For everything you need to know about this summer’s concerts and music festivals, check out our Summer Concert Guide.

Summer has officially arrived. This means it’s time to pack up the t-shirts, the sunscreen, and the Smirnoff Ice, and head to the beach, the ballpark, or for music lovers, the outdoor amphitheater. For events like music festivals and large concerts, outdoor venues provide space that many indoor arenas do not. Additionally fans generally enjoy the experience of hearing their favorite performer or band on a grand outdoor stage. Such concerts add another dimension to the concert experience, allowing attendees to experience the music while feeling closer to nature. Especially for so-called jam bands, the subtle additions of outdoor venues significantly contribute to a concert’s overall atmosphere. For many music lovers, nothing beats being able to lounge on a lawn, grass between their toes, a breeze blowing through the trees, and listen to some tasty jams. So what are people saying about outdoor venues, and more importantly, what is the data showing about them?

Concertgoers have expressed both the pros, and cons of outdoor venues. “I like outdoor concerts. I get claustrophobic in small packed rooms. Outside you can breathe and there is no roof overhead.” stated one music fan. He then continued, “Having said that, outdoor concerts can have terrible sound as it is hard to keep the sound from dissipating without walls and ceiling.” Clearly there are both benefits and drawbacks to such venues, however nothing captures the laid back vibe of summer like a great outdoor concert.

Summer 2010 Concert / Venue Data

At SeatGeek we decided to analyze which outdoor amphitheater style venues, ideal for classic summer concerts, were commanding the highest prices.

top outdoor and jam band venues

Raw Average Ticket Prices

Venue Location Average Ticket Price*
Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA $176.76
Starlight Theatre Kansas City, MO $174.83
Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Is. Chicago, IL $164.32
Woodlands Pavilion Spring, TX $160.66
Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA $156.09
Comcast Theatre Hartford, CT $147.83
Cruzan Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL $147.75
Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, CA $147.15
Ford Amphitheatre Tampa, FL $143.74
Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH $141.46

The Mountain Winery tops the list with average ticket prices of $176.76. This is not altogether surprising considering the unique aspects of this historic venue. Built into a hill in picturesque Saratoga CA, the Mountain Winery provides a one-of-a-kind musical experience for concert-goers. The Winery’s amphitheater style seating was just recently renovated to increase capacity and create better sight lines. While the venue now holds 2,500 seats, it hasn’t lost its intimate feel. The audience still sits remarkably close to the artists, almost overhanging the stage, magnifying the impact of every note.

To watch a fabulous concert as the sun sets behind this historic landmark is truly an exceptional experience. Sold out tickets for shows at the Mountain Winery can be found here.

As a follow-up to this post, we have started looking at individual band ticket prices across venues. Our first artist post tracks the ever popular Phish, and how their ticket prices move from venue-to-venue.


Check out  the Top Venues to See Phish in Summer 2011 by SeatGeek.
Also, see the top concert venues of the last year.