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Top Music Venues In Northern Colorado

When you are considering places in Colorado to go hear bands play, you probably automatically think of Denver, but Northern Colorado has a lot to offer on the music scene. In fact, 10 Fort Collins bands traveled to Austin for the SXSW event in 2011. The Fort Collins Music Experience, a two-day music festival showcasing bands playing at multiple venues around the city, gets bigger every year. There are lots of outstanding music venues in Northern Colorado, and here are some of the best.
Aggie Theater
(credit: Aggie Theater)

Aggie Theater

204 S. College Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 482-8300
Located in Old Town Fort Collins, this theater brings in some of the biggest acts of any venue in Fort Collins. National indie bands, punk bands and even country western stars often make a stop at this venue. It's not the classiest joint in town, the floors are sticky and the space is darkly lit, but the environment is fun and the acoustics are good.

Avogadro's Number

605 S. Mason St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 493-5555
What makes Avo's great isn't just the sheer number of bands they host, or the caliber of the bands, but the unique ambiance of the place. During the summer, bands play on the outside stage. Some nights it's a real family environment with children playing in the huge outdoor tree house and play area. During the colder months, the crowd moves to the more intimate setting inside the establishment. Avogradro's Number, or Avo's, as the locals call it, is a restaurant, bar and music venue all wrapped into one delicious package and features a variety of bands to fit just about every taste.

Foote Lagoon

500 E. Third Street
Loveland, CO 80538
Foote Lagoon
This is one of the most unique venues on the list because the bands play on a raised platform in the middle of the Foote Lagoon. The lagoon isn't a year-round music venue, but during the free Summer Concert Series bands play every Thursday night. Families bring picnics, sit in the amphitheater area or spread out on the grass to listen to the amazing bands that play this venue. The park, located near the city buildings and library, is located within walking distance of historic downtown Loveland.

Mishawaka Amphitheater
Drew Emmit and Friends playing at the Mishawaka Amphitheater in May 2010. (credit: Tom Merolla)

Mishawaka Amphitheater

13714 Poudre Canyon Hwy
Bellvue, CO 80512
(970) 482-4420
Ask 10 people in Northern Colorado to name their favorite music venue and at least half of them will say "The Mish." It's been a bumpy couple of years for The Mish, as the fans fondly call it, but it looks like the future is bright for this popular music venue along the banks of the Poudre River. The founder of SpokesBuzz recently purchased the place. SpokesBuzz is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of music and culture in Fort Collins. The Mish is now undergoing a revitalization that will preserve the authenticity and character of the place while also broadening its offerings to include more varied acts such as live theater, classic music and cultural performances.

Wildflower Pavilion on Planet Bluegrass

Wildflower Pavilion at Planet Bluegrass

500 West Main
Lyons, CO 80540
(800) 624-2422
The 300-seat Wildflower Pavilion, an outdoor music venue, is called the "Cathedral of Bluegrass." Established in 2007, along the banks of the St. Vrain River in the charming town of Lyons, Wildflower Pavilion has quickly become a Boulder County favorite. Guests can sip wine and beer while listening to some of the best bluegrass and folk music in the business. When the weather is right, there's a bonfire onsite that adds even more loveliness to this outstanding music venue.

- Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is the Mayor of and a freelance writer from Northern Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @HeidiTown.

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