- Events will be held rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.
- The shows will happen on the beautiful, expansive lawn at The Downs.
- You may bring your own lawn chairs, blankets, etc. (Chairs are NOT provided!)
- Food & drinks will be available for purchase (including beer and wine).
- No outside food, beverages or coolers.
- You are welcome to bring one bottle of water per person.
- No pets allowed.
- Please refrain from smoking in the audience area.
- Shade structures are allowed, but must be set up behind the rest of the audience. If a shade structure or tent obstructs people's views, it'll have to be relocated behind the audience.
The year is 1997. The event is the Nations Futurity Cup, held annually at the Santa Fe Downs race course. Rounding the home stretch is Real Quiet, a promising two-year-old just beginning to find his legs while cutting his teeth in the Southwest racing circuit. The conditions are perfect. The sun is low on the horizon, a slight breeze rustles through the infield and the young thoroughbred with buckled knees wins by a length. The following year Real Quiet would win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to lose the Belmont and the Triple Crown by the slimmest margin in track history. That same year, The Downs of Santa Fe held its final race.
Today The Downs of Santa Fe is home to another form of entertainment: Music at the Downs. The newly formed partnership between AMP Concerts and the Pojoaque Pueblo feature a wonderful variety of the highest quality artists touring today. The well-maintained infield and perfect weather conditions that helped Real Quiet win the Nations Cup still prevail, and now conspire to give us a beautiful venue to enjoy some of the best music in New Mexico and Southern Colorado. The venue is unique to the area, providing the rare opportunity to enjoy stellar entertainment in a park-like setting. The large expanse of grass, rolling hills, ponds and trees create a lush, beautiful environment rarely found in our desert setting. It's cooler on the grass too. A perfect way to escape the Albuquerque summer heat!
Below are some things to keep in mind during your visit to The Downs.
The Downs is next to the very well marked Las Golondrinas. You can follow any of the brown signs to that historic park and find The Downs a stones throw south on the Frontage Road.
From Albuquerque: The Downs is located about 50 miles from Albuquerque along Interstate 25. You will want use Exit 271 (Be watchful. Not much there!) and join the Frontage Road on the west side of I-25, continuing north for 3.1 more miles. You will see The Downs entrance near a billboard. Turn left and proceed down the tree-lined drive. The parking lot will be straight ahead.
From Santa Fe: The Downs is located about 13 miles from Santa Fe town center. You can take I-25 south to exit 276 (NM-599). Drive to the W. Frontage road (same as Las Golondrinas) and continue south for about 1.2 miles. You may also decide to use NM-599 heading East depending on your location. You will see The Downs entrance near a billboard. Turn right and proceed down the tree-lined drive. The parking lot will be straight ahead.
There is ample, well-lighted parking in the main lot just a short walk from the infield where the events take place. The lot is gravel, well-groomed and used regularly for the weekly Flea Market and community soccer games. ADA parking is available closest to the infield. Parking attendants will be on hand at every show, and security is on-site at all times.
BOX OFFICE AND INFIELD ACCESS
Directly east of the parking lot you will find the paved pathway through the tunnel (under the track) leading to the concert location. On the way, you will pass the box office where you can pick up will-call tickets or make your last-minute ticket purchases. Staff will be on hand to help you find will-call, ticket sales or direct entry to the grounds. If you have Front Lawn access, you'll be wrist-banded at the entrance for access to the front stage section. This year, ID checks (for those interested in alcohol sales) will take place in the infield area. This will minimize lines and any delays in securing your seating.
The infield will appear like a grassy oasis once you emerge from the tunnel. The path is obvious and will take you toward the various sections. There are two seating areas - Front and Rear Lawn. All seating at the Downs is General Admission and "Lawn Style." This means that there are no seats provided, and ticket holders have the opportunity to choose their own seating area, on a first-come, first-claimed basis. You are encouraged to bring personal travel chairs, blankets, etc. Please keep the chairs low profile for the folks behind you. This works just like most well organized outdoor festivals. Bringing water is okay, but bringing pre-purchased food and alcohol is not permitted.
The Front Lawn is (are you ready for this?) located directly in front of the stage. Once you enter, grab any spot you like. Remember, chairs are not provided. You are welcome to bring any Downs-purchased items (including alcohol) back to your seating spot. So grab a beer and a bite and sit back to enjoy the show from the best seats in the house.
You will probably not be surprised to discover that the Rear Lawn is directly behind the Front Lawn. It too is General Admission. Remember, chairs are not provided. You are welcome to bring any Downs-purchased food and beverages (including alcohol) back to your seating spot.
FOOD AND DRINK
At each show there will be a variety of food and drink options. You are welcomed to bring a single sealed container of water to the event, but please, no other outside food or beverages. The Pueblo will be providing beer, wine and food at every show. Additionally, there will be local food vendors and a variety of local craft beers courtesy of the NM Brewers Guild. Check out individual show pages for more info on food, drink and vendors at each show.
Needless to say, consumption of alcohol at The Downs is restricted to individuals 21 and over with a valid idea. No matter your age, you will be asked to present an ID to receive a wristband and be able to purchase drinks. Anyone with a drink will need to have a wristband. Please have everyone in your party who intends to consume alcohol visit the banding stations to get a wristband. Under no circumstances should anyone provide alcohol to anybody under 21. Anyone found providing alcohol to a minor will be immediately escorted from the concert, with no return access or refunds.
All audience members are free to wander around the grounds and enjoy the manicured landscape. For everyone's safety, please refrain from entering the old grandstand area or the pond. Just keep it on the grass and everyone will be happy. You will not be required to show your ticket one inside the infield area, and like we mentioned above, you'll be able to do the required ID check at the alcohol sales location, so you can first secure your seat.
Bathrooms: There will be numerous clean and well-stocked Porta-Potties available throughout the infield area.
Lighting: The entire grounds will be adequately lit for safety and convenience. Some lighting systems may be turned off during the show for noise reduction and presentation enhancement. For exit, all pathways will be well lit, including the parking lot.
Trash: Ample trash cans and recycling will be available throughout the concert area, courtesy of "Keep Santa Fe Beautiful."
AMP Concerts and the Pojoaque Pueblo are working hard to make the Downs at Santa Fe the premiere showcase for great summer music in Northern New Mexico. Bugsy Siegel used to say that "Class and style are all that matter in life." As The Downs Partnership, we insist on excellence and are committed to bringing you, the music lover and our neighbor, the best quality in entertainment, facilities, concessions and a little bit of that extra magic that makes New Mexico so enchanting. We hope you'll join us for a show.