7 places where the scenery is as exciting as the music
These open-air music venues excite the eyes as well as the ears.
Going to see a hot band, being a part of a fantastic music festival, or enjoying stunning outdoor venue can turn a good concert into a great one. Panoramic views provide an unforgettable backdrop while countless stars above play into the overall ambiance. We’ve picked seven jaw-dropping open-air venues from around the world that you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado
Nestled in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks Amphitheater sits 6,450 feet above sea level. The towering rocky red slates positioned on each side of the coliseum-style seating area provides pristine acoustics, making Red Rocks one of the most celebrated amphitheaters in the world. This venue presents a magical stage for musicians of all genres. Some of the most prominent figures to play at Red Rocks Amphitheater include The Beatles, U2, James Taylor, The Eagles, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons, who produced the concert DVD "The Road to Red Rocks" summarizing their emotionally charged two-night debut at the venue. Red Rocks Amphitheater is open year-round.
Sultan’s Pool, Jerusalem, Israel
The main stage at Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem. (Photo: Avital Pinnick/Flickr)
Sultan’s Pool rests at the edge of the Henom Valley beneath the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. Before becoming Jerusalem’s most distinguished venue for musicians, Sultan’s Pool had been a source of water since ancient times. Today, the venue hosts a wide variety of concerts throughout the year with festivals in the fall, during the dry season. The reservoir measures 220 feet by 554 feet, and is about 40 feet deep when filled.
The venue has hosted talented artists like Israeli jazz musician Miki Gavrielov and American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Sultan’s Pool also ceremoniously kicks off the Jerusalem Film Festival with a movie screening under the stars. No matter what you're seeing, though, being 40 feet below the streets of Jerusalem's Old City makes for a breathtaking view.
Dalhalla, Dalarna, Sweden
Arcade Fire plays at the Dalhalla Ampitheater in Sweden. (Photo: KJ Vogelius/Flickr)
Located at the base of an epic retired limestone quarry, the Dalhalla open-air stage in Dalarna, Sweden draws in concertgoers for a truly spectacular experience. The white textured cliffs behind the stage beautifully contrast with the emerald green waters underneath. Dalhalla hosts a variety of concerts from opera to pop to rock. From its scenic views to its outstanding acoustics, Dalhalla is recognized as one of the best open-air music venues in the world.
Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Meredith, Australia
The Golden Plains Music Festival at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre in Meredith, Australia. (Photo: tony proudfoot/Flickr)
Welcoming thousands of music junkies in December for the Meredith Music Festival and in March for the Golden Plains Festival, the grounds surrounding Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre become an epic escape to musical bliss. The natural amphitheatre is situated on a farm 60 miles west of Melbourne, Australia. Massive pine trees canopy over the stage while a grove of enormous ghost gum trees provide desired shade to concertgoers. The popular upcoming festivals are both sold out.
The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Washington
Phish at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash. (Photo: Lee LeFever/Flickr)
Overlooking the scenic Columbia River in Washington, concertgoers get comfy on the lawn terrace with 20,000 of their closest friends. Recognized by Pollstar Magazine as “one of the most beautiful outdoor venues” and by Rolling Stone as “one of the best amphitheaters in America," the Gorge brings in a large variety of talented musicians and hosts a number of festivals throughout the concert season. Prominent musicians having graced the stage include Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack White, Beck, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons. Famous festivals that have at one point called the Gorge home include Lollapalooza, Ozzfest, Honda Civic Tour, Vans Warped Tour and Sasquatch! Music Festival.
Slane Castle, Meath, Ireland
Slane Castle (Photo: Jimmy Harris/Flickr)
Home of the esteemed concert series known as Slane, the lush sloping grounds of the Slane Castle property provide a natural amphitheater. Nearly every year since 1981, 70,000 to 110,000 music lovers gather on the hillside overlooking the castle to watch groundbreaking performances. Slane Castle has welcomed some of the most talented musicians in the world including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen, Guns ‘n’ Roses, U2, Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Slane Castle is located 28 miles northwest of Dublin, Ireland.
Ross Bandstand, West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Ross Bandstand at Edinburgh's West Princes Street Gardens. (Photo: Cameron King/Flickr)
Situated in the West Princes Street Gardens, the Ross Bandstand theater hosts a vast array of musical performances. This open-air venue offers its audience a stunning backdrop of rolling hills and the Edinburgh Castle. Every year, the Edinburgh International Festival at the Princes Street Gardens ends with the coveted 45-minute fireworks show. While the show illuminates the sky, offering fantastic silhouettes of the castle, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra produces an accompanying soundtrack on the Ross Bandstand.
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