The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl in 2019 | Credit: Adam Latham

The Los Angeles Philharmonic is easing back into concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. The orchestra announced on Friday, April 9, its first steps toward live, in-person performances at the venue.

The Bowl will open at limited capacity next month — about 25 percent — with two free concerts by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil for an audience of front-line workers. Two more concerts follow in June, featuring L.A. artists La Santa Cecilia, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus, also free and for front-line audiences.

The LA Phil is partnering with Kaiser Permanente for these initial performances and “anticipates ramping up to greater capacity later in the summer as guidelines evolve.” The orchestra is forecasting a Bowl season that gets underway in July, following the state of California’s target reopening date of June 15. The full 14-week lineup, including LA Phil concerts, guest artists, and annual traditions like a July 4 fireworks night, will be announced May 11.

The 2021 summer season marks the LA Phil’s return to live performances since pandemic cancellations that began in March 2020. But it’s not the ensemble’s return to the Hollywood Bowl per se: the orchestra has been filming concerts at the empty venue since last summer for its Sound/Stage series.

“We have found so many extraordinary and creative ways to share music together over the course of this pandemic,” said LA Phil Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, “but truly nothing can take the place of performing in person. And nothing can compare to the magic of making music at the Hollywood Bowl.”

In tandem with the Bowl reopening, the LA Phil is also set to welcome audiences back to The Ford, another historic L.A. venue, under the orchestra’s management since 2019. The Ford season will run July to October. As with the Bowl, full details will be announced next month, along with safety protocols made in coordination with Kaiser and the L.A. County Department of Public Health, which will continue to be reviewed throughout the summer.

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