With summer right around the corner, we’re spending more time outdoors. We’re planning camping trips, garden parties, picnics – and, of course, visits to America’s most incredible outdoor concert venues. Here are some places we’d love to hear our favorite bands play this summer:
Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, Colorado
Although it was just officially declared a National Historic Landmark last year, Red Rocks has long been considered a national treasure. Rows of outdoor seating sit within a natural amphitheatre of giant red rocks that look like something out of a sci-fi film. Along with amazing acoustics, the landmark boasts an onsite museum displaying dinosaur fossils and other artifacts.
Cumberland Caverns – McMinnville, Tennessee
So this particular venue isn’t technically “outdoors,” as it is in fact located underground – but how could we leave it off the list? Cumberland Caverns, a U.S. National Natural Landmark and Tennessee’s largest show cave, has been the subject of countless television shows and documentaries – and as soon as you see it, you won’t wonder why. The virtually perfect, natural acoustics and remarkable atmosphere make it an unforgettable concert venue.
Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, Missouri
Probably the most “manmade” venue on this list, the Starlight Theatre is no less stunning for it. In fact, the historic architecture of the place is what makes it so incredible. In 1925, Queen Marie of Romania paid a visit to Kansas City and to celebrate the occasion, the city organized a showcase of local talent – and the massive success of the event led to the construction of an outdoor concert venue that vaguely resembles a European castle. To this day it remains one of two self-producing outdoor theatres in the United States.
The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, Washington
A 27,500-seat concert venue that has hosted some of the greatest international performers, The Gorge has got one of the most scenic stages in the world. It has won countless awards for its majesty and offers visitors sweeping views of the Columbia River, Cascade Foothills, Kittitas County, Grant County and the Columbia Gorge Canyon. Even if it wasn’t a concert venue, it would be worth the trip.
Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, New York
One of two major outdoor arenas in the New York metropolitan area, Jones Beach is beloved for its spectacular views of the sea – and for its whimsical history. The venue’s original design actually featured a moat and performers were brought to the stage by boat (there was even sometimes floating scenery.) And while it was originally constructed to host musicals, Jones Beach has since been the site of many popular events.
Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater – Park City, Utah
If you’ve ever been to Utah in the summer, you know how beautiful it is – and this outdoor concert venue perfectly showcases its scenic splendor. It features a full calendar of events each summer season; from the Utah Symphony to the Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series, there is something for everyone.
Kualoa Ranch – Kaneohe, Hawaii
The Concert Pasture at Kualoa Ranch covers five acres of stunning scenery on the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. It can accommodate up to 12,000 concert-goers who, along with great live music, enjoy panoramic views of soaring, rainforest-covered mountains and the crystal-clear Pacific Ocean. The Concert Pasture is a popular venue for larger concerts and festivals; meanwhile, other parts of Kualoa Ranch, meanwhile, offer everything from zip line adventures to horseback riding.
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park – Live Oak, Florida
Nestled amid Spanish moss along the Suwannee River, the Spirit of Suwannee is a bit off the beaten path but more than worth the trek. It’s home to several major annual festivals and events; however, it manages to maintain a reputation for being a hidden gem – and allows all who visit to feel as though they have just discovered something truly special.
For more fun updates from the American music industry, be sure to keep checking back with us at HillTop Records – and enjoy the summer concert season!