Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Courtney Murphy.
Summer is fast-approaching, and with it comes beautiful weather, freedom from school, and hopefully trips to some fun destinations. Some of the most popular events in the United States are concerts and music festivals. This is evidenced by the fact that the country brought in 6.2 billion dollars from concert tickets sales in 2014 alone.
One of the reasons the U.S. attracts so many concert-goers is its unique venues. Thousands of people gather to watch performances in breathtaking natural spaces, elaborate buildings or even old steel mills. Check out five of our country’s most amazing concert destinations.
- The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Wantagh, N.Y.–The Nikon Theater is located on the edge of Jones Beach State Park. It hosts hundreds of events each year, many of which are concerts featuring country, rock, pop and other genres of performers. What makes this venue unique is its spacious stage, which is set in the water instead of on the edge of the beach, giving the theater an open and sophisticated feel.
- The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Los Angeles–Founded in the 1920s, The Ace Hotel now hosts a theatre large enough to seat nearly 2,000 people. The Theatre’s extravagant lobby and ornate details–like the thousands of mirrors that shimmer on the ceiling–make the audience feel as though they have stepped back in time to the Roaring Twenties. But The Theatre still keeps up with the times by informing the public of upcoming events through their Twitter and Instagram.
Bethlehem, Pa.–The ten-acre grounds house the buildings that comprised the old Bethlehem Steel mill, and are now dedicated to celebrating culture, the arts and community. One of the first things visitors see when they arrive are the towering, rusted steel stacks, which give the place an edgy feel. In addition to hosting more than 1,000 concerts and eight festivals each year, SteelStacks also shows films and holds marathons and open mic nights.
- Aragon Ballroom
Chicago–The Aragon Ballroom might not hold quite as many shows as the previous venues, but they host some quality artists. Their summer lineup includes Walk The Moon and Grammy-winning Alabama Shakes. Apart from the stunning architecture, one of the most breathtaking features of the Ballroom are the lights projected onto the ceiling to look like a dazzling night sky.
- Bluegrass Underground
McMinnville, Tenn.–Cumberland Caverns is home to one of the most interesting natural concert venues in the country. The Bluegrass Underground (BGU) is set 333 feet below ground, in one of the caves underneath Tennessee. The natural amphitheater hosts a radio show, which is recorded once a month with a live audience. While BGU doesn’t host many mainstream bands, it is no doubt a unique experience.
So, if you’re anxious for summer to arrive, start planning! Check out these one-of-a-kind locations from around the nation, and hear some of your favorite artists (or maybe some new ones) live!