Set on 17 acres of land with pristine views, world-class performers highlighted Santa Barbara Bowl’s 2014 season. Built in 1936 as part of a Works Progress Administration initiative, the project put millions of unemployed people to work on public projects such as the construction of public buildings and roads. In 2016, it will celebrate 80 years of cultural history.
“The project was a way for the government to infuse funds into the economy to create jobs for people,” said Rick Boller, executive director of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation. “The Santa Barbara Bowl was constructed to host the annual Fiesta pageant during Old Spanish Days and later on, as a venue for artists traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco.”
In a season that typically runs from April through approximately October the Bowl averages about 27 concerts per season and accommodates approximately 5,000 attendees. With the last row of seats just 225-feet from the stage, everyone has excellent views of the stage, Pacific Ocean just over the horizon and a concert experience that is truly one-of-a-kind.
In an effort to bring a broad spectrum of talent to its stage, the Bowl continues to adapt and evolve performers to reflect its diverse cultures and interests of patrons. Welcoming the greatest talents of the world to its stage the 2014 season included live performances by a wide variety of world-class entertainers:
- James Taylor
- Hunter Hayes
- Sara McLachlan
- Joan Baez and Indigo Girls
- Ringo Star and His All-Star band
- Cypress Hill
- Foreigner and Styx
- Jack Johnson
- George Lopez
- Crosby, Stills and Nash
- Diana Ross
- Ray LaMontagne
- Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band
- Daryl Hall & John Oates
Lush Surroundings, Helping the Environment
Beauty abounds on the Santa Barbara Bowl’s island of open space which is home to thousands of Pacific Oak trees that are monitored and maintained with care by a professional arborist. In addition, many species of wildlife surrounds the Bowl including deer, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, great horned owls, hawks, falcons, lizards, salamanders, a variety of insects and many more.
Boller said several approaches to help the environment through conservation were adopted and that the Bowl continues to work to eliminate trash that would normally go to landfills.
“Renovations to the venue over the past 20 years include priority green initiatives to help the environment through conservation,” Boller said. “Our excavation efforts practiced the recycling, repurposing and reuse of original sand and rock stone work seen throughout the venue today. We use low-energy lighting, solar panels to power stage spotlights, compost, use recycling and sorting bins and planted drought-tolerant and California native species of plants that require minimal irrigation.
To further encourage patrons and cut down on traffic in neighboring areas adjacent to The Bowl, complimentary bike valet is offered through the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. The program allows concert-goers to valet bikes near the entry gate in a secure area.
An Education Outreach Program provides $1 from every ticket sold to help provide support and funding for performing arts education in the Santa Barbara community. The program, which reaches approximately 20,000 students each year, provides funding to artists, schools and nonprofit arts programs to advance performing arts education in the area.
The Santa Barbara Bowl Box Office is at 1122 N. Milpas St., in Santa Barbara. The box office does not accept telephone orders. For information on upcoming concerts, call 962-7411, or visit the Bowl website.