Best of Vail: Best Music Venue |

Best of Vail: Best Music Venue

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater opened 30 years ago with a Willie Nelson performance.

1. Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

2. Vilar Performing Arts Center

3. Shakedown Bar

Of course the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater won its Best of Vail category. Just look at the place.

“It’s so aesthetically beautiful — there’s a lot of pride that goes into everything we do,” said Jen Mason, of the Vail Valley Foundation, which owns and operates the facility.

The amphitheater stays busy during the warmer months, hosting everything from high school graduations to memorial services for well-loved locals, to the Hot Summer Nights series of Tuesday night concerts. The Bravo! Vail Music Festival fills the amphitheater with classical music, and the annual dance festival turns the stage over to the art of music and motion.

As busy as the amphitheater is, there’s always room for more. A lobby area added in 2015 is already a big hit, and Mason said more improvements could be on the way.

There’s talk of adding video screens for lawn patrons, and Mason said the foundation is looking at adding paid-attendance shows from big-time touring artists. Whatever comes the amphitheater’s way, there will always be those views. Oh, those views …

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