Last week, AEG announced a new music venue, the Mission Ballroom, slated to open in summer of 2019. The entertainment giant promises state-of-the-art sound, room for 2,200 to 3,950 fans, and the best concert-going experience in Denver. Scratch that: in the world. It's a tall order, particularly in a city with so many excellent medium- and large-sized venues. Here are sixteen of the city's spots that can hold 1,000 people or more.
The art deco theater, which was built in 1906, can accommodate up to 1,000 people standing or 850 seated. The historic theater's schedule is so well-rounded, there really is something for everyone. An eclectic mix of funk, jazz, folk, hip-hop and rock performances and dynamic high-concept shows from local and national artists help fill Boulder's nights.
Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom
Since opening fifteen years ago, Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom has been a hub for music in Five Points, bringing in electronica, hip-hop, jam bands, DJs, bluegrass acts and the unholy alliance of all that mashed up together, with other types of artists peppering the calendar.
Summit Music Hall
After running the Summit Music Hall for nearly a decade, the folks at independent promoter Soda Jerk Presents handed over booking and operations of this venue (as well as the 450-capacity Marquis Theater) to Live Nation earlier this year. While Summit has long brought in punk, rock and metal acts, these days it's also hosting more hip-hop and electronic artists as well as the occasional comedian.
After a long run as a movie house, the Gothic Theatre opened as a music venue in the late ’90s and has hosted a mix of national and local bands ever since. In early 2013, AEG Presents took over both the booking and the operation of the venue.
Also once a movie house, the century-old Ogden Theatre has hosted live music since Doug Kauffman of Nobody in Particular Presents turned it into a venue in the early ’90s. In recent years, the place, which is now operated by AEG Presents, has received a major upgrade, including new flooring, a new sound system and a wraparound balcony, making it one of Denver's hottest venues for national acts.
The Paramount Theatre, which was built downtown by Temple Buell in 1930, had a long run as a movie house before becoming more of a home for national touring bands and comedians. While Kroenke Sports & Entertainment now owns the building, AEG, Live Nation, Emporium Presents and other promoters book shows there.
Fillmore Auditorium Capacity: 3,700
Once home of Mammoth Gardens and Mammoth Events Center, the Fillmore Auditorium opened in 1999 after a multimillion-dollar renovation modeled after Bill Graham’s famous Fillmore in San Francisco. Operated by Live Nation, the Fillmore has hosted a variety of renowned music acts, including Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Coldplay.
The Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center offers stunning acoustics for everything from lectures, comedy events and classical-music events to concerts spanning genres. Upcoming shows include Ashanti and Ja Rule, Maluma, Gerardo Ortiz and Pancho Barraza.
While 1STBANK Center in Broomfield can hold up 6,500 people, the venue can accommodate a smaller crowd by moving the stage forward. Operated by Peak Entertainment (a partnership between AEG Presents and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment), the venue has brought in acts like Radiohead, the Killers, My Morning Jacket and LCD Soundsystem.
Levitt Pavilion Denver
Levitt Pavilion Denver opened its outdoor amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park last July and brought in an assortment of local and touring acts. This year there will be fifty free family-friendly concerts as well as ticketed events for big names like YES, Alan Parsons Project and Robert Earl Keen, and the co-headlining bill of War and Tower of Power.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
There are many excellent things about Red Rocks Amphitheatre, one of the most striking places in the world to see a concert outdoors. But the venue just keeps getting better, with an expanded concert season that gives music lovers even more opportunities to enjoy their favorite acts in a spectacular natural setting. While AEG Presents books a majority of the acts here, Live Nation and other promoters also bring in shows.
Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Since opening three decades ago, this Greenwood Village venue has gone through a few name changes, including Coors Amphitheatre and Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. In 2014, AEG Presents took the venue over from Live Nation and spent $6 million on renovations that updated everything from the sound system to the concession stands.
Yes, the Pepsi Center is home to the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets, but the 18,000-seat arena, which is owned and operated by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, is also the place to see music megastars — from legends who've been touring the globe for decades, like the Who and U2, to artists who've moved up in the ranks over the years, like Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire and Lorde.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
With 22 soccer fields surrounding a 27,000-seat stadium, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is the largest soccer complex in the United States. Phish heads are especially familiar with the venue, which hosts the jam band’s annual Labor Day weekend festivities. Dick's was also home to the now-defunct Colorado Mile High Music Festival.
Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, hosts occasional concerts — massive acts hitting the Mile High City that have a huge draw. Since outdoor-concert season and baseball season are parallel, shows only take place when the home team's on the road, and those dates have been few and far between. The venue has announced two concerts for 2018: the Eagles' tour with Jimmy Buffet, and a co-headlining tour with Def Leppard and Journey.
Mile High Stadium
Whether you call it Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Sports Authority Stadium, Mile High, Mile High Stadium or some other name, the Denver Broncos' turf side-hustles as the largest concert venue in the metro area. It attracts the biggest names of today and yesterday: Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Taylor Swift and more. While sitting in the nosebleed section can make the artists on stage look like ants (and that's for people with 20/20 vision), massive screens bring even the farthest fans up close and personal with the acts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.