Dalhalla stage (DalhallaOpera.com)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 08 April

5 amazing outdoor music venues around the world

Listen to the stars under the stars in the most atmospheric venues imaginable

1. Dalhalla, Rattvik, Sweden

Surrounded by forests and set in a former limestone quarry, this natural amphitheatre is the perfect place to listen to music during the Swedish summer. The high, nearly vertical rock walls provide great acoustics. 20-30 events are held here each year, attracting close to 100,000 music fans to this most atmospheric of venues.

Aerial shot of Dalhalla (DalhallaOpera.se)
Aerial shot of Dalhalla (DalhallaOpera.se)

It is named in honour of Valhalla, the hall in Viking mythology where heroes killed in battle feasted with the god, Odin, for eternity. It features a moat that separates the stage from the audience, giving a whole new meaning to stage diving. More information

2. Slane Castle, Meath, Ireland

Only forty miles north of Dublin, and overlooking the River Boyne, this imposing castle is one of the most stunning music venues in the world and has played host to some of the biggest names in the industry. U2 actually stayed in the castle when they recorded their album Unforgettable Fire.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Slane Castle (Creative Commons)Red Hot Chili Peppers at Slane Castle (Creative Commons)

Concerts are held in a natural amphitheatre just below the castle. It is instructive to note that no matter how big the artist – whether that is Madonna or U2, or even the Rolling Stones  – no one has been able to overshadow the venue yet. More information

3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado, USA

Carved into the sandstone foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and surrounded by famous monolithic formations like Ship Rock and Creation Rock, this natural amphitheatre shows that Mother Nature knows a thing or two about spectacular venue design.

Redrocks Amphitheater (Dreamtime)
Redrocks Amphitheater (Dreamstime)

The stage is sandwiched between two 300-foot sandstone rocks and has played host to the Dave Matthews Band, Jimi Hendrix, and U2. It also has the dubious honour of being the only venue on The Beatles' 1964 tour of America not to sell out. (At $6.60, the tickets were considered too expensive.) More information 

4. Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Borneo

Deep in the Borneo rainforest, the Sarawak Cultural Village showcases and preserves the life and culture of Borneo's local tribes. It is also the location of the annual Rainforest World Music Festival, a three-day event that draws as many as 24,000 people.

Rainforest Music Festival (rwmf.net)
Rainforest Music Festival (rwmf.net)

As well as listening to some of the biggest names in world music, concert-goers get to experience local life firsthand, learning about various tribes' customs, dances, and music, surrounded by traditional long houses at the foot of Mount Santubong. More information

5. Sultan’s Pool, Jerusalem, Israel

The Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent brought this ancient pool of water back to life in the 16th century. Five centuries later it has been repurposed again, this time as a captivating music venue.

The walls of the Old City (Shutterstock.com)
The walls of Jerusalem's Old City (Shutterstock.com)

Located in the legendary Hinnom Valley, just below Jerusalem’s Old City walls, the Sultan’s Pool has a capacity of 6,000 seats – providing an epic backdrop for the internationally-renowned musicians who come from all over the world to play there. More information

Main image: Dalhalla stage (DalhallaOpera.com)