There’s bluegrass and, of course, Elvis. Plus local bands providing their own sounds. All over the “Music State” there are places to hear it all. Here are the 10 best unique outdoor music venues in Tennessee.
The Caverns: Located in Pelham in Grundy County, and nestled underground within a captivating cave system, The Caverns transform into an acoustic wonderland that hosts a diverse range of artists. Experience music amidst awe-inspiring rock formations that create a natural amphitheater, enhancing the sound experience. Upcoming performances include The Glitch Mob, 100 Gecs and Darrel Scott.
Arrington Vineyards: The vast and beautiful Arrington Vineyards outside of Franklin (which is outside of Nashville and where many of the big-time country music artists live) offer concerts with its series Music in the Vines. Jazz, bluegrass and country rise into the air at Arrington Vineyards. Started by Kix Brooks of the country duo Brooks & Dunn, Arrington hosts the music series every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April through November. This is a great place to kick back with surprisingly good wines and listen music from local and rising stars.
Brushy Mountain: Step into a unique blend of music, history and intrigue at the Brushy Mountain Concert Series, hosted within the confines of Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Situated in Petros, this concert series offers an unparalleled experience that unites the power of live music with the mystique of a former prison setting. As the sun sets behind the rugged hills, the stage comes alive with performances that resonate through the cells and corridors, creating an atmosphere that’s both captivating and hauntingly memorable.
Greenway Farms: Located in Chattanooga, Greenway Farms hosts Fireside, a free outdoor concert series that takes place every Thursday from 7-9 PM in October. Guests are invited to bring blankets and chairs, marshmallow roasting sticks and dancing shoes. Attendees are also encouraged to bring a picnic. Performances this year include Lou Wamp & the Bluetastics, The New Quintet, Randy Steele and the Stringer’s Ridge Band.
Ascend Amphitheater: Ascend Amphitheater is an open-air venue located on the Cumberland River in Nashville. The venue provides a beautiful view of the city skyline. It seats 2,300 people in fixed seating and 4,500 on the lawn. Upcoming concerts include Jordan Davis, Arctic Monkeys, Odeza, Hozier, Darius Rucker and Hozier.
World’s Fair Park: Knoxville brings music and entertainment throughout the year to World’s Fair Park. The iconic area is known for the Sunsphere, but also has an amphitheater open for concerts, special events and theatrical performances. It was constructed for the 1982 World’s Fair and renovated in 2007. There’s also a performance lawn and a festival lawn that hosts concerts and festivals, as well as wine and beer festivals.
FirstBank Amphitheater: This venue is located at the back of 150 acres in a reclaimed rock quarry rich in local history in Franklin. From all nearby roads you won’t see an amphitheater. What you will see are abundant green spaces including ponds, trees, fields and wildlife – essentially all the natural beauty of outdoor Tennessee. Upcoming concerts include the Goo Goo Dolls, 5 Seconds of Summer and Smashing Pumpkins.
Overton Park Shell: Beginning every March, Overton Park Shell hosts more than 50 concerts, providing free music to their diverse audiences. From jazz to rock, soul and blues, the concerts emulate the “Soundtrack of America, Made in Tennessee.” Located in the heart of Memphis, visitors are invited to bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the open-air facility. Dogs on a leash are welcome in the designated Puppy Bar, a brand-new dog-friendly social spot.
Century Farm Winery: The Century Farm Winery’s outdoor venue provides an idyllic backdrop for music enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs alike in Jackson. From now through October, they host Voices in the Vineyards, a free outdoor concert series. The rolling vineyards, sprawling greenery and charming rustic architecture create an atmosphere that is both inviting and captivating. As the sun sets and the stars emerge, the winery’s stage becomes a platform for artists to engage with their audience in a uniquely intimate setting.
Amphitheater at the Market: In the heart of Jackson, the Amphitheater at the Market is an outdoor facility that hosts a range of music events. The venue connects locals and travelers alike to Memphis’ Beale Street and Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway by providing an amazing concert experience. The 2023 AMP Concert Series runs from April through September. Bring a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs for nights filled with music. Upcoming shows include Tyler Goodson and Bryan Moffitt.