The five best outdoor venues in Colorado to see music that aren't Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Loren Wohl
The crowd for Foster the People at Red Rocks this summer.

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Red Rocks Amphitheatre has won the Pollstar award for best small outdoor venue in the country so many times that the trade publication just named the award after the Morrison venue. We know Red Rocks is the best place anywhere to see a concert, but there are other outdoor stages in sunny Colorado. Here are our top five.


5. Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada

The Arvada Center has been covering lots of territory since 1976, ranging from theater and dance performances to visual arts and yoga classes -- but this staple of the Arvada arts community also offers Summer Stage Concerts, hosted in its 800-seat outdoor amphitheater. This summer, you can see acts like Steve Earle, John Hiatt and Lucinda Williams. Tickets are between $40 and $55 bucks a pop, but try buying lawn tickets and bringing a picnic. The amphitheater has partial covering, so the show will go on if it's raining. Parking is free, too!

Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens

4. UMB Bank Amphitheater at the Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York Street, Denver

Do you like rare forms of flora and fauna with your music? The UMB Bank Amphitheater is situated in the Denver Botanic Gardens, making for a visual and slightly surreal performance experience. The bowl of the amphitheater is surrounded by thousands of plant, tree and flower exhibitions, plus special art installations and a Japanese garden that you can explore before the music starts. The venue still seems to be off the grid for most Denver concert-goers, but it's a gem, especially with acts like Al Green, Bruce Hornsby, Buddy Guy and Ladysmith Black Mambazo coming through.

Location Info


Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, CO

Category: General

Denver Botanic Gardens

1007 York St., Denver, CO

Category: General

State Bridge Lodge

127 Trough Road, Bond, CO

Category: Music

Mishawaka Amphitheatre

13714 Poudre Canyon, Bellvue, CO

Category: Music

Fred Shellman Memorial Stage

500 E. Colorado Ave., Telluride, CO

Category: Music

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user mytwocents - you can keep the change!

this piece was dead on with the five best. you can tell the writer did her homework! she covers all the best around the state. mytwocents would probably put Dick's sporting goods on there or something. Clown comments.



Planet Bluegrass wins awards and has had more sold out annual events than any other venue on this list. Obviously this writer hasn't lived in Colorado very long

my two cents
my two cents

Has the writer of this ridiculous fluff piece even been to all of these venues? 


I'd take Planet Bluegrass' location in Lyons over any of them...

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