The summer concert season isn’t quite here yet, but it is fast approaching. And one of the best things about summer concerts is being able to enjoy them in outdoor venues. Is there anything more fun than enjoying a concert on a warm summer night? And Pittsburgh has some great venues for it, hosting everything from local acts to touring festivals. Here are five of the best, so get your tickets and plan accordingly.
400 North Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
The only venue with a dedicated outdoor stage within the city, the relatively new Stage AE on Pittsburgh’s North Shore is the second indoor/outdoor venue in the country, modeled after predecessor LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. In the winter months, the venue is an indoor music hall, but from May until September, it regularly hosts concerts at its outdoor amphitheater, where fans can choose to either stand directly in front of the stage or sit back and relax on a hilly lawn. Upcoming outdoor shows this season include The Avett Brothers, Ellie Goulding, Alice Cooper, Twenty One Pilots, Brand New, WALK THE MOON and Halsey.
First Niagara Pavilion
665 Pennsylvania 18
Burgettstown, PA 15021
The name may currently be First Niagara Pavilion, but you may also know this seasonal venue as Post-Gazette Pavilion or Star Lake Amphitheater. Though it’s just 25 miles outside of Pittsburgh, its location makes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but that also makes the pavilion the ideal spot to host big, loud concerts during the summer. First Niagara Pavilion is the biggest outdoor amphitheater in Pennsylvania, with a capacity of 23,000. After the quintessential parking-lot tailgate, concertgoers can enjoy a concert in the venue’s covered but open-air seating or enjoy the show from the large lawn. First Niagara has hosted many a big-name act, with more coming this season, including Dave Matthews Band, Journey, Cheap Trick, Josh Groban and the annual Jimmy Buffett show.
Point State Park
101 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Located at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, Point State Park doesn’t regularly serve as an outdoor concert venue. But the 36-acre park does host performances during Pittsburgh’s annual Three Rivers Arts Festival. This year’s festival will be held June 3-12, and it’s all free. While no musical guests have been announced yet, in the past, the Point State Park stage has held Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Kaiser Chiefs, Jeff Tweedy, Neko Case, Jenny Lewis and more.
South Park Amphitheater
Brownsville Road And McCorkle Road
South Park, PA 15129
Like Point State Park, South Park isn’t a dedicated concert venue, but the park has still hosted its fair share of concerts. Last summer, the park hosted a free concert series which featured a mix of local and national bands such as Joe Grushecky Blue Oyster Cult, as well as performances from the Pittsburgh Symphony. While this year’s schedule has yet to be announced, expect free summer concerts Friday evenings from June until August.
The Frick Museum
7227 Reynolds St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
The Frick Museum hosts one of the city’s most popular summer events: First Fridays concerts, a concert series held the first Friday of every month June through September. This summer’s performers have yet to be announced, but the series typically focuses on local artists. A $5 donation is encouraged.
Janelle Sheetz is a 20-something closed-captioner by day, writer by night, just outside of Pittsburgh. She also regularly contributes to AXS.com and Examiner.com, and her writing has also been featured on The Billfold and Neutrons Protons.