Venue Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Summit Denver

Mezzanine at Summit Music Hall
This blog post covers everything you need to know about Denver’s Summit Music Hall, everything from the venue’s history to buying tickets, getting to the venue, our favorite venue tips and tricks, and more.

This blog post covers everything you need to know about Denver’s Summit Music Hall, everything from the venue’s history to buying tickets, getting to the venue, our favorite venue tips and tricks, and more.

I’ve spent a lot of time hanging around music venues in Denver since I was a teen. For some reason, my parents actually let 14-year-old me hang around places like the Climax Lounge and the Less Art Warehouse in Five Pointsโ€”props to them for being cool and maybe a little crazy.

In the 20 or so years I’ve been attending shows in Denver, I’ve developed preferences for specific venues and learned a few tricks for making the most out of each show, things like when to get tickets, where to park, best spots in the house, and more.

In this new blog series, I’m reviewing everything you need to know about some of Denver’s best venues, starting with one of my favoritesโ€”Summit Denver.

I’m partial to Summit because I also lived on Blake St. in Denver for a brief period and could walk to and from shows there in minutes. That’s how my sweet angel of a dog got her name, Blake, but I digressโ€ฆ

Let’s get into everything you need to know about Summit!



About Summit Denver

Overview ๐Ÿ”

๐Ÿ”Š Venue: Summit
๐Ÿ“ Address: 1902 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202
๐Ÿ“ฑ Phone: (303) 487-0111
๐Ÿ’ป Website: summitdenver.com
๐Ÿ•ง Opened: 2010
๐Ÿข Owner/Operator: Live Nation
๐Ÿ“ข Promoter: Live Nation
๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ Capacity: 1,100
๐Ÿ“ Sq. Ft.: 12,500


Early Years and Ownership by Soda Jerk Presents ๐Ÿฅค

Summit Music Hall opened its doors in 2010, breathing new life into the space formerly occupied by Club Bash. Club Bash was known as a vibrant hotspot for hip-hop in Denver, and the transformation into Summit Music Hall marked a significant shift in the musical focus of the venue.

Summit transformed under the ownership of Soda Jerk Presents. Founded by Mike Barsch in 1995 as a Boulder record label, Soda Jerk Presents evolved over the years, becoming Denver’s most prominent independent promoter. Under Barsch’s leadership, the venue, along with Marquis Theater, became known for hosting a variety of music genres, particularly punk, metal, and alt-rock concerts.

Acquired by Live Nation ๐Ÿ’ฐ

In February 2018, a significant change occurred when Soda Jerk sold Summit and Marquis Theater to Live Nation.

It’s like when your favorite indie band signs with a major label. You’re excited because they’re getting the big-time attention, but also a bit nervous about what’ll change.

This acquisition was part of a broader trend where large corporate entities like Live Nation started buying out as many indie venues as possible. Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has a reputation for its influential role in the music industry but often faces criticism for its dominance in the market and potentially limiting opportunities for independent promoters and venues.

Renovations Under Live Nation

After the acquisition by Live Nation, Summit Music Hall underwent significant renovations to enhance the experience for both artists and attendees:

  • Increased Capacity: The renovations increased the venue’s capacity from 1,100 to 1,350, allowing more fans to enjoy performances in a still-intimate setting.
  • Sound System Upgrade: A significant upgrade to the sound system was implemented, significantly improving the audio quality for live performances.
  • Restroom and Sight Line Improvements: The restrooms were expanded and upgraded, and additional changes were made to improve sight lines within the venue, ensuring a better experience for guests.
  • Artist Dressing Room Enhancements: Artist amenities saw improvements, too, with the dressing rooms receiving upgrades, catering to the comfort of the performers.
  • Cosmetic Upgrades: The entire building underwent cosmetic detailing and upgrades, enhancing the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the venue.

Moon Room at Summit ๐ŸŒ•

The Moon Room at Summit

One of our favorite features of Summit is the Moon Room. This smaller, more intimate space within the venue hosts various events, including album release parties, smaller gigs, and local showcases. The Moon Room is a fantastic place to discover emerging talent and experience live music in a more personal setting.


Buying Tickets

Online ๐Ÿ’ป

Once you find the perfect show, the most convenient way to purchase tickets is through Live Nation or Ticketmasterโ€”and to make this super easy, you can do this directly through the “Get Tickets” links on our concert calendar.


Box Office ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ

If you prefer a more personal touch, want to pay less in fees, or choose to get hardcopy tickets (for the mems), the Summit box office is the place to go. Located on-site, the friendly staff will assist you with purchasing tickets.


Presales ๐Ÿคซ

Keep an eye out for presale opportunities, especially if you’re a dedicated fan of a particular artist or band. Join the venue’s newsletter or follow them on social media to gain access to exclusive presale codes.

New shows are typically announced on Summit’s social media Monday-Wednesday, and tickets for those shows officially go on sale on Friday, the same week as the show announcement. Presales typically occur online only on Thursdays; the box office does not participate in presales.


Resale Tickets ๐Ÿ”‚

Sometimes, tickets for sold-out shows become available through social and resale platforms, such as Facebook and StubHub. Always be cautious when buying resale tickets, and use reputable platforms to avoid scams.

We recommend purchasing and selling resale tickets directly on the Live Nation or Ticketmaster website to protect yourself from rampant ticket fraud.


Getting to the Venue

Location ๐Ÿ“

Summit
1902 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202

Talk about prime locationโ€”Summit could not be more centrally located within LoDo. It’s minutes from some of downtown Denver’s iconic landmarks, like Coors Field, Union Station, and the 16th St. Mall. This is a blessing and a curse, depending on when your show is scheduled and what other events it happens to coincide with.

With a wide range of restaurants, bars, and other fun things to do, this area stays quite busy all throughout the year. Be sure to give yourself extra time to get there, especially on game days.

In the Area

There is so much to do, see, eat, and drink near Summit, so if you’re looking to make a whole day of it or travel to Denver for a show, you’ll find something up your alley.

One of my favorite things to do before or after a show at Summit is to catch up with friends for dinner and “drinks” (*mocktails, in my case) at one of the many incredible places in the area. Pony Up is super close and has a great drink selection that includes mocktails, perfect for a quick catch-up with my concert buddies.

Union Station, McGregor Square, Dairy Block, and Larimer Square are just a few of the places in LoDo hosting a wide array of dining and entertainment options, but just outside of LoDo, you’ll find even MORE options to be overwhelmed by in Denver’s River North (RiNo) or the Highlands.

Safety of the Area

Lower Downtown Denver, often called LoDo, is known for its vibrant and lively atmosphere, making it a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. When it comes to safety, LoDo is generally considered safe, thanks to well-lit streets, a strong police presence, and a thriving community of businesses and entertainment venues.

However, as with any urban area, it’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings, take standard safety precautions, and be mindful of your belongings. Always use your street smarts and common sense.


Parking ๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ

There are plenty of places to park near Summit. Still, parking might be a hassle if your show is on the same day as a Rockies game or other downtown events.

Typically, I plan to park in a nearby lot or garage unless I find a great metered spot on the way.

Metered Street Parking

Metered street parking is available all over the downtown area for up to two hours. Meters are free between 6 AM and 8 AM daily and on Sundays and city holidays.

At least, that’s the gist, but everyone knows how and when they actually enforce parking violations in Denver is wildly irrational sometimes, so it’s best to pay attention to what the meter says where you park; especially if you plan to be out after 10 PM when overnight metered parking rules are supposed to be enforced.

For more information on street parking, visit denver.gov.

Lots & Garages

There are many paid parking lots and garages conveniently located nearby. When in doubt, this is usually the easiest and safest option. Parking rates vary depending on the lot/garage, ranging from $5 to $20+.


Public Transit ๐ŸšŒ

For eco-conscious attendees, those without a vehicle, or those who want to ensure a safe night out without worrying about drinking and driving, public transit is a convenient and responsible choice. Summit is easily reachable by RTD bus and light rail, offering an accessible way to enjoy music for everyone.

Bus

Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) offers numerous bus routes that make stops near the venue. The best way to plan your route and check bus schedules is to use the RTD app. Occasionally, though, buses get delayed for various reasons, and this is only sometimes accurately reflected in the app.

Light Rail

Denver’s RTD light rail is another excellent option for getting to Summit by public transit. The closest light rail stop is “Denver’s living room”โ€”Union Station. If you swing through Union Station on your way to a show, leave a little time for a pick-me-up from the bar, a coffee from Pigtrain, or maybe a scoop from Milkbox.


Bicycling & Scooters ๐Ÿ›ด

Oh, Denver, the land of bicycles and scooters! The city is making significant improvements to its bicycle and scooter lanes to make alternative transportation modes safer. Bikes and scooters are all over the city these days, and if you don’t already have one (and are far braver than I am), you can easily rent one to navigate downtown.

For example, you’ll find Lime scooters, ready to be picked up, tucked on corners all over the city. Still, if all else fails, you’ll likely see some near Union Station. Union Station also has dedicated racks for locking up your bike.


Ride Share ๐Ÿš—

Unless you’re coming from outside the Denver metro area, you should be fine catching a Lyft or Uber to/from Summit. There are many drivers in this area, but there are also many riders, especially on weekends or event days, and surge pricing is not uncommon.


Taxi ๐Ÿš•

I don’t know many people who would choose a traditional taxi over one of the other transportation options mentioned, but hey, it’s an option! And if you so choose, you can call a local taxi company, such as Metro Taxi, to request a cab.

If you need to catch a taxi on the fly after the show, head over to Union Station where you’ll often find drivers dropping off other riders and waiting for a new fare.


Pedicab ๐Ÿ›บ

Pedicab is a fun way to get around downtown during warmer months! Once you hail a pedicab, let them know where you’re headed and negotiate a mutually fair price to get there.

Although I’m sure some pedicab drivers take Venmo and other digital forms of payment these days, it’s best to have cash on hand to offer them for the ride, and it never hurts to throw on a little tip if you can; we’re all just trying to make it!


At The Venue

Security ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ

Security at Entry

Security is super efficient, and follows a pretty standard process for live music events these days.

  1. ID Verification & Wristbands
  2. Bag Check
  3. Wand Check
  4. Ticket Check
  5. Done

These basic safety protocols help keep us all safe so we can enjoy live music. Please respect security and other venue staff whose jobs are to keep us safe.

ID Verification & Wristbands

A valid ID is required for entry to shows with age restrictions, as well as to purchase and consume alcohol at the venue.

IDs are always checked first, so please have yours out to not hold up the line. After your ID is checked, you will receive the appropriate wristband.

Accepted Forms of ID
  • State-issued ID or Driverโ€™s License
  • Valid Non-expired US Government or Military ID
  • Official Passport
Bag Policy

Large or oversized bags and backpacks are not allowed in the venue. Getting through security and enjoying the show is always easier if you use a small bag and only bring what you need for the show.

Other items that are NOT allowed include, but are not limited to:

  • Weapons (Of Any Kind)
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal Drugs/Substances
  • Glass Containers
  • Cans
  • Hard Sided/Large Coolers
  • Laser Pointers
  • Animals (Excluding Service Animals)
  • Fireworks.
Ticket Check

Before the show, download the Live Nation or Ticketmaster mobile app, whichever you used to purchase tickets. From the app, you can access your tickets for entry. If your tickets are at will call, get those from the box office before getting in the line for security.

Scan your ticket’s barcode at the door, or if your tickets are saved to your Apple Wallet, hold it up to the reader. Venue staff are nearby to help if needed.

Security Inside the Venue

Just throwing out more personal anecdotes here, but I have all the respect in the world for Summit’s security team. Having worked there as a photographer and attending countless shows, I’ve seen their security team do the right thing by everyone, including handling serious emergencies such as a guest having a seizure in the middle of a Menzingers’ performance.

It’s important to remember that security’s job is not just to nab crowd surfers and rain on the party but to keep us all physically safe, and that includes making sure crowd surfers don’t fall and hurt themselves, patrons don’t overindulge in alcohol, and responding to actual emergencies.


Food & Drinks ๐Ÿ•

Pizzaaaa. ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ• If you like pizza, Summit sells pizza from its sister venue, Marquis Theater, and for under $5 a slice, it’s always a great option to stay fueled for the show.

You can also purchase various drinks from the three bars throughout the venueโ€”one near the entry, one stage right, and one stage left. This includes most popular alcoholic beverages and other non-alcoholic options such as Liquid Death (expensive, but badass water) and soda.


Coat Check ๐Ÿงฅ

Coat check is your friend during winter shows, and at the time of writing this post, itโ€™s $5 to stash your coat for the night. Upon arriving at the venue, you can find the coat check off to the left (stage right) near merchandise and the pizza kitchen.

The coat check line is long during frigid winter evenings but moves quickly. You can make your wait faster by going early and purchasing a coat check ahead of time through Live Nation / Ticketmaster.


Upgrades โฌ†๏ธ

Balcony Access

Summit offers upgrades with exclusive balcony access. Elevate your concert experience by securing a balcony ticket, which grants you a bird’s-eye view of the stage and the crowd below. This premium vantage point provides a panoramic view of the performance.

It offers a more intimate setting for those seeking a VIP experience within the general admission environment. Whether you’re looking for a quieter spot to enjoy the music or aiming for the best photo opportunities, balcony access at Summit is an excellent way to enjoy the show.

VIP

Occasionally, Summit offers additional VIP packages that provide a range of perks, which may include:

  • Expedited entry.
  • Access to an exclusive VIP lounge.
  • Dedicated bar service.
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with select artists.

This premium upgrade ensures you have the best view of the stage and an unforgettable experience.

Fast lane Pass

Summit also occasionally offers a Fast Lane upgrade option, which grants you priority access, allowing you to quickly breeze past the regular lines and get inside the venue.

In my experience, this isn’t necessary or all that valuable at a venue this size where the line moves pretty quickly. Still, you never know when a Fast Lane Pass can come in handy!


ADA Accessible Seating โ™ฟ

Most events at Summit include general admission standing and seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Still, an ADA section is available near the front (stage left). Guests may bring one additional patron with them in this section. The venue also offers ramp access and ADA restrooms. Unfortunately, there is not an elevator for balcony access.

To ensure the best experience, purchase ADA-accessible tickets via Live Nation / Ticketmaster. Talk to a staff member when you arrive; they should provide guidance and help you get set up for the show.


Restrooms ๐Ÿšป

There are two sets of restrooms; one near the entry and one near the back (stage right).

Re-entry ๐Ÿ”„

Re-entry is NOT allowed. Plan accordingly.


Smoking ๐Ÿšฌ

Smoking is totally chill in the designated smoking area. Smoking (of any kind) is not permitted inside, but it’s not uncommon to catch a skunky scent billowing throughout the venue. We’re in Denver, after all.


Merch & Merch Cuts ๐Ÿ‘•

In 2023, Live Nation launched their On The Road Again program with Willie Nelson. This initiative to “support artists and crew at the club level” offers some desirable benefits for artists performing at Summit.

  • $1,500/show for all headliners and openers, in addition to compensation for their performance.
  • No merchandise selling fees, so artists retain 100% of their merch profits.
  • $5 million donation to Crew Nation providing relief to live music crews facing unforeseen hardship.
  • Increasing minimum wages to $20 and providing special โ€˜On the Road Againโ€™ bonuses to staff and crew members.

Summit and its sister venue, Marquis Theater, are participating in the program, so when you support your favorite artist by buying merch at one of these venues, you can feel good knowing it’s all going directly to the artist. We love that more than you could ever know. ๐Ÿ’–


Photography ๐Ÿ“ท

Professional cameras with detachable lenses and other photography equipment are not allowed in the venue without proper media credentials. Personal phones and point-n-shoot cameras are allowed in the venue.

Photo Policy for Credentialed Photographers

Typically, first three, no flash; around the house afterwards. If you know what I’m talking about, you already know the drill. Your contact should confirm the photo policy upon approval.


Other Venue Specs

Sound & Lighting ๐ŸŽš๏ธ

Summit upgraded its sound system to a state-of-the-art Outline GTO C-12-based line source system in 2014, significantly elevating the audio experience for concertgoers. The previous system, dating back to the early ’90s, was replaced with this cutting-edge line array technology, which disperses sound both vertically and horizontally, resulting in clearer, more immersive, and balanced sound throughout the venue.

This remarkable improvement has been noticed by fans, who have praised the newfound clarity and quality, and bands, including the likes of GWAR, who have lauded the precision and warmth of the new system.

Complementing its cutting-edge sound system, Summit boasts a state-of-the-art lighting system that adds a dynamic visual dimension to every performance. This lighting setup features an array of vibrant LED fixtures, intelligent moving lights, and synchronized effects.


Capacities ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ

LocationReceptionBanquetTheatre
Moon Room at Summit30040N/A
Summit Full Venue900N/AN/A
Summit Music Hall900175350
Source: https://www.summitdenver.com/private-events

Private Events ๐ŸŽ‰

Summit is available for private events and can accommodate groups of 25 to 1,200, perfect for corporate events, private concerts, fundraisers, and more.

For more information about private event opportunities, visit Summit’s website or contact their Sales team at summitevents@livenation.com.


Stay tuned for the next in-depth venue guide in this blog series! Let us know what your favorite memory at Summit is in the comments. ๐Ÿ’ฌ

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