Location: Saugatuck River Banks
40 Jessup Road
Westport, CT 06880
The original Levitt Pavilion opened over four decades ago in the small town of Westport, Conn., transforming the town dump into a community gathering space for free concerts. Over the years, the programming evolved to include more than 50 free concerts every summer, and Levitt Westport’s long-term success as a community destination was the model for the permanent Levitt venue program.
In 1973, residents of Westport, Conn., wanted to build an outdoor stage that would serve as a gathering place for the community. The town donated its problematic landfill site located in the middle of Westport along the Saugatuck River, and a fund drive was launched. As summer residents of Westport, Mortimer and Mimi Levitt were approached to support the project, and they ultimately became the campaign’s largest private contributors. As a result, Westport named the new stage the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. Carrying memories of his impoverished childhood, Mortimer was passionately committed that performances at the pavilion be presented at no charge.
Since opening in 1974, Levitt Westport has served more than 1.5 million people. Artists who have graced the stage over the years include Delta Rae, Roomful of Blues, Frank Vignola Gypsy Jazz, Hank & Cupcakes, Sultans of String, the Connecticut Ballet, and GRAMMY-winning artists like Jose Feliciano, Kirk Whalum and Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience.
In July 2014, Levitt Pavilion Westport reopened following a year of construction with major capital support from the Levitt Foundation. The new venue features state-of-the-art amenities and services for audiences and artists alike, including a lush RiverWalk and picnic grove, perfect for pre-concert picnics and activities. Graceful, sail-shaped canopies cover the performance stage, with the beauty of the Saugatuck River as its background.