Whats up, Left Coast? I have finally gotten all of the red dirt out of my belongings. But I am still reeling over the incredible sunburn I received in the shape of a car seat on my shoulders. Utah was a blast. But I am more than happy to be out of the 103 degree sun and back in my home state. While Colorado does not get as hot as Utah does, it definitely gets as sunny. Did you know that the Metro area of Colorado (Denver) gets over 300 days of sunshine? That’s more than San Diego AND Miami Beach!
All of that Colorado sunshine provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy music in outdoor settings such as patios, riverbanks and famous (life-changing) music venues located all around the state. My five favorite venues for the summer are ranked below. Tell me some of your favorites venues in the comments!
5. Paramount Theater in Denver, CO
The only reason this vintage theater is not ranked higher on my list is because it is indoors. And sometimes features shows that are a little too eclectic for my tastes. BUT, with that being said, this 1,700 person venue is famous for hosting legendary shows and has been around for longer than most people can remember. Almost 100 years after opening its doors (1930 was a long time ago friends), it is still decorated and preserved in all its glory. Imagine listening to icons such as Billy Idol or comedians like William Shatner. I’m a sucker for old buildings and a good story; the Paramount makes for both.
4. Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO
I know, I KNOW: I lied. Here is another old indoor theater that but YOU GUYS: this one is older, larger, and one of the coolest places you’ll ever listen to live music! Built in 1903, this venue provides big name tours in a smaller amphitheater with a stadium feel. 3,700 people fill this auditorium year round for concerts and private events. Some of the more notable acts touring through this summer include Dua Lipa, Tech N9ne, The Roots, 3 Doors Down & Alice in Chains.
3. Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, CO
While I may be a little biased considering this venue is in my hometown, that does not mean it’s not worthy of making this very official-important-be-all-end-all list of Colorado music venues. Located at the base of Vail Ski Resort next to Ford Park and the BEAUTIFUL Betty Ford Gardens (seriously look them up), this venue brings in acts both small and large. With room for over 2,500 people, artists such as Darius Rucker, Ziggy Marley, and Willie Nelson all have performed a number of times. Beside the impressive lawn and acoustics, another thing that makes this venue special is the annual summer dance and orchestra series. The New York ballet and New York Philharmonic also stop into the Rocky Mountains every year to perform at Gerald R. Ford and it is definitely worth the trip.
2. Fiddlers Green Amphitheater in Greenwood Village, CO
This is the largest outdoor amphitheater in Colorado holding around 18,000 people. Huge venues bring in bigger acts and Fiddlers Green is no exception. Only open from May to September, this venue’s summer calendar is full of festivals and concerts almost every week of their season. With so many big names coming (Styx, Keith Urban, Dave Matthews Band, Rae Sremmurd, Wiz Khalifa to name a few) it seems impossible for me to really highlight all the amazing shows so check out the full event schedule here. The Pepsi Center and Mile High Stadium are the only other venues in Colorado who surpass this amphitheater in size but they didn’t make my list solely because of their indoor seating. (And lack of history.)
1. Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO
I swear, I will love this place until the day I die. This Amphitheater is number one on my list for so many reasons: the acoustics, the aesthetic, the bands, the people and the location. I could go on and on about the unique and addicting experience of attending a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The downside of having such an amazing venue with amazing concerts is that tickets sell out almost immediately. And big name events can cost you a pretty penny. But with the best natural acoustics I’ve ever heard and gorgeous red rock decorating the entire venue, it is 100% worth it.
I will be attending at least one concert here this summer (if not one at all these venues) so I will be sure to write a nice little piece about my experience.
Next episode: The Go-Pro Mountain Games
Yes, I will be attending the Go-Pro Mountain Games and to say I’m excited is an understatement! Music AND extreme sports all in one event? Yes please.
Maggie Shaffer is a recent college graduate, receiving her B.A. in Communications from High Point University. She is originally from Colorado and is an Account Management Associate at Creative Allies. Maggie loves all things music and hopes to one day attend a concert on (almost) every continent in the world.
Guest contributors are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.