Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a rock structure in Red Rocks Park near Morrison, Colorado (west of Denver), where concerts are given in the open-air amphitheatre. There is a large, tilted, disc-shaped rock behind the stage, a huge vertical rock angled outwards from stage right, several large boulders angled outwards from stage left and a seating area for up to 9,450 people in between. The amphitheatre is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, Colorado.
Public, organizational and private performances have been held at Red Rocks for over 100 years. Likely used by the Ute tribe in earlier times, the earliest documented performance at the amphitheatre was the Grand Opening of the Garden of the Titans, put on by famed editor John Brisben Walker on May 31, 1906. Featuring Pietro Satriano and his 25-piece brass band, it was the formal opening of the natural amphitheatre for use by the general public after Walker purchased it with the proceeds of his sale of Cosmopolitan Magazine.
The Gorge: George, WA
Diamond Head Crater: Oahu Hawaii
The most famous volcanic crater in the world is Diamond Head, located on the South-east Coast of O’ahu at the end of Waikiki overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was originally named Laeahi by the ancient Hawaiians. The name meant “brow of the tuna” and looking at the silhouette of the crater from Waikiki, you can see the resemblance. The current name came was given to the crater by British sailors in the 1800’s. When they first saw the crater at a great distance, the calcite crystals in the lava rock appeared to glimmer in the sunlight.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Jimi Hendrix and other top acts rocked out in Diamond Head Crater, the iconic extinct volcano located just east of Waikiki. A natural amphitheatre with fine acoustics, the crater rivaled Red Rocks, the Shoreline and other classic outdoor venues.
The extinct volcano shut down as a music venue after wild fans reportedly set fires and vandalized the state monument in 1978. In 1996 the venue reopened to host the Diamond Head Festival and a few other concerts.
Slane Castle, Ireland
Slane Castle located in Slane village, County Meath, in Ireland.
Situated in the Boyne valley overlooking the River Boyne just a few miles upstream from the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne, Slane Castle in its existing form was reconstructed under the direction of William Burton Conyngham, together with his nephew the first Marquess Conyngham.
Wolftrap Filene Center, Vienna Virginia
Wolftrap may not be the most impressive venue on this list, with regards to size and location, but it holds a special place in my heart. It’s also one of the few venue’s that allows you to bring in your own BEER!
Located at America’s National Park for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap’s majestic Filene Center provides the Washington, DC metropolitan area with a magical outdoor venue for world-class performances of every genre. Operated in partnership with the National Park Service, the Filene Center houses over 90 performances annually from late May to early September.
The Filene Center opened in 1971 and was designed to be in harmony with the idyllic setting of the National Park in which it is situated. On April 4, 1982, a fire completely destroyed the facility, and a temporary structure was quickly constructed in Wolf Trap’s sprawling meadow. Both the 1982 and 1983 seasons were held in this ‘Meadow Center’ while the Filene Center was rebuilt.
The new, and current, structure was built of Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine. A little over half of the seating, nearly 4,000, is under cover with open sides that look out onto the tall trees and rolling hills of the park. The remainder of the seating is uncovered on a sloping lawn where patrons can bring picnics to enjoy before and during the performance.