Colorado is a destination state famed for its mountainous playground, endless camping and hiking possibilities, and powder-filled ski season.
But Colorado is also a must-visit location for music lovers worldwide, boasting some of the nation’s most incredible indoor and outdoor concert experiences.
With live music making a comeback after the pandemic, Colorado – Denver especially – has seen a huge live-music boom. For concertgoers and festival crews, there are endless opportunities and countless outdoor concert venues in Colorado that will keep you moving and grooving across the state!
Best Concert Venues in Colorado
With all the natural beauty of the Centennial state, it’s not a shocker that many of the best concert venues in Colorado are in the great outdoors.
The Bucket List Concert Venue: Red Rocks Amphitheater
If you’re visiting Denver in the summer, you’ve likely checked the summer show lineup to see if you can take the Illegal Pete’s shuttle bus up to a Red Rocks show. Sitting just outside of the Golden and Morrison area is the iconic venue, nestled in between – you guessed it – monumental red, sandstone rocks. This concert venue is the only naturally occurring amphitheater in the world; with a little construction in the 1930s, the rock formation combined with the stone seating area provides world-class acoustics. Any Denverite can tell you – attending a Red Rocks show is a no-brainer on the trip itinerary.
Red Rocks Amphitheater features over a hundred artists each year, dating back to the 60s premiering with hall-of-fame acts such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Nicks, Grateful Dead, and more. Splurging on a concert here is certain to end in a spellbound night full of memories and music that will have you smiling ear to ear well after the tunes have stopped.
South Denver’s Outdoor Concert Venue: Fiddler’s Green
A little farther South of Denver is the lush gem, Fiddler’s Green. Unlike Red Rocks desert, Mars-scape atmosphere, Fiddlers Green provides a plush lawn experience comfortable enough to spread out with a tapestry or lawn chair and enjoy the concert of choice, sitting, laying, or swaying in the summer breeze. Fiddler’s Green was created as a large, “Earth sculpture” and has since received awards and recognition for its all-natural amphitheater design.
Fiddler’s Green is located in the business-centric area of Greenwood Village, but fear not – the concert venue itself is an escape from the concrete jungle into a woodsy, Colorado musical experience with rolling, grassy hills and views of the Rockies from any spot in the house. Since 1983, this artistic, architectural wonder has been proud to host a variety of iconic performers over the last few decades.
A Lakeside Outdoor Concert Experience: Dillon Amphitheater
A little over an hour outside of Denver, into the base of the Rockies, is the town of Dillon. Just beside the lake lies a concert experience unlike any other. Dillon Amphitheater provides unmatched views of both the Rockies as well as the lapping waves against the shoreline. Lake Dillon is truly one of the most scenic outdoor concert venues you can choose from when visiting Colorado and is worth an adventure into the mountains for a one-of-a-kind concert destination.
If you plan to make your way out to the amp at the beginning of summer, be sure to pencil in the Dillon Beer Fest. The festival features over 30 breweries along Lake Dillon’s shore, with big names such as:
Outer Ranger Brewery
Taking a trip to see a show on a Friday? Get there a little earlier than usual, and thank us later. Dillon hosts one of the largest outdoor farmer’s markets in Colorado, for all your fresh food and souvenir needs! Hit the market between 9-2 pm any Friday, all summer long.
A Trip to Aspens Best Concert Venue: Benedict Music Tent
Just three hours outside of Denver and into the Rockies, Aspen holds a divine, storied musical venue: The Benedict Music Tent. Owned by the Aspen Music Festival & School, this venue is a truly underrated, under-talked musical venue. The tent itself is a giant, sloping structure with open-air sides designed for the ultimate vocal experience. Featuring more classical concert options, the summer concert series featured here provides a decadent experience that will land softly upon your open ears as you drift into a night of extraordinary musical talents.
Each year, festival fanatics mark their calendars for the June Aspen Snowmass fest that takes place inside of the spectacular Benedict Music Tent. If you fancy a night at the Orchestra, or smooth jazz to sway to, Aspen’s outdoor concert scene is the place for you!
Rocky Mountains Outdoor Music Scene: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
In the mountains of Vail is a spectacular, intimate outdoor venue known to attendees as the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The venue seats only around a thousand guests under its covered seating area; compared to Red Rocks’ nearly 10,000 capacity, this is a uniquely small gathering for concertgoers. Those who travel the distance to this exquisite concert venue are rewarded with a grassy hillside lawn that can seat over 2,500 guests with a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains to the sound of some incredible performers, like Amos Lee, Fitz and the Tantrums, Lindsey Stirling, and other top acts.
The Open-Air Riverside Venue You Can’t Miss: Mishawaka Amphitheater
For over a century, Mishawaka has been known as one of the most outstanding, yet intimate, outdoor concert venues in Colorado. Some of its more notable performances have been The String Cheese Incident, The Disco Biscuits, City and Colour, Spoon, and more. If you haven’t yet ventured to this amphitheater venue, make it a point on your next trip!
Founded in 1916, “the Mish” is a riverside concert venue that fits thousands of patrons that are ready to experience an unparalleled soundscape set just beyond the gushing Le Poudre river. The venue features a wide range of genres, from folk to reggae to heavy bass. There’s not a better night you could plan for your outdoor music experience than singing under the stars at the remote concert destination at Mishawaka!
Two Birds, One Stone: A Trip to the Alps At Telluride Town Park Stage
Telluride is a common bucket-list destination for many mountain-goers, having been rated as #1 ski resort in North America for years and dubbed the Swiss Alps of America. However, there’s another key reason to make a trip out to this lush canyonland – the Telluride Town Park Stage concert venue.
The venue itself is tucked into the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, which features idyllic Swiss-like architecture and historic mining roots. It is a place of legend, and the performing acts that travel to the stage here make it that much more so.
Telluride Town Park is renowned as one of the most scenic and intimate music venues in the country. It is the host of a variety of activities, including music festivals (see: Blues & Brews, Jazz and Bluegrass) and film festivals, and having previously welcomed top performers such as The Lumineers, The Revivalists, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and more!
Colorado Concerts Are Mile High Magic
From Morrison to Telluride, from steep stone to soft grass, any of these outdoor concert venues in Colorado are sure to be a fairy-tale experience during your time in the Rockies. Colorado has much to offer its visitors, and its explosive music scene is not to be forgotten. And it’s good thing there are so many outdoor concerts in Colorado because you’re going to need the fresh air to supply all the singing along!
Beyond Colorado Concerts
If you’re going to spend your nights dancing like crazy at Colorado concerts, there are plenty of local accessories that can help give you the time of your life: