How to be Extra at Hollywood Bowl

Just add rosé and BFFs.

Hollywood Bowl is arguably one of LA’s most magical places. Who doesn’t love listening to live music under twinkling stars (if the smog isn’t too bad that night)? This year’s Bowl lineup features something for everyone — Jaws in Concert, Bon Iver, Star Wars in concert, Mozart Under the Stars, The War on Drugs, Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Florence + the Machine, Beck, Interpol, Ozzy Osbourne… OK, we’ll stop. But seriously, there are so many concerts happening in between now and October you’d be foolish not to go at least once.

Plus, getting to the Bowl is simple, too. It’s right off the 101 in the heart of Hollywood and accessible by multiple modes of transportation. Our favorite way to arrive is the ultra-luxe Metro Red Line. Just take it to the Hollywood and Highland stop and either walk north up Highland or take the Hollywood Bowl Shuttle at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. Parking at and around the Bowl is super limited (read: really sucky) and expensive AF. Unless you’re willing to dish up to an extra $60, try a ride share instead. Pick-up and drop-off is located at Lot B, and you even get access to the Lyft Lounge on the Museum Terrace while you wait for your ride to arrive. Finally, the trusty bus. The Metro Local 237 / 656 (from San Fernando Valley or LA) or the Metro Local 222 (from West Hills, Burbank and Hollywood) will get you there.

You know how to arrive in style. Now, you just need to actually get there. The best part of going to the Bowl is dining al fresco before the show. The Bowl is home to 14 perfect picnicking spots open to all ticket holders. And some open up as early as 4 hours prior to the event. All you really need to do is pack up some light and delicious bites and beverages of your choice. Picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Personally, we prefer to picnic just outside of the Bowl at Highland Camrose Park. It’s a little more hidden and tends to be a little less crowded. We think you’ll like the secret garden greenery vibes that it gives off.

Set aside a couple of hours for your picnic pre-game. Depending on the show you’re attending, gates open from 90 minutes before the show to 2.5 hours before the show. It’s recommended that you arrive to the Bowl 1 hour before showtime. Plan accordingly so you can grab snacks and drinks and find your seats without awkwardly stepping over people after the show’s already started. Generally, Bowl concerts end around 11 p.m. If you’re feeling ambitious, check out Hollywood’s bar scene for post-concert drinks and dancing. Spots like Madame Siam Sideshow Emporium, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s and Dirty Laundry all get our vote.

For those who are new to the Bowl, we got you. There are a few things that you need to know ahead of time so you don’t look like a complete newb. The biggest one being food and drinks. Unlike other venues, the Bowl allows you to bring outside food and drinks inside to your seat. Coolers and picnic baskets can’t be any larger than 15" wide, 15" high or 22" long and should fit under your seat or in your box.

OK, let’s talk alcoholic bevvies. For all LA Philharmonic shows (shows put on by the Bowl), you’re allowed to bring in with you wine bottles, wine glasses and beer bottles. Or, keep it even classier with wine in a can. Our pick is Una Luna Rose from Sonoma. Just a heads-up, the outside food and drinks rule doesn’t apply to leased events, which are shows put on by a third party. Check your ticket information if you’re not sure. During leased events, you can only buy alcohol at the venue.

Need some picnic-food inspo? Of course you do. Keep reading.

Chopped Caprese Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 10 oz. container grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (about 25 small leaves), torn
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
  • Sea salt to taste

How to Make:
Combine tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle on sea salt. When you’re ready to eat, drizzle balsamic over top.

Melon & Prosciutto Skewers

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large fresh cantaloupe or watermelon, cut into cubes
  • 70 g Prosciutto (or 1-2 packs)
  • Small skewers

How to Make:
Tear the prosciutto into thin strips. Thread the prosciutto and melon cubes onto cocktail skewers.

3-Ingredient Sandwiches

What You’ll Need:

  • Sliced turkey
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cheddar cheese

How to Make:
Arrange ingredients on the bread of your choice.

No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Jars

What You’ll Need:

Cheesecake Batter

  • 1 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Other

  • 8 graham crackers
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 c. raspberry jam
  • 8 glass jars

How to Make:
Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Reduce your mixer speed to low and slowly add the heavy cream. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick and stiff, about 2 minutes. Beat in the lemon juice. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the jars. Top with cheesecake batter, raspberries and jam, alternating red layers with cheesecake batter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

When you’re ready, pack everything up in our backpack cooler for easy transportation. Grab a wine or two of your choice. And don’t forget to bring the H2O. We recommend filling reusable water bottles or a pitcher with sliced lemons and cucumbers. With this spread, don’t be surprised if you’re the envy of every picnicker around you. Oh, and one last thing. Remember to pick up after your picnic and please recycle what you can.