Best Of Tucson®

Best Outdoor Venue

DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center

READERS' PICK: Legend has it that while Lou Reed spent his lesser known years in Tucson, waiting for his man with 25 dollars in his hand, he waited at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center while enjoying Shakespeare on the lawn. Sure, the bench seats accommodate 100, but Lou knew his grass-stained Levi's were more rock and roll. What better than to contemplate "feeling so good and feeling so fine" and to know your tax dollars contributed to the bandshell's Celebrate the Arts sculpture, Tucson's first piece of public art commissioned under the city's One Percent for Art Program?

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: AVA/Casino del Sol. Where does a band play when it's too big for Centennial Hall and the Rialto, too small for TCC? For years that question plagued Tucson--the sad reply was Phoenix--but now we now have a better answer. Set up like a smaller version of one of those "sheds" that every other city besides Tucson has, the AVA could have been a mere stopoff on the "casino circuit," with names like Wayne Newton and Robert Goulet lighting up the marquee. As it turns out, though, the AVA has hosted a little something for everyone, from tottering old folks with naturally blue hair to moshing teens who dyed it that way. A long overdue and welcome addition to our humble burg.

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