5 of the Best Outdoor Music Venues in the US and Who to See Perform There This Summer

It’s summer. Time for live music and getting outdoors. Any concert you can see outside is amazing, but here are some of our favorite outdoor venues in the US, ranging from seaside to the mountainside, east coast to west coast, and massive to intimate. We’ll tell ya who’s playing there this summer that we’d like to go see!

1- Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, Colorado

This was an obvious choice, guys. But you just cannot beat the sheer beauty of nature in this stunningly scenic venue. Just outside of Denver, with only 9,000 seats, it’s a favorite of jam bands like the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, and Widespread Panic. The red sandstone rocks that tower around the stage aren’t just great to look at either – reportedly the acoustics are perfection. Red Rocks attracts an array of diverse artists, but here’s who we’d like to see there this year:

The String Cheese Incident – July 20-23

Halsey – July 30

30 Years of Reggae on the Rocks – August 25-26

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – September 3

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour – September 26


2 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, California

Located in the Hollywood Hills, it’s a public park, music venue, and picnic ground all in one. The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the US and has played host to icons like Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and The Beatles. The shell design was created in 1929 and has been improved over the years for better sound quality. Whether you want to watch the LA Philharmonic Orchestra or Post Malone, this venue is classic and amazing. There’s even a free museum on-site where you can check out some of the legends who have performed there. What’s on for summer 2018?

Bon Iver and TU Dance – August 5

Dave Matthews Band – September 10

Florence + The Machine – September 25

Beck – September 28


3 – The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, Washington

Another naturally beautiful setting, this amphitheater and campground was originally a small winery overlooking the Columbia River and nearby Cascade Mountains. With over 27,000 seats, it’s now an absolutely huge concert venue! There’s a reason it hosts the annual Sasquatch! Music Festival, Watershed Festival, Bass Canyon Festival, and the new Paradiso Festival. Arguably one of the most impressive outdoor venues in the world, there’s not a bad seat in the house, including the lawn tickets. Expect on-site camping and glamping, high-end food trucks, craft beers, and wine. Here’s who we’d go see this season:

Phish – July 20-22

Watershed Festival – August 3-5

The Avett Brothers – September 15

Journey & Def Leppard – September 29


✨Summer Nights✨#greektheatre #losangeles #griffithpark 📸 @michelleshiers

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4 – The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, California

Ah dammit, another one in LA! Yeah, we know. But this one is a true icon. You’ve seen Get Him to the Greek, right? Well, it’s so much more than that! This low-key yet famous venue only holds 5,800 folks and it was built using Greek-style architecture (thus the name). With great views and surrounding parks in such an intimate setting, you’ll feel pretty exclusive seeing a show here. The theatre first opened in 1903 for a UC Berkeley production of The Birds, and now it’s a magnet for indie artists, theatrical performances, and musicals. Here are a few awesome performances there this summer:

Freestyle Summer Festival with Salt-N-Pepa – July 21

Steve Miller Band – August 11

Dispatch – August 16

Brandi Carlile – August 17

Arcade Fire – September 20



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5 – Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, New York

Okay, all you East Coasters, we didn’t forget you. This impressive venue sits right on the water of Zachs Bay in Long Island with 20,000 seats. Its location made it a target for Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, but after lots of work to repair the extensive flooding and damage, it was back in business relatively soon. Jones Beach Theater hosts big-time concerts as well as theatrical productions, though today lots of rowdy (redneck?) crowds are known to show up for rock, country, and beach music shows. It’s an easy trek from NYC to this venue for the day, and you can’t beat that waterfront setting! Here’s what we’d go see (don’t judge):

Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum – July 19

Kesha and Macklemore – July 30

Jimmy Buffett – August 2

Brad Paisley – August 10

Counting Crows – August 22

Where’s your favorite outdoor music venue for summer concerts?