Venues: Reader picks

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.


Red Butte Garden • Outdoor venues such as Usana Amphitheatre, the Gallivan Center, Pioneer Park and Deer Valley's Snow Park Amphitheater certainly have their virtues, but nothing signals summer's arrival like the amphitheater at Red Butte Garden, the botanical garden at the University of Utah. 2013 is no different. With the largest assembling of top-tier acts in the history of the place — including Steely Dan, Tony Bennett, Vampire Weekend and Merle Haggard — there is something for every ear. But what sets this venue apart is the atmosphere as twilight arrives, with spectacular views of the crimson canyons to your left, an awe-inspiring view of the Salt Lake Valley to your right, and the moon always overhead. Musicians routinely say Red Butte Garden is their favorite place to play, and discriminating audiences share the feeling.

First runner-up

Abravanel Hall • (See Editors' Choice.)

Second runner-up

Mormon Tabernacle • An acoustical and architectural marvel, the Tabernacle has an unsurpassed history that includes appearances by everyone from Vladimir Horowitz to Jack Benny to John F. Kennedy.