Frost is coming back into the spotlight in 2019
Renovations to Frost Amphitheater are currently underway! The renewed Frost will have a beautiful, state-of-the-art stage, better accessibility, and modern amenities for both audiences and performers. The revived Frost, which will still maintain the magic of the original amphitheater, is expected to open in spring of 2019.
Why the renovations? For decades, Frost hosted concerts by prominent musicians, speeches from visiting dignitaries, Stanford’s commencement ceremonies, and intimate university gatherings. But from the 1980s through early 2000s, Frost fell mostly silent. The increasing cost and complexity of hosting concerts and the lack of infrastructure at the venue meant the amphitheater was only used a few times a year.
“The revival of the beloved Frost Amphitheater will create an exceptional performance and gathering place…it will become a space where earlier generations and new audiences can experience the magic of its storied history.”
— Harry Elam
Vice President for the Arts
Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Then in 2012 a strong partnership between students and administration led to a Frost revival. The amphitheater welcomed another generation of musicians and fans to a nearly sold-out Frost Revival Music and Arts Festival, with popular rock band Modest Mouse headlining the event.
This gave the community the chance to remember and reimagine what Frost could be. Now, after several years of the Frost Music & Arts Festival, coupled with strong alumni and community interest, Frost is undergoing a large-scale revival that will allow it to support performances all year long.
Support the Future of Frost
Your generous donation will allow us to revive and renovate Frost, maintaining the magic of the original amphitheater while making much-needed improvements for audiences and performers.
Gifts of $1,000 or more will be recognized at Frost for the duration of the inaugural season.
Donors giving $25,000 and above will be honored on signage at the amphitheater in perpetuity.
Gifts of $150,000 to $10 million will allow donors to name selected spaces in this beloved venue.
Picturing Frost’s Future
Renovations to Frost will include:
- A stunning, state-of-the-art stage for an incredible range of performances, as well as university ceremonies and gatherings
- Improved, accessible entrances
- Modern amenities for audience members
- “Back-of-house” features for performers, including a spacious green room, dressing rooms, and more
These improvements will allow Frost to live up to its iconic past—and fulfill the potential of its bright future. Frost will welcome well-known names in music, dance, and theater and also host large university assemblies. Meaningful memories will be made again in this beautiful tree-lined venue in the heart of Stanford’s campus.
About the Architects
CAW Architects has designed and renovated many buildings on campus, including Roble Gym, the d.school, and the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking. Based in Palo Alto, CAW Architects also designs and revamps buildings on other nearby campuses and in towns and neighborhoods.
The Story Behind Frost
Frost opened in June 1937, gifted by the parents of John Laurence Frost, ’35, who died of polio just a few months after graduating. The 20-acre site was designed by Leslie Kiler, ’24, to echo the California foothills seen from campus.
From the inspiration of the curved hills came the creation of a sloped, bowl-like venue. The stage is nestled into trees at the bottom of the bowl’s curve, and the seating slopes uphill from there. The bowl structure allows for great views from all spots and amazing acoustics. These historical design features remain center stage in this next act for the amphitheater.
Stanford Live presents a wide range of performances from around the world, fostering a vibrant learning community and providing distinctive experiences through the performing arts. It draws on the breadth and depth of Stanford to connect performance to the significant issues, ideas, and discoveries of our time. Crucially, it supports the university’s focus on placing the arts at the heart of a Stanford education. Though Bing Concert Hall is the home of Stanford Live, some programming will be presented at Frost Amphitheater upon completion of the renovation project. Performances are also held at Memorial Auditorium and Memorial Church.