What We Can Learn from the Hollywood Bowl

In Los Angeles, we live in one of the world’s largest concrete landscapes largely separated by the constraints of a car.

With a vast network of freeways and parking lots, most people sit protected from the environment instead of experiencing it.

Yet as our city has morphed, the Hollywood Bowl has not just persevered but thrived as one of our most beloved community spaces.

Yes, you have to pay to get inside, but where else do you feel like you can have a nightly tailgate throughout the summer?



A generous picnicking and alcohol policy plays into the atmosphere where you can lean over and compare sundries with others.

It may be the music or the camaraderie, but when the lights go down, everyone is having fun.

The Hollywood Bowl is a treasure and it’s not just amazing that it packs in over 17,000 people every performance, but how.

Anyone who tries driving to the Bowl knows what a losing proposition parking is.

There’s the cost(starting at $18), scarcity and high probability someone will scratch your car maneuvering through stacked parking.

Bowl02 Part of the horde of buses ready to depart.

Oh yeah, there’s also the issue of getting out. The exits don’t even open from the parking lots until far after the show and even then, there’s so many cars packed together that if one driver doesn’t happen to be ready come go time, you’re stuck until they show.

So what’s the best way of getting there? Biking is an option, but the prime choice is to go by bus.

There are a number of shuttles and park & ride buses from different parts of the city that will take you to the Bowl’s doorstep for $6 – $7 roundtrip. What’s even better is that the buses are all queued up and are the first vehicles to be sent off once the show ends.

After the last show, I stopping counting after 40 buses getting ready to go as I had to go ahead and board mine. Odds are too that whichever bus you get onto, it’ll be crowded.


 Pack it on, pack it in. Let the bus ride begin.

There’s also a large contingent of people who take the subway to Hollywood and Highland. It may be a twenty minute walk, but that’s a huge time saver just from getting your car out of the lot alone.

Bottom line is that Angelenos do not have to be tied to their cars. When you have a transportation system in place that is functional and affordable, especially when driving is such an obstacle, people will come.

Now, buses at the Hollywood Bowl is nothing new, but people’s perspective towards mobility is definitely changing. Bike share is popping up all over the county. Rail continues its expansion which may be further accelerated after the November elections.

There’s very few people who will quit their car cold turkey, but when they start to have experiences like the Hollywood Bowl, their attitudes begin to change. Let’s keep the momentum going.