Chris Martinez
Chris Martinez

6 million dollars ..... and still shitty wanna bet ? we'll find out.

Travis Volz
Travis Volz

...but the same cranky neighbors are still the same.

Rockpile Ranter
Rockpile Ranter

More Parking, cheaper food and drinks and nicer staff right? No, oh then it still sucks.

Cassandra Foote
Cassandra Foote

The only thing I saw in there was them fixing the lines to get in.

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

Your complaints are exactly what they've upgraded.

John J. Wood
John J. Wood

Crappy location, crappy curfews and lower volume sound are three reasons I've only attended one show there (Stevie Wonder). Sorry, the place will still suck for shows until the curfew is removed.

Cassandra Foote
Cassandra Foote

The biggest problem at Fiddler's Green are the lines. Ridiculous lines for the bathrooms, ridiculous lines for concessions, ridiculous lines just to get in the door. To me, that just says they don't have enough of those things. Sadly, I don't see a way to combat that without adding on to the venue. At least not with the bathrooms and concessions. If you sit on the lawn, you have one place to use the restroom and no concessions other than maybe one or two beer stands. Also, would be great if all of these venues, not just Fiddler's, would start accepting cards. They charge enough for their drinks there, I don't think a credit card fee would hurt them that much.

John Twigg
John Twigg

Not even then. I'm passing on Jeff Beck and also Santana. If i received free tix , I probably would, otherwise no thank you. your opinion may vary.

Greg Schlenker
Greg Schlenker

They should have used the $6mil to pay off neighbors to get rid of the strict 10:30 curfew.

Fitz Greg
Fitz Greg

Unless someone you like plays there!

Jason Hornyak
Jason Hornyak

as long as they keep booking Twisted Sister and Korn, I'M SO THERE

John Twigg
John Twigg

I do not see any changes that would compel me to attend a show here.

ripmeoffplease
ripmeoffplease

Does this mean the usual 13$ beers will now be 25$? 

gbrigs
gbrigs

tripled the amount of speakers and raised the speaker wings.

gbrigs
gbrigs

seems thats what they are addressing

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