Exploring the hidden tunnel at Red Rocks

Legends leave their mark on the dingy stairwell
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 00:53:02-04

On the 75th anniversary of Red Rocks Amphitheater, we take you someplace even people who go to Red Rocks all the time haven't been -- under the rocks to the famous hidden tunnel.

Denver7's Jaclyn Allen went backstage and underground to where legends (and their crews) leave their mark.

Red Rocks is a place where fans flock to climb the stairs, where rock bands perform to become stars and where man and nature join to make history.

But deep inside the iconic amphitheater is a place not open to the public.

"Backstage at Red Rocks is kind of under the stage, which is kind of a unique environment," said Tad Bowman, the venue director at Red Rocks Amphitheater. "There is a mystique about this tunnel."

He takes us on a VIP tour backstage, underground, past the danger signs, to a hidden tunnel that is now part of Red Rocks tradition.

The gritty staircase leading from the backstage area to the sound booth is covered by what first may look like graffiti.

But look a little closer...

"It started out with some signatures on the walls," said Bowman. "And then some of the space on the walls kind of ran out and so they started doing signatures on the steps."

These aren't just any signatures -- they are more like autographs, ranging from production crews to performers and from country bands to rock stars.

"So now, I think performers make a point of coming up here," said Bowman, who has seen performers making their way to the storied tunnel.

We saw it, too. Before a recent sold-out shot at Red Rocks, The Lumineers had a stop to make.

Members of the Denver-based folk rock band got out a Sharpie and signed in.

"That does look like a good spot -- right next to Flobots," they said when they found their brick, leaving their mark on Red Rocks (their favorite place to perform.) "It's very photogenic. But it's got a spirit about it, you know, it's like an incredible place."

In this dingy hallway, far from the mountain views, Red Rocks history is written on the walls -- one concert after the next.  

If only these walls could talk...