Built in 1936 as a WPA project, today the Santa Barbara Bowl is one of the most scenic and intimate amphitheaters in the world, attracting the biggest names in music with its million dollar view from its landmark stage, the Pavilion.
For decades, the Bowl languished on its hillside above downtown Santa Barbara, hosting Old Spanish Days and a small number of artists in transit from Los Angeles to San Francisco. In 1981, a handful of music enthusiasts envisioned the Bowl’s potential as a major venue, formed the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation. In 1994, the Foundation took over management of the venue and began what would become a long process of revitalization and restoration, booking more popular acts, and undertaking basic facility upgrades and amenities.
The Bowl grew in popularity, attracting bigger names and larger supporters and, in 2004, the Foundation Board of Directors committed to undertaking the American Classic Campaign to complete the overall $40 million Renovation and Restoration Facility Master Plan.
Thanks to the generosity of over 600 individuals, corporations, and foundations, the State of California, and the City and County of Santa Barbara, the capital portion of the American Classic Campaign was completed in 2012, transforming the Bowl into a magnificent venue, unrivaled in setting and quality.
The following elements have been completed or will be completed by the end of 2014:
- The Pavilion — A permanent stone, steel and copper proscenium atop the stage.
- The stage and backstage facilities reconstructed increasing the overall useable square footage by +300% including the Towbes Family Café, enlarged and improved restroom facilities, and upgraded dressing rooms.
- The Wendy McCaw Terrace for donor and cultivation receptions and BeverageConcessions.
- Scranton Overlook — An upper-level terrace featuring the Dreier Bar, restrooms and expansive views.
- Dreier Administration Building and Box Office and Lower Plaza (Final phase! To be completed in 2014)
- Angie and Stephen Redding Gate — Glen and Bowl entry gate.
- Jerry Garcia Glen . . . Our Lobby
- Seating — Upgraded patron seating.
- Permanent, disabled seating platform, Floor Section, and the Judy and Jeff Henley Stairway