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The World’s Most Unique Concert Venues

Some concert halls have a storied past but few compete with breathtaking backdrops or extraordinary locations. Here are eight of the world’s most unique concert venues.

SLANE CASTLE – Slane, Ireland


(Photo by Jonathan Schachter via Wikimedia Commons)

Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eminem used the massive sloping grounds of this Irish castle for mega gigs since 1981. The castle, built in 1701, is owned by the Conyngham Family and holds 80,000 for big shows. U2 also recorded portions of 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire there.


COLOSSEUM – Rome, Italy


(Photo by Podluzhnaya via Wikimedia Commons)

Shania, Celine and Elton had residencies at the Colosseum on the Vegas strip, but British paper The Daily Mail reports the original in Rome may stage concerts soon. The Italian government plans to rebuild the floor to hold classical concerts only as rock shows might cause structural damage. In May, 2003 Paul McCartney played an exclusive charity gig in the Colosseum.



(Photo by David Young-Wolff via Facebook)

Since 2009 this famous burial ground has housed shows by The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, James Blake, and The xx. The cemetery’s executive vice-president Jay Boileau told LA Magazine the initial concert was a sunrise gig by Bon Iver. Father John Misty also has a song entitled “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”.

A38 – Budapest, Hungary


(Photo by Texaner via Wikimedia Commons)

This place has always loved rock. In 1968 the Artemovszk 38 was built to be a Ukranian stone-carrier ship. But in 2003, after an 18-month renovation, it evolved into a music hot spot in Budapest. With a capacity of 600, A38 will see Against Me!, Thurston Moore and the Mark Lanegan Band perform there in 2015.

PAPPY & HARRIET’S – Joshua Tree, California


(Photo by PMDrive1061 via Wikimedia Commons)

The small watering hole established in 1982 has morphed into a popular oasis. Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme often frequents the bar in Joshua Tree, California. Robert Plant, Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys graced the stage which has become a Coachella “side show” venue.


CUMBERLAND CAVERNS – McMinnville, Tennessee


(Photo via Cumberland Commons)

McMinnville, Tennessee is home to a venue “3.5 million years in the making.” The Volcano Room is located in an underground cave 333 feet beneath the surface and is the site for the PBS series, Bluegrass Underground. Another perk is the room’s acoustics are equivalent to seeing a band in a recording studio.


RED ROCKS – Morrison, Colorado


(Photo by Jesse Goodier via Wikimedia Commons)

The spectacular site in Morrison, Colorado makes Red Rocks an obvious “bucket list” venue. Red Rocks opened in 1906 and was home for live albums by U2 and Dave Matthews. “It’s an amazing location,” Rush’s Geddy Lee said in 2004. A Jethro Tull concert in 1971 caused a riot, shutting down the venue for the next five years.

BUDOKAN – Tokyo, Japan


(Photo by Morio via Wikimedia Commons)

Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan hosted concerts by The Beatles, Clapton and dozens more over the years. Constructed and primarily used for sumo wrestling events, Budokan inspired several “Live At Budokan” albums/DVDs released by Bryan Adams, Ozzy Osbourne, Avril Lavigne, and of course, Cheap Trick.

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