Our Nine Favorite Outdoor Concert Venues

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This weekend, thousands of sweaty fans will take their first stroll down down Shakedown Street as the 10th anniversary of Bonnaroo takes over Manchester. And with the month’s skyrocketing temperatures, it’s hard to believe that we’re still a little over a week away from the official start of summer. Luke-warm beer, spontaneous outdoor concerts and midnight pool parties are just around the corner and since it’s still technically spring, why not use the extra week to plan a few amphitheater-bound road trips? To help flesh-out your itinerary, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite outdoor concert destinations.


9. Alpine Valley Music Theatre
East Troy, Wisconsin
With room for 37 thousand and a location that provides easy access from Madison, Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago, Alpine Valley is a prime concert destination. The venue’s lawn is relatively steep, so most concertgoers enjoy admirable sight-lines, and the pavilion boasts a wooden roof which allows for excellent acoustics.

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8. Starlight City
Kansas City, Missouri
Built in 1949, Missouri’s Starlight Theatre is one of only three remaining self-producing outdoor theatres in the country. In addition to hosting numerous theatre productions, the venue also features multiple concerts, recently presenting a dual-performance from The National and Arcade Fire.


7. Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Chula Vista, California
Originally named the Coors Amphitheater, the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater is the largest of its kind in the San Diego area. Situated on a pristine lawn, the venue has hosted everyone from Gogol Bordello to John Mayer.


6. Verizon Wireless Music Center
Noblesville, Indiana
Nestled in the rows of cornfields that occupy central Indiana, this music center offers optional camping in addition to its excellent concert experiences. Formally known as Deer Creek, the venue has earned a slew of loyal attendees.


5. Shoreline, Amphitheatre
Mountain View, California
While some claim that it boasts the most beautiful tent in the world, Shoreline also offers its attendees a cozy lawn to stretch-out on and enjoy one the venue’s many shows. Adding to its charm, Bill Graham, one of the theatre’s biggest supporters, designed its tents with the Grateful Dead’s “steal your face” image in mind.


4. Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, Maryland
Originally designed to be a summer home for the National Symphony Orchestra, the pavilion is now one of the country’s most popular concert destinations. Both The Who and Jimi Hendrix took the stage at Merriweather, and Animal Collective chose the venue as the namesake for the band’s eighth studio album.


3. The Greek Theatre
Berkeley, California
The marble pillars of Berkeley’s oval shaped theatre have served as the backdrop for countless events, framing the picturesque venue’s relaxed vibe and excellent acoustics.


2. Gorge Amphitheatre
George, Washington
Tucked deep within its breathtaking natural surroundings, the only thing better than seeing your favorite band at the Gorge, is partaking in its available camping. Hosting the annual Sasquatch! Festival, the theatre is also a frequent stop for many national tours.

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1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Morrison, Colorado
The photos of Red Rocks say it all. In addition to it’s breathtaking location just 30 minutes outside of Denver, the geologically formed Colorado venue boasts some of the best acoustics in the country.

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