5 Unknown U.S. Music Venues You Need To Experience

Photo via Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park

So many music festivals, so many places to explore.

What makes many festivals so great is their ability to integrate the music with the surrounding landscape, creating a unique experience that can rarely be duplicated.

Many festival-goers consistently return to their favorite events based solely on the magic that various venues possess. Productions such as Electric Forest create an experience that is impossible to duplicate anywhere else in the country.

While these settings have gained notoriety and widespread recognition, there exist numerous other venues tucked away in the corners of the country.

We take a look at 5 relatively unknown U.S. music venues you need to experience.

State Bridge – Bond, CO

State Bridge Colorado
Photo via JohnRyan Lockman

Located on the bank of the Colorado River, the decorated history of the State Bridge speaks for itself.

Archaeological work has revealed that the state bridge was inhabited as early as 8,000 years ago with the Ute Indians taking up residency as recent as 1,000 years ago. In the 1800’s the land made way for construction of a railway that continues to operate with 10-15 trains passing over the bridge on a daily basis. More recent history has seen the venue change hands multiple times before finally being re-purposed as one of the most beautiful outdoor music venues in the United States.

With multiple music festivals throughout the year, the spirit at State Bridge is alive and well. Upcoming events include Bluegrass and Bloodys, Roots River Reggae and PardeePalooza.

Past performances include The String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, and Bassnectar.

For more information on the history and events be sure to visit the State Bridge official website by clicking here.

Photo via ShowLove Media.

Lake San Antonio Recreation Area – Bradley, CA

Lake San Antonio
Photo via Lake San Antonio

The original purpose of the Lake San Antonio Recreation Area was to serve as a dam to replenish the Salinas River aquifer in Monterey County, California.

Since its’ inception, boaters and campers began utilizing the lake which led to the creation of a state park.

This year saw Lightning In A Bottle travel to the grounds. Unlike any other festival on the circuit, LIB is a communal festival that combines ground breaking electronic music rooted in personal transformation through yoga workshops, indigenous dance, live-art, and spiritual guidance.

For more information visit the official Lake San Antonio Recreation Area website by clicking here.

Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park – Terra Alta, WV

Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park
Photo via Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park

Tucked away in the rolling hills of West Virginia lies Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park, a place where you can go and let all of your problems drift away. The family friendly atmosphere at Trips Farm and the surrounding area means the entire family can spend a weekend experiencing quality music in the Appalachian hills.

Over 45 acres of flawlessly preserved meadow lends itself to quality music festival production including Treehuggers Ball and Rootwire Music and Arts Festival. The second highest elevation in Preston County, this venue puts you right up there amid the vast night sky.

With a street name like “Jerry Garcia Way” you know the venue is steeped in tradition and passion for music and good times.

For more information visit the Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park Facebook page by clicking here.

Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park – Live Oak, FL

suwannee music park
Photo via Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park

The positive energy that resonates at The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park is so dense you could cut it with a knife.

Located just east of Tallahassee, the 500+ acre recreational facility hosts as many live music events as nearly any outdoor music venue in the country, including annual festivals Blackwater, Magnolia, Hulaween, and Bear Creek.

During the day visitors can travel down to the banks of the Suwannee River to dip their toes in the beautiful black waters or explore the seemingly endless surrounding landscape. By night the venue transforms in to a mystical wonderland that is illuminated by the brightest stars you could ever imagine. The natural setting allows you to either lay your tapestry in the grass or string your hammock up in the trees as you take in the sights and sounds.

Past Hulaween’s have hosted The String Cheese Incident, Beats Antique, Big Gigantic, Thievery Corporation, EOTO.

For more information visit The Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park official website by clicking here.

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park – Garrettsville, OH

Photo via Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

Tucked away in the Midwestern plains of Northeast Ohio is one of America’s best kept secrets.

Over thousands of years the shifting tectonic plates have carved out what has come to be known by the locals as “The Quarry.” Serving as an operational quartz mine throughout the 40’s and 50’s, legend has it that drilling efforts struck one of the areas many natural springs causing the quarry to fill up within a matter of days.

After being abandoned by the company, locals, hippies, and free spirits began to inhabit the park before local law enforcement forced them out. For the following years ownership bounced back and forth until Evan Kelley purchased the land in 1995, improving the park which has served as a campground and music venue ever since.

Each year the park hosts multiple festivals including Summer Hookah, Lazy Daisy, Fire Fest, and more. Summerdance Music Festival annually brings some of the best electronic producers in the industry with past performers including Lotus and Gramatik.

You will be hard pressed to find a better vibe than what you will experience at Nelson Ledges. Each festival sees no more than a few thousand people leaving plenty of room to dance in the sandy beaches that surround the lake. During the day you can also explore the many trails and cliffs that surround the venue.

For more information visit the Nelson Ledges Quarry Park Official website by clicking here.

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5 thoughts on “5 Unknown U.S. Music Venues You Need To Experience

  1. LIB was amazing but the picture of Lake San Antonio is pretty misleading. CA is in severe drought and the lake is empty.

  2. I have been going to Nelson Ledges since the 80’s (Deadhead 🙂 ). You would be hard pressed to find a more relaxing and chilled out place. You are not strangers there with your fellow campers, you just don’t know their names. You become part of the “family” when you’re there. You can RELAX with enjoying yourself there, you don’t have to look over your shoulder. I attend Deadfest there yearly, along with other “hippie” type events that are plentiful there. Get out there sometime, you wont regret it. Main rule, NO DOGS or GLASS! Other than that, just respect your neighbors there, and everyone has a great experience.

  3. There is nothing like Nelson Ledges. I grew up 40 minutes away and would go there all the time growing up. It’s been harder to get back now that I live in Florida but I am really hoping to make it back for Summerdance this year.

  4. love, love, love this place!!!!! life experiences happen here, life changing ones… join the fun!!! summerdance is the most fun in my experience!!!! conceived both of my beautiful children here lol.

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