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Early Bird Special: Hollywood Bowl

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There are countless reasons to love the Hollywood Bowl: the outdoor ambience tucked in the so-close-yet-so-far-away Hollywood Hills; bring your own... whatever you want; great sound and big screens that you can see no matter where you're seated.

Best of all, if you act quickly you'll get to many more shows for far less money. Here's how:

You can purchase tickets RIGHT NOW (as long as you purchase for at least 5 events). General on-sale date is May 8 but by then, the "cheap seats" (from $1 - $20 depending on the show) will be sold out. So why would you want to climb all the way to the top of the Hollywood Bowl and sit on benches? Let's be honest here, As long as you're not sitting in the fancy boxes or the orchestra pit, you're already too far away to make out much of what happens on stage without binoculars or the well-located big screens at either side of the stage. Plus, recent history has proven that the real party takes place at the back of the bus.

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Using this philosophy, we purchased a pair of tix for 5 events for a grand total of $66 (that's after the $20 service charge). In this unique arrangement, the service charge is PER ORDER, not per ticket as is usual with Ticketmaster, so this is another thing to take advantage of (of course, it doesn't take a math genius to note that we paid a nearly 50% surcharge on our order, but the charge would have been the same for 10 events and more expensive seats).

The Bowl is also throwing in a pair of "bench tickets to select concerts" for those that take advantage of purchasing in advance. Only tickets in Sections Q-V are eligible for this freebie (meaning, no free tix if you buy at the cheapest level as we did above [some Section X tickets were only $1]). We never thought we'd use the terms "Ticketmaster" and "deal" in the same phrase... but is this an awesome deal or what?!?

Here's the order form to get you started. Go crazy, you can always remove extra events before you're charged. Full 2007 Hollywood Bowl Schedule posted after the jump, some of our choice picks in bold.

photo by Evan G via flickr

June 15-16 -- Playboy Jazz Fest -- tix aren't available for this yet as it's not part of the deal, but this is probably the funnest jazz fest in LA: This year; Etta James, Buddy Guy, Angélique Kidjo, the Count Basie Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, emcee'd by The Cos... (more info here).

Fri. Jun 22 -- Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; Plácido Domingo, 2007 Hall of Fame Inductee; John Mauceri, 2007 Hall of Fame Inductee

Sat. Jun 23 -- 18th Annual MARIACHI USA Festival [Not part of Encore promotion]

Sun Jun 24 -- Jurassic 5; Carlinhos Brown; Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

Sat. Jun 30 -- Sing-A-Long Sound of Music

July 2-4 -- July 4th Fireworks Spectacular Los Angeles Philharmonic; Edwin Outwater, conductor; Riders in the Sky,

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Sat. Jul 7 -- The Decemberists with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Band of Horses

Sun. Jul 8 -- Mozart's The Magic Flute

Tue Jul 10 -- Shaham's Tchaikovsky Fireworks

Wed Jul 11 -- Queen Latifah

Thu Jul 12 -- Haefliger Plays Ravel

Jul 13-14 -- John Williams: Maestro of the Movies

Sun Jul 15 -- Café Tacuba; Groove Armada;

Tue Jul 17 -- Classics Under the Stars

Wed Jul 18 -- Southern Soul: 50 Years of Stax, with Isaac Hayes; William Bell; Mable John; Booker T Jones,

Thu Jul 19 -- Beethoven & Brahms
Jul 20-21 -- Cool Britannia! with Jamie Cullum

Sun. Jul 22 -- Savion Glover: On Tap, w/ Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Tue. Jul 24 -- Spanish Nights
Wed. Jul 25 -- Jazz at the Movies, w/ Christian McBride
Thu Jul 26 -- Chang Plays Bruch
Jul 27-28 -- Viva Las Vegas: An Evening with Gladys Knight w/ Orchestra (and Wayne Brady)
Sun. Jul 29 -- Spirit of Armenia!
Tue Jul 31 -- Beethoven's Ninth

Thu Aug 2 -- Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, LA Phil w/ Gore Vidal - speaker

Aug 3-5 -- South Pacific with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell
Tues Aug 7 -- The Grand Tour: London -- Handel, Haydn, Mozart

Wed Aug 8 -- Benny Carter's 100 Years of Music - Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchetra w/ guests Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Listen James Moody; Roy Hargrove; Russell Malone; Marlena Shaw;

Thu Aug 9 -- The Grand Tour: Venice - Mozart, Vivaldi

Aug 10-11 -- Sgt. Pepper's at 40...a Beatles Celebration w/ Hollywood Bowl Orchestra & special guests Cheap Trick

Sun Aug 12 -- Reggae Night VI -- Burning Spear; Sly & Robbie; The Taxi Gang, with Horace Andy and Cherine Anderson; Wailing Souls Reunion;

Tues Aug 14 -- The Grand Tour: Paris

Wed Aug 15 -- Guitar Night -- Lee Ritenour & Friends (Dave Grusin, Patrice Rushen, Brian Bromberg, Alex Acuña); John Scofield; Lionel Loueke and Gilfema

Thu Aug 16 -- The Grand Tour: Mozart in Vienna
Aug 17-18 -- From This Moment On: An Evening with Diana Krall w/ Orchestra
Sun Aug 19 -- JVC "Jazz" -- Dave Koz & Friends; Earl Klugh; Summer Romance Starring Jim Brickman & Michael Lington
Tues Aug 21 -- Dvorák and Prokofiev
Wed Aug 22 -- Jazz on a String, with Bruce Hornsby Trio, featuring Christian McBride and Jack DeJohnette; Dave Brubeck; Madeleine Peyroux
Thu Aug 23 -- French Masters

Aug 24-25 -- Jump, Jive and Swing! with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy & the HOllywood Bowl Orchestra

Sun Aug 26 -- Macy Gray; Zap Mama Listen Brazilian Girls

Tue Aug 28 -- The Russians Are Coming

Wed Aug 29 -- Nancy Wilson 70th Birthday Celebration -- Nancy Wilson; Regina Carter, special guest; Kurt Elling, special guest; Nnenna Freelon, special guest; Arsenio Hall, host; Ramsey Lewis

Thu Aug 30 -- The Russians Are Coming
Aug 31 - Sep 1 -- The Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks

Sun Sept 2 -- The Big Picture: The Films of Paramount Pictures
Tue Sept 4 -- Diavolo Dances Salonen
Wed Sep 5 -- B.B. King Blues Fest -- B.B. King; Robert Randolph & The Family Band; James Hunter
Thu Sept 6 -- Boris at the Bowl
Sep 7-8 -- Daryl Hall & John Oates; The Spinners
Sun Sep 9 -- Paul Oakenfold with special guest Carmen Rizzo
Tue Sep 11 -- American Originals
Thu Sep 13 -- From the Old World to the New

Sep 14-16 -- Fireworks Finale: Pink Martini at the Cocoanut Grove (NOT INCLUDED in ENCORE deal

Sept 23 -- Rufus Wainwright Plays Judy Garland: Live at the Hollywood Bowl