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Your Summer Guide to Outdoor Music in West Michigan

There’s nothing better than being outside and hearing music in the distance. As you get closer, the music gets louder, and soon you find yourself at one of the many outdoor concerts right here in West Michigan. Performances in West Michigan range from local acts in the park to national headliners performing on some of the area’s biggest stages. No matter your taste, there’s an outdoor music event for you to check out this summer and into the fall.

Music Series Throughout the Summer

Music Series in Southern West Michigan

With a stacked music schedule throughout the summer, Vineyard 2121 in Benton Harbor has everything you need to enjoy your summer evenings. Couple this with their food and drink specials and you have the epitome of relaxation. For a full schedule of music, visit Vineyard 2121’s website.

The Dockside Bar at the Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph is hosting live music on their Dockside Bar all summer long. Running through Labor Day, these three-hour concerts will be held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

As part of their First Thursdays Market, Virtue Cider in Fennville features live local music the first Thursday of each month from now through October. In addition to these monthly performances, they’ll also have music throughout the summer. Visit Virtue Cider’s website for a full schedule of events.

The City of Hastings has partnered with the local arts council to create the free, 12-week Hastings Live! Summer Concert Series, starting Wednesday, June 6th. These Wednesday and Friday evening concerts feature the very best local and regional musical talent

Dablon Vineyards in Baroda hosts music throughout the year. While you’re sipping their world-class wine, enjoy the music that fills the air during your visit. For a schedule of performances, visit Dablon Vineyard’s website.

Each month this summer, the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven is hosting their summer concert series. These performances take place on the Michigan Maritime Museum Campus, with a beautiful Lake Michigan backdrop. For more information, including dates and who’s performing, visit the Michigan Maritime Museum’s website.

Make the most of summer at Round Barn Winery in Baroda and their concert series, Jammin’ in the Vineyard! Round Barn’s annual jamfest features 26 weekends of the best live regional music, paired with world-class wines, hand-crafted spirits, and fresh craft beers. For a full lineup, visit Round Barn’s website.

Summer music at Bell’s Brewery’s Beer Garden starts in June and continues until September. Enjoy a Bell’s beer surrounded by sculptures, beautiful trees, flowers, and hops in a lush garden in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. To see who’s performing this summer, visit Bell’s website.

Arcadia Brewing Company is hosting their Summer Music Series each month, with local music, tasty food, and frothy beers aplenty!

St. Joseph has two weekly concert series, both of which are free. Their Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts run through August 22nd while the Friday Night Concerts go through August 31st. For a full schedule, including who’s performing, visit St. Joseph Today’s website.

Downtown Coldwater is once again hosting their Entertainment Under the Star series of free outdoor concerts every Tuesday from June 19th to July 31st. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the sounds of folk, bluegrass, classic country, and rock.


Music Series in Central West Michigan

Located in Montague, the Trailway Campground is the perfect place to stay if you want to enjoy the free concerts held at the nearby Montague Bandshell each Tuesday this summer. Starting on June 19th, these live performances bring a wide range of music to the White Lake area.

Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant in Holland hosts live music every evening this summer! Enjoy the performance while you eat some of the area’s finest food on their spacious deck overlooking Lake Macatawa. To see who will be performing, visit Boatwerks’ website.

LowellArts in Lowell has concerts that promote the best of the region’s talented musicians, featuring music groups exclusively from Michigan. The concerts range from blues and world music to rock, swing, big band, and jazz. Shows are every Thursday evening starting on June 14th and running through August 23rd.

The Fox Barn Market & Winery in Shelby has live outdoor music now through Labor Day Weekend. The series is called “Fridays @ Fox’s” and brings together regional talent in a farm setting. Pair the music with a wine or their specialty food to enhance your summer evenings.

The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a synchronized water and light show accompanied by music of all varieties. Each 25-minute show features a variety of well-known music and plays daily at dusk through Labor Day, as well as Fridays and Saturdays in September.

Enjoy relaxing summer evenings with the Grand Rapids Pops performances by the Grand Rapids Symphony. This unique outdoor concert experience at Cannonsburg Ski Area is a sure way to create lasting memories with friends and family. For a schedule these events, visit the Grand Rapids Pops’ website.

The annual Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Frederik Meijer Gardens continue to bring the finest national and international musicians to Grand Rapids, thrilling music lovers across all genres and all generations. For tickets and information on their lineup, visit Frederik Meijer Gardens’ website.

The Mecosta area has a variety of live music during the summer months. Your choices include the Bandshell Concert Series on Wednesdays, Pocket Park Music Series on Friday afternoons, and Music on the River on Fridays. For more information on all the music in Mecosta County, visit the Mecosta County CVB’s website.

Mt. Pleasant’s wide variety of live entertainment will have you out and about all summer long. The local concert series is celebrating 10 years, bringing family fun to downtown Mt. Pleasant. Nearby Soaring Eagle Casino is also hosting outdoor shows, including Chris Young, Little Big Town, Nickelback, and more. For a full calendar of outdoor music, visit Mt. Pleasant’s website.


Music Series in Northern West Michigan

Indigo Bluffs in Empire is surrounded by outdoor music that you can enjoy this summer. One of the fan-favorites is Friday Night LIVE in Traverse City, hosted each Friday in August. The streets are closed for a fun-filled block party featuring live music.

The Village at Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor hosts live music every Thursday this summer, through August 30th. They’re also hosting a Fourth of July event on Tuesday, July 3rd, with a performance by the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. For a full schedule of events, including who’s performing this summer, visit Bay Harbor’s website.

Visit Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville to ride the Crystal Clipper chairlift and enjoy panoramic views of three counties and top-of-the-mountain attractions, including live musical entertainment, a family sandbox, snack bar, cash bar, and more. Rides are offered on select summer evenings on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Mackinac State Historic Parks is hosting Music in the Park on Mackinac Island every Thursday evening starting on June 21st and running through August 16th. Music in the Park takes place in Marquette Park in the heart of Mackinac Island and is free to the public.

The Traverse Tall Ship Company in Traverse City will be featuring the folk band Song of the Lakes on their evening sails every Wednesday in July and August. The band will be playing lively jigs, chanteys, and ballads of sailing and life on the sea!

Every Thursday from June 28th to August 30th, Washington Park in Cheboygan will be filled with a wide variety of music. Each week is something different, with genres ranging from rock and blues to country and folk. This is a great summertime family tradition in northern Michigan.

Music in the Park is hosted every Wednesday at the Soo Locks Park in Sault Ste. Marie. Each week features a new performer, and best of all, these outdoor performances are completely free!

Each summer, the Music in Mackinaw Concert Series offers live entertainment in the Mackinaw area. With performances taking place at the Roth Performance Shell in Conklin Heritage Park throughout the summer, you won’t have trouble finding outdoor music to enjoy. For a schedule of all events, including outdoor music, visit their website.

Based out of Traverse City, MyNorth is dedicated to sharing stories and photos about vacations, restaurants, wineries, the outdoors and more from Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes and up to Mackinac Island. They have a calendar of events, featuring music, art, and more, on their website.

Festivals & Events

Festivals & Events in June

Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer has two celebrations this month, each sporting live music. On Friday, June 1st, Greenbush is launching their summer seasonal Hefeweizen with live music. The next week, they’re celebrating their seven-year anniversary with live music in addition to delicious food and beer on Sunday, June 10th. Join the celebrations and enjoy the music along the way!

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair is June 1st and 2nd, and features live music alongside nearly 190 jury-selected artists. You’ll find a wide variety of artistic mediums alongside the music, food trucks, and family activities, making the event a great, art-filled weekend.

The Festival of the Arts is a three-day community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids offering music, art, food, entertainment, and fun activities for all ages. This year’s event is June 1st to 3rd and will continue the tradition of bringing together the Grand Rapids art community for a summer kick-off. Ongoing for over 40 years, the Festival of the Arts is one of the longest-running festivals in the state.

Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater is the backdrop for live blues music during the area’s ArtWalk event on Friday, June 8th. After checking out the art, crafters, and food trucks downtown, bring a lawn chair to Tibbits for a night of live music to cap off ArtWalk.

Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island is celebrating the island’s Lilac Festival with the Purple Pig Roast on June 8th and 17th. In addition to the delicious food and lilac themed drinks, live music will be playing all afternoon. Hosted on the resort’s waterfront lawn, enjoy a day filled with barbecue and music to compliment it.

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids is hosting Founders Fest 2018: A Celebration of Beer and Music on Saturday, June 16th. In its 11th year, Founders Fest continues to marry the finest beer with some of the best live entertainment in the country.

With five live bands playing throughout the day, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival at Warren Dunes in Sawyer is the place to be on Saturday, June 16th. Combine the live music with southwest Michigan wine and local food trucks for a fantastic day at the beach.

The Lemon Creek Winery in Grand Haven is hosting their 34th Annual Father’s Day Festival on Sunday, June 17th. This event features live music, wine tasting, food trucks, a classic Corvette car show, kids games, and more. This festival is a great opportunity to get the whole family together outside in the Michigan sunshine and celebrate your favorite dad.

Fenn Valley in Fennville has expanded their Wine Festival with live music, in addition to a fun run, wine, hard cider, and food. The festival is June 22nd and 23rd, and kicks off with the fun run through the vineyard.

To celebrate their newest beer, Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo is hosting their Motörhead Röad Crew Beer Release Party on Saturday, June 23rd.

Marshall’s main street will be transformed into Bourbon Street for the 15th Annual Blues Fest on Saturday, June 23rd. In addition to Cajun food and Mardi Gras beads, the event features music all day long. Free admission makes this event a no-brainer to attend.

Visit Lansing for the 19th Annual Common Ground Music Festival from June 28th to July 1st! See some of the best rock, pop, country, and hip-hop stars in the world take the stage in downtown Lansing along the Grand River in a setting unlike any other.

One of the biggest festivals in Traverse City is the National Cherry Festival, which runs from June 30th to July 7th. Cherry Festival celebrates every year with over 150 family activities including air shows, fireworks, parades, games, races, midway rides, nightly outdoor concerts, and plenty of chances to taste delicious cherry products.

The Grayling area is home to a variety of great music. They have a local music festival in late June that embodies this with local bands performing over two days. For information on where to find all the finest music in Grayling, visit their website.


Festivals & Events in July

Located near Hotel Walloon in Walloon Lake, Village Green Park is hosting live music as part of their Independence Day celebration. Stop by on Wednesday, July 4th to enjoy all the live entertainment, before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

With nine days of family-fun entertainment, the Ionia Free Fair returns to the Ionia Fairgrounds from July 12th to 21st. Enjoy the music, rodeo, rides, monster trucks, camping, and more at this fun annual event.

Idlewild Festival, held in Idlewild on July 14th and 15th, commemorates and celebrates the history of well known African-American entertainers and professionals who owned property and performed at the Historic Resort prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Known as the “Black Eden,” this location was one of the few resorts in the United States where African Americans could vacation and purchase property.

Located in Suttons Bay, the Inland Seas Education Association is hosting their two-hour music sail, Music with a Purpose, on Thursday, July 19th. Once you leave the dock, participants will have the opportunity to help raise the sails. Then, Dan Hall will entertain guests with lively sea chanties and stories.

Battle Creek’s Leilapalooza is Saturday, July 28th. This all-day music festival features over 60 acts on multiple stages. Rounding out the summer is the Michigan Metal Fest on Saturday, August 11th at the Leila Arboretum. Listen to metal music as 40 acts perform on four stages.

Festivals & Events in August

At Kalamazoo Ribfest, the ribs may be the star of the show, but national entertainment and local bands will provide plenty of entertainment as you feast. Kalamazoo’s largest annual downtown festival brings plenty of ribs and even more live entertainment when it takes over Arcadia Creek Festival Place from August 2nd to 4th.

Come to Heritage Landing in Muskegon from August 8th to 11th for the biggest Christian music festival in Michigan: Unity Christian Music Festival! There’ll be three stages featuring more than 45 acts. Unity Christian Music Festival has quickly become one of the country’s premier events for live Christian music.

GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids is West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival! This year’s festival is August 18th and 19th, at Rosa Parks Circle, a central location in the heart of downtown. The festival brings to the stage notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences.

Originally started in Columbus, Ohio, Breakaway Music Festival expanded to Grand Rapids last year for a new music experience, with this year’s festival on August 24th and 25th. Featuring a well-curated musical lineup of national and local artists, local vendors and food trucks, and more, Breakaway is your release from the everyday life.

Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite on Saturday, August 28th, for the 4th Annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. Serving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the sand, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts, and take in the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan.


Festivals & Events in September

The Allegan County Fair is home to many live entertainment events throughout its September 7th to 15th runtime, including musical and stage acts! The event includes performances by 5 Seconds of Summer, Pentatonix, Travis Tritt, the Charlie Daniels Band, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Tickets are available now for the fair’s many entertainment events.

Held from September 13th to 16th in Muskegon, the Michigan Irish Festival features live Irish entertainment daily under five large covered stages, from traditional Irish and folk music and contemporary Celtic rock to storytelling and Irish dance. The Pub will be serving traditional Irish beverages and food, adding to the cultural experience.

PRIME Music Festival returns to Lansing on September 14th and 15th. The multi-genre festival brings local and national performers together for a fantastic weekend of live music. Keep an eye out for their much-anticipated lineup coming soon!