Top 8 Outdoor Performance Venues in Atlanta

  • 01 of 09

    The Best Outdoor Performance Venues in Atlanta

    Centennial Olympic Park

    Fly above Atlanta and you may be surprised to find a blanket of lush trees instead of a concrete jungle. This surprising sight is what earned Atlanta the nickname “City in a Forest.” When the weather is warm, nearly all of the city’s public spaces become venues for concerts, art, and performances of every kind (for instance, Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Concerts in the Garden or Park Tavern’s Sunset Sessions). But even when the sun goes into hiding and the weather cools down a bit, you can count on these venues to offer a roll-call of nationally acclaimed performances (often from local talent) surrounded by Atlanta’s natural beauty.

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  • 02 of 09

    Chastain Park Amphitheater

    Chastain Park

    The Venue: Atlanta’s wealthiest neighborhood, Buckhead, is home to Chastain Park Amphitheater, providing a concert experience to match. Carved into a hillside, this amphitheater naturally amplifies acoustics while sinking its audience into a sonic retreat. Perhaps the coolest luxury Chastain affords its guests are “Table Setup” concerts, which feature tables of six in the orchestra, where guests can bring in blankets and small coolers of food. Check the website or your ticket to see if the concert allows “Table Setup.”

    The Performances: Major national and international tours make it a habit of stopping at Chastain. Expect to catch a show by everyone from Willie Nelson to Donna Summers and The Gipsy Kings to Ms. Lauryn Hill.

    The Fine Print: 4469 Stella Dr., 404.233.2227

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  • 03 of 09

    Lakewood Amphitheatre

    Lakewood Amphitheatre

    The Venue: Lakewood Amphitheatre offers the classic amphitheater experience, including an impressive array of concessions. You’ll find plenty of seating under the pavilion roof (4,000 seats, to be exact), 3,000 seats under the sky and a lawn with enough space for 12,000 guests. VIP seats are well worth the extra dough to gain access to a convenient and decongested tent with private restrooms.

    The Performances: Huge names have graced the Lakewood stage, including Phish, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Kings of Leon and KISS. This is the place to catch a flashy mega-show with visual effects galore.

    The Fine Print: 2002 Lakewood Way, 404.443.5000

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  • 04 of 09

    Serenbe Playhouse

    Serenbe Playhouse

    The Venue: Serenbe Playhouse immerses its audiences in outdoor musical productions and plays using the Chattahoochee Hills as its backdrop. This theater group is based in Serenbe, an idyllic 900-acre community just 40 minutes from Atlanta that feels like a rural world apart. Director Brian Clowdus brings each performance to life by building larger-than-life sets in the middle of the woods or on large, open plains. The result is a roll-call of jaw-dropping productions that pull audiences into their alternate realities.

    The Performances: Anything goes with Serenbe Playhouse. Recurring annual shows like “The Sleepy Hollow Experience” and “Snow Queen” are complemented by seasonal shows, which have included “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Secret Garden” and “Carousel.”

    The Fine Print: Each show is set in a different location. Check the website for directions and parking information. 770.463.1110.

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  • 05 of 09

    Centennial Olympic Park

    Centennial Olympic Park

    The Venue: Centennial Olympic Park is one of those rare all-in-one destinations. Not only is it a historical landmark that pays homage to the Atlanta-hosted 1996 Summer Olympic Games, but it’s also a popular park and attraction—there’s even an old-school burger joint on park grounds. When the stages go up, Centennial Olympic Park becomes ground zero for massive musical acts and hoards of audiophiles.

    The Performances: Here, you’ll find everything from music festivals to full-blown concerts. The park has played host to the likes of Lady Gaga, Outkast and the annual SweetWater 420 Fest with its jam-packed music lineup.

    The Fine Print: 265 Park Avenue West NW, 404.222.7275

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  • 06 of 09

    Historic Fourth Ward Park

    Historic Fourth Ward Park

    The Venue: Historic Fourth Ward Park opened in 2015 as a part of Atlanta BeltLine’s master plan. Almost instantly, it became one of the city’s favorite parks, as it also hosts festivals and special events of every kind during warm-weather months. You’ll find a slew of concerts, music festivals and performances at the small, intimate amphitheater on the park’s south end or on the large, open field further north.

    The Performances: You’ll find smaller performances, which are oftentimes free, on the amphitheater stage. Music festivals, like the Imagine Festival, take over the entire park (or close to it) several times per year.

    The Fine Print: 665 North Ave. NE, 404.590.7275

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  • 07 of 09

    Ponce City Market

    Ponce City Market

    The Venue: Standing strong at 2.1 million square feet, Ponce City Market is a live-work-play behemoth in the middle of Atlanta. Apart from encompassing a stellar food hall and an impressive array of shops, Ponce City Market includes communal spaces meant to bring people together. The market’s courtyard is used for free weekly concerts, giving visitors yet another reason to stick around all day.

    The Performances: Featured performers at Ponce City Nights, a free weekly music series, have included Kayla Steen, Django Earnhardt, Gold-Bears and John Vournakis.

    The Fine Print: 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, 404.900.7900

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  • 08 of 09

    Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park

    Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park

    The Venue: Just north of Atlanta in the suburb of Alpharetta, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park offers another classic amphitheater experience. Alongside massive tours, this venue’s lineup features everything from music festivals to food festivals. Concessions are available, but limited compared to some of the other venues on our list.

    The Performances: Catch Ellie Goulding, Bryan Adams, Styx and some astounding performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at this venue.

    The Fine Print: 2200 Encore Pkwy., Alpharetta, 404.733.5010

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  • 09 of 09

    Masquerade Music Park

    Masquerade Music Park

    The Venue: The Masquerade is one of Atlanta’s most beloved venues thanks to its long musical (and industrial) history and devoted fanbase. Apart from the three indoor stages---Hell, Purgatory and Heaven---this live music venue features the outdoor Masquerade Music Park, which plays host to a wide variety of concerts and festivals throughout the year. Rumors circulated in 2015 about The Masquerade closing its doors for good. While these rumors seem to be unsubstantiated, we recommend you beeline to catch a show at this gem just in case.

    The Performances: Expect a mix of heavy metal, punk and indie rock bands, with some electronic and rockabilly acts sprinkled in for good measure.

    The Fine Print: 695 North Ave. NE, 404.577.8178