If you do a quick Google search for “best outdoor concert venue in the United States,” you’ll get a bunch of results that point to you to the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Not only does the venue seat up to 9,000 people, it’s the only all-natural amphitheater on the planet. Visitors will be quick to notice the large, disc-shaped rock that sits behind the stage in addition to the large outward-angled vertical rock that sits stage right.
The venue has hosted a full range of blockbuster performers including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, U2, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band and many, many more.
Red Rocks came to be during the early part of the 20th century, when a man by the name of John Brisben Walker envisioned creating a stage within what he saw as perfect acoustic surroundings.
He produced quite a few concerts on a temporary platform, between 1906 and 1910, and in 1927, the city of Denver bought the 728-acre venue from him for a whopping $54,133. (That translates to about $800,000 in today’s currency, which is still one heck of a steal.)
A local architect was commissioned to design the amphitheater in such a way that the natural beauty would be preserved. The plans were finalized in 1936; construction began shortly thereafter, and the amphitheater dedication ceremony took place during the summer of 1941.
The first annual Easter Sunday service took place in 1947, and the tradition has continued through today. Each year, thousands flock to Red Rocks to participate in the service, in which hundreds of white doves are released in celebration of the day.
What most people don’t realize, is that Red Rocks was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2015. The honorary award was presented to the amphitheater on its 75th anniversary.
If you’ve never been to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, it’s something we recommend all Denver-area visitors make some time to do. And yes, we’ve listed many, many reasons why we feel it’s the best outdoor concert venue in the US, but don’t take our word for it.
We’re pretty confident you’ll come to that conclusion on your own.