Frost is back in the spotlight in 2019
Renovations to Frost Amphitheater are finished! The renewed Frost boasts a beautiful, state-of-the-art stage, better accessibility, and modern amenities for both audiences and performers. The revived Frost, which maintains the magic of the original amphitheater, opened in the spring of 2019.
Stanford Live is partnering with Goldenvoice and the San Francisco Symphony to present rock, pop and classical concerts as well as spoken-word performances in the inaugural season of this newly renovated venue in the university’s arts district.
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
In 2012, a strong partnership between the student-led Stanford Concert Network and campus administration established the Frost Music & Arts Festival, a spring festival of music and arts.
This annual event gave the community the chance to remember and reimagine what Frost could be. After several years of successful Frost Festivals, coupled with strong alumni and community interest, Frost underwent a large-scale revival that allows 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
- 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 allow Frost to live up to its iconic past—and fulfill the potential of its bright future. Frost is once again welcoming well-known names in music and hosting 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.