Some concert aficionados appreciate more than just whatever band or artist is on stage at the moment. Sometimes it is about the venue itself. It’s not strictly about acoustics either. An argument can be made that a true concert experience is the atmosphere of the venue and the surroundings. No matter how far technology has come, there is no way to recreate the beauty of a star-filled sky while enjoying a concert or the majesty of stunningly beautiful natural surroundings that add atmosphere to the music coming from the stage.
Some of the world’s top outdoor concert destinations combine all these elements into what amounts to a truly memorable concert experience.
Red Rocks Amphitheater, (near Denver Colorado)
Red Rocks has hosted a wide range of artists from U2 and Stevie Nicks to Diana Krall and John Tesh. Set in one of the most beautiful mountain parks in the North America, this definitely one unforgettable outdoor venue. Colorado’s famed red rocks area was formed almost 300 million years ago. The potential of this area, which nature seemed to sculpt, was first discovered in the early 1900s. The natural acoustics are said to be amazing. Add to that a breathtaking setting and some good music and you have a venue that really rocks!
The Gorge Amphitheater, (on the Columbia River in George, Washington)
David Bowie, Coldplay and Pearl Jam are just some of the artists who have discovered the stunning beauty and natural acoustics of this venue. The Gorge, nestled by sprawling Washington state mountains and the Columbia River, is known for lush, green lawn terrace and pleasant weather conditions. It is rarely too hot or too cold for an event here. Construction on the venue began in the early 1980s, before being completed in 1985. Many popular music festivals, including Ozzfest and the Warped Tour, also make stops at The Gorge.
Dalhalla (near Rattvik, Sweden)
This outdoor concert destination, is located in a former limestone quarry surrounded by a picturesque pine forest not far from Lake Siljan. Unique features include a moat separating the stage and the seats. The area itself is a popular holiday destination for Swedish travelers. The tranquil environment is a perfect match for a variety of opera, jazz and choral performances that are common here. The acoustical qualities are said to be among the best of any outdoor concert venue in Europe, maybe even the world. As many as 30 shows are held here from June through September.
Slane Castle (located in the town of Slane in Ireland)
This natural amphitheater is located on the grounds of historic Slane Castle. Sloping lawns created a perfect location for a concert venue. The concert area, featuring a view of the River Boyne, can seat upwards of 100,000 people. The weather can be unpredictable, but it is worth the trek for the amazing view of what appears to be a never-ending valley and fields of green. Artists such as U2, Thin Lizzy and Bob Dylan have performed on the castle grounds. Even Madonna has discovered this little piece of Irish paradise. When not enjoying a concert, feel free to take a tour of the mysterious castle ruins. Ancient battlegrounds and monuments can also be found on the grounds of this iconic castle. The quality of the acoustics varies, but is usually decent for most shows.
Wembley Stadium (London, England)
The updated stadium is still as impressive as the original that attracted artists such as Michael Jackson and Tina Turner. The former twin towers have been replaced by a high steel arch that towers above nearly 100,000 fans. The new stadium, designed by Foster and Partners and Populous, includes a partially retractable roof. Aside from serving as host for the 2012 Olympics, Wembley remains a major concert venue. Bon Jovi, Green Day, U2 and Muse have all performed here. The original stadium hosted Live Aid in 1985. The new stadium hosted the Concert for Diana in 2007, featuring a performance by Duran Duran. The stadium remains a spectacular concert destination.
Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia)
Designed in 1957 by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the world famous Sydney Opera House is considered one of the finest outdoor concert destinations in the world today. The famed opera house overlooks Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbor. Finally completed in 1973, the venue attracts more than 7 million visitors a year. Considered a modern expressionist design, the opera house is characterized by what is referred to as a shell roof. The concert hall, seating more than 2,600, is home to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Additional facilities, such as a studio and playhouse, are located within the venue.
About The Author: Nancy Zimmer writes for TicketLiquidator.com, a website dedicated to helping event-goers find the best concert tickets