10 stunning outdoor concert halls in the United States
Concert halls are usually defined by their list of past acts and their ability to draw current chart tops. In a few cases, however, a stage environment can steal the show, such as these open-air concert halls where the incredible views and idyllic natural surroundings are an important part of the experience. Some of these places in the forest, by the sea or on top of a mountain have become must-see places for artists and fans, while others are still relatively unknown to everyone except music fans. the most dedicated.
Here are 10 outdoor concert halls in the United States with incredible natural surroundings.
Jones Beach Theater (New York)
First opened as the Jones Beach Marine Theater in 1952, this Long Island amphitheater is owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Sponsored since 2017 by Northwell Health, this 15,000-seat venue is known as Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater.
The original structure included a stage on the water and the performers were to be transported there by boat. Jones Beach has played a major role in the careers of some of America’s best-known artists. Summer brings performances from popular names of pop and rock.
Music is not the only reason for making the trip, however. The living room area overlooks vistas of adjacent Zachs Bay, State Park and 6.5 miles of beach on Jones Beach Island. The island is connected to Long Island by several ocean walks.
Red Rocks Amphitheater (Colorado)
The sandstone tiles of the same name in this hall create the perfect acoustics for concerts. Located in Morrison, not far from Denver, Red Rocks hosted its first performance in 1906 and has seen a wide variety of acts over the years. The early 20th century performances took place on a temporary stage, and the amphitheater itself opened in 1941. Despite its notoriety, it is a relatively small venue: it can only accommodate 9,500. people.
The cinematic environment, easily seen from the 6,500 feet above sea level, steals the show at Red Rocks, but the property is about much more than the amphitheater. Red Rocks Park covers 738 acres, and in 2015 Red Rocks Park, including its amphitheater, was named a National historic monument.
Gorge Amphitheater (Washington)
The Gorge Amphitheater opened in George, Washington, in 1986. It is conveniently located about 150 miles from Seattle and a similar distance from Spokane. The theater overlooks the Columbia River, the foothills of the Cascade, and the venue’s namesake, the Columbia River Gorge.
Due to its location, the Gorge Amphitheater is often used for multi-day festivals. Fans can stay at the campground adjacent to the site. With a capacity of more than 20,000 seats, the Gorge presents the best artists.
Hollywood Bowl (California)
Perhaps a little less scenic but certainly more famous than some of the other places on this list, the Hollywood Bowl is in the Hollywood Hills. The easily recognizable Hollywood sign is in the background behind the iconic bandshell. The “bowl” in the title refers to the natural depression in which the site was built in the 1920s. The capacity is around 18,000 people, but in the early years of existence a much smaller audience s ‘s seated on temporary benches and the acts were performed on makeshift stages.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays its summer season here, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association oversees the operations of the venue. Traditional musical acts are on the calendar, and legends like the Rolling Stones, Louis Armstrong, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald and The Doors are a part of Bowl history. A museum on site gives an overview of past artists.
Ravinia Park Pavilion (Illinois)
Ravinia Park welcomes what has become America the oldest open-air music festival. The Ravinia Festival, which takes place during the summer (June to September), held its first event in 1905. The park, located in Highland Park in north Chicago, takes its name from the ravines that lead to Lake Michigan. During the summer, various tents are set up inside the 36-acre green space, but the main stage is the 3,400-seat pavilion, an open-air theater with traditional seating and lawn seating.
Lawns, gardens and wooded landscapes make it look more like a park than a concert hall. Indeed, participants will often choose to sit on the lawns with a picnic while listening to music. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a regular at the festival grounds, although the calendar features a wide range of genres, including folk, jazz, blues, pop, and rock. Ravinia hosts around 120 events per year.
Mountain Winery (California)
The Mountain Winery was founded in the Santa Clara Valley of California in the early 1900s by famous winemaker Paul Masson. After the damage caused by the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and later the ban, production stopped and the winery took a hiatus. In the 1950s, new owners built a concert bowl and started a musical series with the surrounding farmland and classical architecture as the backdrop for the performances. Famous artists like Ray Charles, Diana Ross and Willie Nelson have performed on this stage over the years.
The Bowl is an intimate space, with seating for just 2,500 people. The theater is framed by the original winery building, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The location being higher, attendees can enjoy vistas of the Santa Clara Valley as well as on stage. .
Wolf Trap National Park (Virginia)
National parks are not usually associated with concerts, but concerts are the main event at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Fairfax County, Virginia. Philanthropist Catherine Filene Shouse donated the land to the National Park Service in the 1960s because she wanted to protect it from urban sprawl. Originally called Wolf Trap Farm Park (the name was changed in 2002), the property was the first and remains the only national park for the performing arts.
The main stage of Wolf Trap is the Filene Center, a partially covered space that can accommodate around 7,000 people. Half of the participants sit in a covered pavilion and half can sit on the lawns behind this area. Performances have included operas, folk music festivals, ballet, jazz, and symphonies (including performances by the National Symphony Orchestra). Besides the Filene Center, Wolf Trap has a children’s theater.
Mishawaka Amphitheater (Colorado)
Located in the mountains about half an hour from Fort Collins, Colorado, the Mishawaka Amphitheater (“the Mish”) has been hosting concerts since 1916. The venue sits on a bank of the Cache la Poudre River. The shows take place on a small log cabin-like stage, where up to 1,000 people can enjoy the river and mountains clearly visible in the background.
The Mish also has a restaurant open all year round. Despite its rural location, the place attracts top talent. Joan Baez, George Clinton, Jonny Lang and other folk, rock and blues artists have taken the stage here. The venue also reserves local and regional acts from Fort Collins and other local Colorado music venues.
Located in the Berkshire Hills of west-central Massachusetts, Tanglewood has been the summer base of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since the 1930s. Due to its history and musical training programs, this area is most often associated with music. classic. However, it also hosts acts of pop, jazz, and folk.
Tanglewood has rooms with indoor and covered seating as well as additional seating on the lawn. The former Koussevitzky Music Hall (1938) and the newer Seiji Ozawa Hall (1994) provide seating on the lawn during the summer. Smaller venues, such as the Chamber Music Hall, also host concerts, and sometimes students from one of the music academies will perform directly on the lawn.
Empire Polo Grounds (California)
The Empire Polo Grounds, as the name suggests, is a facility for polo matches. Located in Riverside County, about 45 minutes from Palm Springs and two hours from Los Angeles, Empire has been leasing its grounds since the 1990s from the concert company that controls the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its country music counterpart. , the Stagecoach Festival. Coachella, one of the world’s most famous and profitable festivals, has been held here since 1999. The grounds have also hosted one-off festivals.
The Coachella Valley is a desert surrounded by the San Bernardino, Santa Rosa, and San Jacinto mountain ranges. This means that there are views in all directions and little of the valley floor other than the stages and the tents to obstruct these vistas.