Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA)

Concert Venue / Theater
Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) Looking for concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA? Check out Party Earth for schedules, photos, videos, and more for this one-of-a-kind concert venue! San Francisco United States 37.873613 -122.254357
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Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) - Concert Venue | Theater in San Francisco.
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INFO Known locally as the Greek Theatre, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre is a sprawling amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley. Boasting 8,500 seats, the Greek Theatre was built... ... read more

  • Neighborhood:

    Berkeley, CA
  • Address:

    Hearst Avenue & Gayley Road
    Berkeley, CA 94720

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Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) Videos

Phish - "Tweezer Reprise" @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley 8/5/10
R.E.M. - Driver 8 @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 2008.
R.E.M. - Mr. Richards @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 2008.
Wallflower: Peter Gabriel - Greek Theater, Berkeley (June 10, 2011)
Dispatch - Elias Live Encore @ Greek Theater, Berkeley 06/11/11
Grateful Dead 8-19-89 Greek Theater Berkeley CA
R.E.M. - Hollow Man @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 2008.
R.E.M. - Ignoreland @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 2008.
Dispatch - Silent Steeples Acoustic Live @ Greek Theater, Berkeley 06/11/11

Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) Information

Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) - Concert Venue | Theater in San Francisco.

Known locally as the Greek Theatre, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre is a sprawling amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley.

Boasting 8,500 seats, the Greek Theatre was built in 1903 on the previous site of a more rugged outdoor bowl built in 1894 and known as Ben Weed’s Amphitheater. The aesthetics of the Greek Theater directly echo that of the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.

Then-president Benjamin Ide Wheeler served as the catalyst for the project, but the construction of the theatre was financed by newspaper millionaire William Randolph Hearst. While the Greek Theatre officially opened its doors in 1903 with a production of The Birds by Aristophanes, it also hosted a graduation address ceremony by President Theodore Roosevelt while still under construction in 1903.

There have been hundreds of musicals and theater performances at the Greek Theatre, as well as many college events including Commencement Convocation for graduating seniors and the Big Game Bonfire Rally prior to the Big Game every year against Stanford.

The Greek Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) User Reviews

Average rating:
Maura P. Aug 23, 2013
Amazed by the venue and location,I must say that I really enjoyed the Reggae Festival. The atmosphere was brilliant, people were friendly and everyone just seemed to enjoy life. The architecture of the theater impressed me a lot and it is definitely worth to see. Also liked the combination of the old fashion building and its use to organise concerts. It doesnt matter if you are short, you can stand on the steps and see everything. Great experience!
Get to the Greek
Bethany V. Jun 6, 2013
I have attended at least 20 concerts in the past two years, and none of them have been at the Greek. Luckily for me, I saw Mumford & Sons there just last week and to say that I was blown away is an understatement. I came home raving about something I very rarely rave about at concert venues: the seating. The stadium seating, all made out of concrete, is steep enough that no matter where you sit you still have an unobstructed view of the stage. I sat in the very last row of seats, in order to have a back rest, and the stage was as clear as Mumford's music. Even the lawn seats seemed closer than any other venue I have been to. I would suggest bringing some type of cushion or blanket to sit on since the seats are concrete. Also, if you don't want to slouch the entire time I suggest sitting in the very last row of stadium seats, or in the cement chairs (they look more like thrones) that separate the pit area from the rest of the stadium. The weather was incredibly cooperative. It did get a little chilly after the sun went down, however. If you do not want to be hit by direct sunlight as it is setting, I suggest sitting to the right of the stage because that side got shade first after sunset. I welcomed the fresh air and occasional breezes, especially after being cooped up in stuffy venues for the past two years. Parking was easy; there are at least two parking garages across the street from the Greek. Bring cash, though, because I paid $20 for the night. There is plenty of street parking but that is if you get there hours before the show starts. Or you can park in any of the various fraternity houses. They were only charging $10. If you want to beat the traffic when the show ends, you must leave early. Getting back to my car was fine, but I waited at least 20 minutes just to get back onto a main road. Security had blocked off the last half of Gayley, which caused a huge backup on Hearst. Summary: impeccable seating, good weather, easy parking, leave early to beat traffic. The Greek is now one of my favorite venues in the Bay Area.
You have to go here at least once...
Lily P. Mar 30, 2013
Or twice, or three times. Heck, go here as much as you can! The Greek Theatre is seriously amazing—the architecture, the acoustics, the ambiance, it has everything you need for a perfect concert experience. Except for the lack of seat cushions on the concrete benches, but who wants to sit when general admission lets you push your way to the front of the stage to dance the night away? However, if you’re getting sore or want to eat some of the Theatre’s pricey food without getting jostled too much, many people bring cushions and blankets which is also useful for chilly nights, and spreading out on the lawn in the back of the Theatre. There are no bad seats in this house so you can get as comfy as you want pretty much anywhere. The Greek is also completely open which provides heaps of fresh air compared to other stuffy venues. You can lie back with the dramatic night sky serving as a backdrop, and enjoy the music all thanks to the genius behind the beauty of the Greek Theatre.
The Perfect Concert Experience
Natalia B. Mar 28, 2013
The Greek Theatre is by far my favorite venue for shows. It's round infrastructure packs a punch with sound while the seating allows you to view the vast sea of people surrounding the stage. The concrete bench seating isn't the coziest, but once the band starts playing you'll most likely be on your feet anyway. The Greek is always general admission so you can move around to the ground floor, the other side, the lawn, go get a beer, whatever. Definitely check out the lawn view, especially during a sunset if possible. The view of the Bay Bridge and city is breathtaking. This is the type of venue that can give a serene feeling of oneness with people and nature.
The Best of Everything, All in One Place
Pia B. Feb 20, 2013
The Greek Theatre is a great university-run multi-purpose venue. It has the best of everything you could want when going to see a show: it’s large yet intimate, neither unbearably hot nor uncomfortably cold regardless of the season, and always hosts great performers. I’ve attended concerts there and this is one of my favorite venues. Its structure allows for an experience you typically don’t get, even at great places like UC Davis’s multimillion dollar Mondavi Center. Most large venues for more popular bands allow only standing room where the enclosed space becomes hot very quickly and concert-goers can be quite aggressive to get closer to the stage for a better view. Outdoor shows are great fun because they allow you to enjoy some fresh air and minimize the stuffy feeling you’ll get in a crowd; some of my favorite outdoor concerts have been at Golden Gate Park and the Monterey Fairgrounds, but none of them have the Greek-style amphitheater seating. Essentially, the Greek Theatre allows for three different ways to enjoy a show: near to the stage, where there is standing room, and although it gets you a bit closer, it has a tendency to turn into a mosh pit—only for those who are ok pushing and treading on some shoes for a better spot. Then there are the stone tiers arranged in a half-circle, and then the grassy areas above the Theatre. A lot of people peg this as the place you end up sitting if you didn’t get in on time, but I’ve seen people have a great time on their blankets, dancing and swaying on the grass. Even from the grassy areas which are a bit far from the stage, concert-goers can still see the videotron that is usually set up in the center of the stage. The stone seats are great, because almost any of those seats in the amphitheater provide a good view of the stage, although it’s advisable to bring a blanket for sitting as the stone can get pretty cold, especially as the sun sets. If you come early enough, (about in time to see the opening band), finding a seat shouldn’t be a problem. Another plus-side regarding the stone seats is that there is a much more relaxed atmosphere and enough room to comfortably enjoy a drink or eat a snack (which are also sold in the park, although the prices can be a bit exorbitant). For those who are driving to the Theatre, the best places to park are in the residential areas up the hill about two to three blocks away. It’s a little bit of the walk, but groups of people disperse very quickly and it is easy to get out of the crowd once heading back to your car. One tip: as most concert-goers know, marijuana is commonly used by other attendees. With the Greek Theatre I noticed that the most smoking goes on down below in the standing room crowd; something to keep in mind for those who might be offended or are trying to avoid it. Another great thing about the Theatre in general is that it books a large variety of performers. No matter what your tastes, in any given month, you can expect an event that will pique your interest.
Yes to The Greek
Britta G. Dec 8, 2012
The Greek Theater is probably the best place in the Bay Area for a summer concert, hands down. On a warm evening, with the sun setting in the distance, lively humans young and old surrounding you on the vast sloping lawn or steps leading to the stage, an epic band playing their heart out in front of your eyes... it really doesn't get much better. Get there early to claim your ideal spot. If you like to dance, I recommend the grassy area up top, where you can kick off your sneakers or boots and feel the earth under your toes as you rock out to live music. Perfection.
Jackie D. Dec 4, 2012
The Greek is one of my absolute favorite venues of all time. It's size provides for an intimate show that you can't find anywhere else and it also brings in some of the best artists around. I've seen both Florence and the Machine there as well as Kimbra and Foster the People and was able to stand in the front row and dance the night away. Shows are usually general admission and you can sit wherever you like. Standing area is the best because that's where everyone is really into the show and dancing. You can't really go wrong with sitting down either though because all of the seats provide great views and the acoustics here are incredible! Tickets are always super affordable for these shows. My big word of advice is to get here a few hours before doors if you want to stand in the front row, you never know who you may see before hand :)!
Everyone in my family has been to the Greek
Kt K. Nov 26, 2012
My parents saw the Grateful Dead there in the 70s, and I went to my first real concert there 2006 (Bloc Party). I've been to three others since at the Greek, and each enforces it as one of my favorite locations. The beautiful architecture, great sound quality, and expansive lower level are hard to beat. I definitely recommend a blanket for sitting on the grass or steps between sets, and it gets pretty cold at night. Bring cash for food and merch, especially the veggie burger! The Greek is a Berkeley classic that cannot be missed.
Dana G. Sep 28, 2012
A must see if you're in the Berkeley area. I drove by it for 9 months before I actually went to a show there and figured out I'd been driving by it for 9 months. It's all General Admission seating which is an amazing concept, and what's even better, there isn't a bad seat in the house. The sound is incredible no matter where you are, you can see the stage from anywhere (except if you're lying down too far on the lawn, as I discovered) and you can take mass transit to get there. A serious win-win for a bad driver like myself. Only downside, expensive beer. But hey, it's a concert venue and it's Berkeley, so what do you expect?
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