Everything to know about the Hollywood Bowl reopening after first closure in 98 years

Workers onstage at the Hollywood Bowl
Musicians and tech workers onstage at the Hollywood Bowl prepare for the first public concert in 18 months.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Tears welled up in eyes, audience members hugged. Emotion flowed as Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic played their first notes for a live Hollywood Bowl audience this week — part of a rehearsal attended by orchestra friends and family leading up to the Bowl’s first public concert of the COVID-19 era Saturday.

The journey to reach the weekend’s free concert for frontline workers in the pandemic has been tough, from the first L.A. Phil show cancellation March 12, 2020, to the triumphant announcement this week of a Bowl lineup of 45-plus shows. So many people — music fans, orchestra players, Bowl employees back on the job for the first time in 18 months, nurses and delivery drivers celebrating the light at the end of a very long tunnel — have waited for this moment. Here’s a rundown of how we got here.