KIRO Radio's Josh Kerns talks local music
Seattle Sounds

Remembering Green Lake's Aqua Theater

| Zoom
Seattle's Greenlake Aqua Theater once hosted a number of big rock bands including the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin (Image courtesy History Link)

There are plenty of outdoor concerts and unique venues in our area for summer music lovers. But in the summer of love, one unique Seattle destination stood out. This week on Seattle Sounds we're remembering Green Lake's Aqua Theater.

"It was built for Seafair back in its uber glory days in the early 1950's for a musical water show," says Seattle historian Feliks Banel. "But then they saw that space was available and rock and roll was on the rise."

The setting at the South end of Green Lake was unique. Bands performed on a floating stage while the audience watched from an amphiteater on the shore.

The summer of 1969 saw some of the biggest bands perform, including the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin.

"Because it was on Green Lake you could just take a rowboat and just paddle up and watch the show from behind the stage in a boat or you could just swim out in the lake or sit out on an inner tube."

Banel says time ultimately caught up with Aqua Theater, and the Dead's Augsut 21, 1969 concert would be the last on the lake.

"At that point they figured it's about 20 years old and it's not safe to pack the place and put on big musical shows," Banel says.

Listen to the Grateful Dead's 1969 Green Lake show here.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Seattle Sounds on KIRO Radio
Join Josh Kerns and Shawn Stewart every Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 5pm on KIRO Radio.

In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.