On their website, the Gorge Amphitheatre claims to be, “one of the most scenic concert locations in the world, offering spectacular river gorge views and concert friendly summer weather, as well as lawn terrace seating.” With seating for over 20,000 attendees, relaxed drug and alcohol policies, and unbeatable views, the Gorge Amphitheatre has a unique atmosphere worthy of calling it a Top Weedist Destination.
This outdoor concert venue was originally known as the Champs de Brionne Music Theatre during its early 1980s winery/vineyard roots. Currently owned by Live Nation, it’s a nine-time winner of Pollstar Magazine’s award for ‘Best Outdoor Music Venue’ and was voted as one of the ‘Best Outdoor Concert Venues in America’ by ConcertBoom.
My first and only experience at the Gorge Amphitheatre left quite the impression. I was a teenager offered seats in the first ten rows, to watch none other than The Who play. And their opening band? Aerosmith. Neither of the bands were high in my must-see list, but who can turn down such great seats to world-class acts? And to this day, I am glad I went. We watched Aerosmith from the grassy hills surrounding the more expensive assigned seating.
Before the act had finished a few songs, half of the audience was smoking bud, or so it seemed. To a teenager unfamiliar with the sight of people smoking in public (this was 12 years before the historic recreational legalization was passed), I was a bit in shock as the entire area became covered in smoke. I never smoked that night; I didn’t need to in order to reap the benefits.
Around sunset my father took me on a short walk to checkout the rest of the property and then I could not believe I had missed the stunning view of the gorge and the rolling hills on the other side being encased by colors radiating out from the sunset right over the river. Definitely one of the top five sunsets I have seen in my entire life. I’ve yet to have a chance to return, but I’ve spoken to many who have went back and from their reports, the venue has only gotten better since that memorable day.
The Gorge Amphitheatre is located in rural, central Washington, pretty close to the middle of no where. It overlooks the Columbia River, known for creating breath-taking gorges all along the river. World-renowned artists from all genres play at this lovely venue, drawing crowds from all over the west coast. The Gorge is also home to numerous festivals including Area One, The Sasquatch! Music Festival, Area2 Festival, Lilith Fair, Ozzfest, The Vans Warped Tour and Creation festival.
For many of these festivals, you can by-pass the need to pay for a hotel and camp right on site, about half a mile away from the actual amphitheatre. At these events, the campgrounds turn into a large after-party relatively ignored by the police and employees alike.
If you ever get the chance to attend a show at the Gorge Amphitheatre, take it. I guarantee you will not regret it.