After renovating the Top Hat, Checota moved on to the Wilma, Missoulas one-time vaudeville theatre. Built for Edna Wilma Simons, a light opera star from Kentucky, by her first husband, it had last been remodelled in the 1950s. He says: We wanted to preserve the historical character but make it function as a modern club. The result was a 1,400-capacity music venue with one of the best sound systems in the country, which has established the tiny town of Missoula as a must-play for touring acts.
South Higgins Avenue, thewilma.com
Big Sky Amphitheater
The Big Sky Brewing company has been hosting summer concerts in the fields next to its brewery since 2004, and sharing the proceeds with local non-profit organisations. Last year, it unveiled a permanent amphitheatre to host the concert series. But its not even the biggest concert space in Missoula any more. Last year Lyle Lovett played the inaugural concert at the new 4,000-seater Kettlehouse Amphitheater, housed at another popular Missoulian brewery.
5417 Trumpeter Way, bigskybrew.com
Who to follow
Missoulas popular storytelling project Tell Us Something is a celebration of the local community; you can listen to previous events and stories on its website
Way to go
The trip was provided by Destination Missoula, which has information on the town and activities, with accommodation at the wilmacondo.com (doubles from $130). More information at VisittheUSA.com. There are no direct flights from the UK to Montana and Missoulas airport serves domestic destinations only. The closest US airports with UK flights are Portland, Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.
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