Gerald Ford Amphitheater Information
Gerald R Ford Amp in Vail is an exceptional venue that plays host to a variety of events. These range across several cultural and entertainment offerings, including dance and classical music recitals, to commercial concerts from the biggest bands and performers in the world. It also hosts a variety of concerts and festivals including the Vail Dance Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival as well as the Hot Summer Nights series of free weekly concerts. It also hosts local chorale and theater presentations throughout the year.
Situated in the beautiful hillside in Vail, Colorado, the Gerald Ford Amphitheater is visually stunning. Not only in the venue itself but in it’s surroundings, with a view of Rocky Mountains and luscious green woodlands. So when the sun is shining down on this venue, the light and energy is tranquil – making it the perfect place to see Orchestras and solo classical musicians perform!
Just like you would expect in a natural park setting, drinks and food are allowed inside, so while watching the concert, you can create your very own picnic and kick back on the green, giving it a real community feel.
What better way to spend a whole summer day, outside, enjoying the best talent at a music festival, both local and world-famous, all from the comfort of a seated arena.
Attending this venue is a refreshing and unique experience, when it’s time to leave, you will be eager to return!
When the venue was first opened to the public it held its first ever performances in 1987. When it opened, it had a capacity of only 1,200 people, with 900 in seats and the rest on the scenic lawn. And its June 27 opening ceremony was attended by 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty Ford as well as Bob Hope, Dolores Hope, and many other famous persons.
The first major performance at the venue was headlined by Willie Nelson on July 16, 1987 with tickets sold for $100 for reserved seating and $25 for general admission. And Vail Valley Foundation President Bob Knous credited President Ford for helping to bring Willie Nelson to this first venue.
That concert was one of six that formed the opening season of the venue, which also included the Colorado Springs Symphony on July 3, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater July 11-12, concert violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the Colorado Springs Symphony Aug. 9, the Vail Symposium’s women’s presentation Aug. 15, and the U.S. Army Chorale and Band on September 5-7
Gerald R Ford Amphitheater Today
Today, the venue has expanded to a 2,500+ seat venue that hosts big names in rock, country, and bluegrass as well as prominent musicians and artists from other genres. It hosts the world’s top talent at the Vail Dance Festival each summer and is home to a variety of community events, graduations, and ceremonies throughout the year. But nothing brings more joy to the community then its world famous summertime concert series.
Visiting The Amphitheater
Most fans will tell you that they had a wonderful time at the show. The venue staff is warm and friendly and often takes great effort to make everyone feel welcome at the show. From the moment a guest arrives they will be greeted with smiles and open arms. And the facilities are designed to provide everything that you could want. That means clean restrooms, plenty of ADA-approved space, delicious food and refreshing drinks from all the vendors.
As far as the regular fans, they offer a cool and relaxed vibe before the show that explodes into enthusiastic cheering when the band takes the stage. And that wild and unbridled energy pushes bands to play their hearts out making for some of the most energetic concerts of their careers.
But most importantly, concerts at Gerald R Ford Amp are surrounded by the simple beauty of Vail, which is both scenic and majestic.