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Greatest Hits

Crank up the volume on six destinations that deliver music hot spots and heritage
Story by
postedDecember 17, 2018
Every place has a song to sing and lots of spots to celebrate musical artistry. The following six destinations have so many venues and voices, in fact, we imagined what compilations of their greatest hits would look like. And what would they sound like? Well, you’ll just have to go there … and listen up.

  venue  |  ◣  festival  |  ◉  music district  |  ⬛ music heritage attraction  |  ✱  local music hero

Denver, Colorado

The Denver music scene is scorching. On any given night, you’ll find local and national artists playing a vast array of genres in clubs throughout the metro area. Music lovers travel to the Mile High City to attend some of the best concerts and music festivals in the state.


Producer: Jenna VanOort

Cover art: Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

✖  Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre  A naturally formed, perfectly acoustic amphitheater hosts an outdoor summer concert series May through October
  Colorado Music Hall of Fame  Located at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre—honors Colorado musicians
◣  Velorama and Colorado Classic  Colorado Classic bike race and three-day Velorama music festival—August
  Dazzle  Authentic jazz club experience in the heart of downtown Denver
  Colfax Avenue  Eclectic mix of eateries, bars, shops and music venues
✖  Ophelia’s Electric Soap Box  Former brothel turned restaurant and live music venue
  Denver Day of Rock  Free rock concerts on five Denver stages every Memorial Day weekend
✖  Nocturne  Hip jazz venue in the RiNo (River North) Art District
  Performers’ Hall of Fame  Recognizes every musical act who has ever played at Red Rocks
✱  The Fray  Contemporary rock band—debut album, “How to Save a Life,” went double platinum
✱  John Denver  Singer-songwriter, born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.


From covert toe-tappers to head bangers and flower children, everyone comes together as one big, lip-synching family during Alberta’s music festival season. Summer music events are so full of warm vibes, it almost doesn’t matter who’s playing. Pull up some lawn or throw down a tarp and meet your new favorite band.


Producer: Desiree Gibson
Cover art: Edmonton Folk Music Festival

✖  Ears to Edmonton (the hottest spots in town) Rogers Stadium in the new Ice District, The Oasis Centre, Sugar Swing Ballroom, Yardbird Suite
✖  Calgary Chords  Studio Bell, Saddledome, Stampede Corral, King Eddie Hotel, The Blues Can, Garry Theatre
✖  Beats in Banff/Lake Louise  The Banff Centre & Shaw Amphitheatre, Hoodoo Lounge, Dancing Sasquatch
✖  Jivin’ in Jasper  Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, The Stand Easy Lounge, Athabasca Hotel (The Atha-B)
◣  Edmonton Folk Music Festival  More than 60 performers in a broad musical mandate—August
  Calgary’s Music Mile  Vibrant stretch of live music venues in the heart of the city
◣  Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival  World-class entertainment from Canadian artists—June
◣  Country Thunder  Top country acts, such as 2019 headliner Jason Aldean, storm into Calgary—August
◣  Banff Summer Concert Series  Artists and performers from around the world—June through August
◣  Tongue on the Post Festival  A full week of folk music in Medicine Hat—January
✱  Brett Kissel  Flat Lake native named 2017 Male Artist of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association
✱  Tegan and Sara  The indie-rock duo, twins born in Calgary, scored three Juno Awards
in 2014

Germany's Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region

What do you associate with Germany? Maybe you think of enjoying good food, wine and beer at a traditional festival. Or visiting stately castles and monasteries surrounded by beautiful nature. Along with all that, the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region offers magical music experiences in unique and historical venues.


Producer: Charlotte Jakobsen

Cover art: Brothers Grimm Festival

◣  Rheingau Music Festival  Summer concerts focus on classical music, but include jazz and cabaret
✖  Johannisburg Castle  Magical surroundings for all kinds of events, located in Bavaria
◣  Brothers Grimm Festival  The fairytales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm come to life each summer in Hanau, birthplace of the Brothers Grimm
✖  Old Opera House  Majestic building in the city center of Frankfurt—a joy for the eye
◣  Michaelismesse (St. Michael’s Fair)  Late summer folk festival, nestled between Miltenberg’s medieval city center and the banks of the Main
✖  Orangerie  The focal point of social life in Bad Homburg since the mid-19th century
◣  International Elvis Festival  Celebrated each summer in Bad Nauheim, where the King of Rock ’n’ Roll lived during his military service—August
  Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet  Charming museum in Rüdesheim holds the world’s largest collection of self-playing instruments
◣  Bingen Swingt  International jazz festival in Bingen brings funky beats to this Rhine River city—June
◣  Burgfestspiele in Dreieichenhain/Offenbach  Concerts throughout the summer on an open-air stage surrounded by the medieval walls of Hayner Castle
✖  Centralstation  Built as Darmstadt’s first electricity plant, it’s now a top event venue
◣  Aschaffenburg Guitar Festival  Now in its fourth decade, Guitar Festival strums up everything from chamber music ensembles to flamenco concerts—Feb. 22–March 17
◣  Frankfurt Apple Wine Festival  Local bands provide music to sip along with as patrons enjoy a variety of apple wines, blends and cocktails—Aug. 9–18

Logan, Utah

Play your way in Logan, Utah. Endless outdoor adventures await, plus fantastic music and performing arts, self-guided foodie treks and hands-on heritage experiences. Drive Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway to the breathtaking turquoise waters of Bear Lake. Explore Logan—less than a day’s drive from Yellowstone National Park Jackson and Utah’s five national parks.


Producer: Julie Hollist
Cover art: Cherry Peak Resort Summer
Concert Series

◣  Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Company  Operas, American musicals and concerts with performers from around the world—from late June to early August
◣  American Festival Chorus & Orchestra  More than 200 singers and a 65-member orchestra offer a vibrant musical repertoire throughout the year
✖  Lyric Repertory Company  Musicals, dramas, mysteries, farces, comedies and classics performed by professional and student actors
◣  Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous  Three-day event with Western musicians, cowboy poets, artisans, concerts and cowboy church—March
✖  Utah Theatre  Concerts and performances, as well as silent movies with live organ accompaniment, in a 1924 Art Deco theater 
✖  1923 Ellen Eccles Theatre  Hosts local, regional and national touring productions—one of three venues in the newly designated Logan Theatre District
✖  Logan Tabernacle  Built by Mormon pioneers, offers free concerts at noon weekdays from June through early August
◣  Summerfest Arts Faire  Juried arts festival with great food, entertainment and headliner concerts—Father’s Day weekend
✖  Utah State University  Live music and theater performances year-round—plus summertime music camps and courses. And enjoy famous Aggie Ice Cream while on campus
◣  Celebrate America Show  Fast-paced Broadway-style show that takes you back to the big band era of the 1940s—September
✖  Cherry Peak Resort Summer Concert Series  Brings popular musicians (the 2018 lineup included Clint Black, Restless Heart and Phillip Phillips) to perform live outdoor concerts in a beautiful mountain setting
✖  Cache Valley Gardeners Market  Live music, arts and crafts and local produce—Saturday mornings, mid-May to mid-October


Texas is a state that breeds talent, and it’s the home of legends like Stevie, Janis and Buddy. Every night you’ll find the same passion alive and kicking in every dancehall, nightclub, festival and lounge across the state. There’s something for every music lover here, from techno to Tejano and every style in between!


Producer: Debra Bustos

Cover art: Austin City Limits Festival

✖  Billy Bobs  Amazing live music and live bull riding in an authentic Texas atmosphere (Fort Worth)
◣  Austin City Limits Music Festival  Different genres of live music and entertainment in the Live Music Capital of the World—October
  Buddy Holly Museum  Memorabilia from the iconic Texas singer’s life includes stage clothing, fan letters, postcards and audio-visual graphics (Lubbock)
✖  Gruene Hall  Built in 1878, Texas’ oldest continually operating—and most famous—dance hall (Gruene)
◣  Old Settler’s Music Festival  Classic festival with a taste of great music, food and drinks and event camping around the area—April (Tilmon)
  Toyota Music Factory  New—opened in 2017—but still considered the soul of the DFW Metroplex with diverse music, food and movies (Irving)
  Selena Museum  A remembrance of the short but impactful life of singer Selena Quintanilla Perez (Corpus Christi)
   Sixth Street  Austin’s historical entertainment district, home to live music, food trucks and iconic bars where you can dance the night away
  Roy Orbison Museum  Features memorabilia from the singer’s boyhood and his musical career, including record albums and Orbison’s trademark sunglasses (Wink)
◣  Round Top Festival Institute  Students from around the world join distinguished artists in summertime performances of orchestral, chamber and solo music. (Round Top)
✱  Willie Nelson  One of the most recognized artists in country music, born in Abbott
✱  Beyoncé  Singer and actress, has sold more than 160 million albums worldwide (solo and with Destiny’s Child), from Houston
✱  Janis Joplin  Among the most widely known rock, soul and blues singers and songwriters of the late ’60s, born in Port Arthur

Nashville, Tennessee

From its very beginnings, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music. Music is the universal language, and it is the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and people.


Producer: Laurel Bennett

Cover art: Chris Young

✖  The Bluebird Café  Up-and-comers, along with hit songwriters, perform in an intimate setting—more than 70,000 visitors annually
◣  CMA Music Festival  The ultimate country music fan experience, hosted by the Country Music Association—June
  Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum  The world’s largest popular music museum, showcasing country legends and today’s stars
✖  “Grand Ole Opry”  The world’s longest-running broadcast, with more than 90 years of history
   Printer’s Alley  Where musicians once gathered at a day’s end to play jazz and rock ’n’ roll—music that’s still heard today
✖  Ryman Auditorium  The “Mother Church of Country Music”
  Historic RCA Studio B  Famous studio where Elvis recorded more than 250 songs
◣  Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival  The largest festival of its kind in the world—April
  Patsy Cline Museum  Celebrates the life of the legendary songstress and her indelible mark on country music
✖  Exit/In  Decades-old club that makes room for alternatives to country music: “rockers, rappers, punks, DJs, metalheads, etc.”
  Musicians Hall of Fame  Honors performers from all genres of music—home to The Grammy Museum Gallery
◣  Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight  New Year’s Eve live music, fireworks and a Music Note Drop at midnight to ring in the new year
  Johnny Cash Museum  Featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia
◣  Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival  Builds cultural awareness and commemorates the historical corridor with jazz, blues, funk, gospel, soul and R&B
◣  Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th  Free live music and family fun, including one of the country’s largest firework shows
   Honky Tonk Highway  The hub of entertainment, where Music City was defined
✖  The Station Inn  Headquarters for bluegrass music
   Midtown  Where locals go for the restaurants and bars, live performances and karaoke
   Music Valley  Known for outstanding entertainment, fun activities and great shopping
✖  The Listening Room  Several singer/songwriters play in-the-round and share the stories behind their songs
  George Jones Museum  Offers a thorough and intimate look into the life and career of the musical icon
✱  Elvis Presley  Recorded more than half of his catalogue of songs in Nashville, including his first hit, “Heartbreak Hotel,” in 1956
✱  Dolly Parton  One of the most honored female country performers of all time
✱  Fisk Jubilee Singers  Touring in England in 1873, the group played for Queen Victoria, who stated they must have come from “Music City”

Mix Tape

The hits just keep on coming at NTA-member music venues—including these four:

The Palace Theater  A year-round performing arts dinner theater in Wisconsin Dells
Kortnee Carroll  |

American Music Theatre  Concerts and Broadway-quality shows in Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Alyssa Keshel  |

The Stratford Festival  Musicals, dramas, classic works and new plays—April to November in Ontario
Heather Martin  |

Carnegie Hall  Breakthrough artists and veteran singers perform in this New York City landmark
Rayna Bourke  |

Top photo ©Brad/Adobe Stock


Support for Courier articles provided by:
Chicago The Musical-National Artists Management Company
Country Music Hall of Fame
Graceland & Guest House at Graceland