News

Where to enjoy music outside this summer

Music festivals, concerts in the park, piano on patio–music fills the West Michigan summer air! Find yourself dancing and singing along at these outdoor music events and locations this season.

Have your trip planned already?  Use our event calendar to find out what’s happening during your visit.

Upper Peninsula

With back-to-back music festivals in the middle of July, there’s no better city to enjoy the sounds and variety of performances than Marquette. Add in a couple hundred miles of mountain bike trails, 73 miles of Superior beaches, and views unlike anywhere else in the Midwest, and you’ve found the perfect place to make waves- sound or water!

  • Forestville Music Festival, July 12-13th – a craft beer/music fest held at the Noquemanon Trail Network Forestville Trailhead in Marquette. This great northern escape into the woods is the perfect opportunity to jam out to music, sample delicious Michigan craft brews, and explore miles of hiking and biking trails, all with some of the self-proclaimed coolest people on earth.
  • Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, July 19th-21st – a weekend full of traditional music styles, from bluegrass to old-time, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic blues and folk – including singer/songwriters – and dance! The Hiawatha Festival is the largest event of its kind in the Upper Peninsula, and one of the oldest. The festival also features workshop stages with offerings ranging from hands-on musical instruction to meet-the-artist sessions with the mainstage performers.

North

Enjoy live local acoustic music on the picturesque east terrace of Chateau Chantal in Traverse City! Enjoy wine & charcuterie specials, available only during Unplugged on the Terrace June 13th through September 26rd from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Local talent mixed with out-of-town performers supply terrific performances throughout the Petoskey Area in the summer. Add the breeze off Little Traverse Bay or Lake Charlevoix and you’ve got the perfect mix for enjoying music outdoors. Grab dinner from one of the local hot spots and then cop a squat and hum along.

  • Evenings at the Gazebo at Old City Park, Boyne City. Performances are Wednesday nights, from June 19th – August 14th beginning at 6:30 pm.  
  • Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park at Pennsylvania Park, Petoskey. Performances Wednesday and Fridays, June 19th– August 23rd from noon to 1:00 pm.
  • Petoskey Rocks, Petoskey. In addition to some kicking live shows on the stage during Music in the Park each week, this Friday night event will feature free carriage rides throughout Downtown, a Ghost Walk, and a Movie in the Park at Dark. July 5th – August 9th.
  • Need to move while you groove? Do it at Street Musique, Harbor Springs. Find live music dotted throughout this bustling downtown along the bay from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm each Thursday from June 27th – August 22nd.  
  • Stroll the Streets in Boyne City every Friday from June 14th – August 30th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, when downtown Boyne City is jumping with laughter, balloon twisters, and terrific musical entertainment in a variety of locations along the streets.
  • Village at Bay Harbor invites locals and visitors alike to experience their shops, eateries and live music at Music on Main, Thursday night May 30th to August 29th.

See 50 artists over four days the Big Ticket Festival in Gaylord, June 26th-29th.

 

Central

Bring your chairs and blankets, grab a bite to eat at one of the local eateries, and enjoy music at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s United Bank Rogue River Blues Series every Tuesday 7:00 pm-9:00 pm, June 11th through August 13th.

Celebrate summer at Rockford Brewing Company’s Start of Summer Beer Tent June 13-16th with beer, live music, and tacos!

Come to Muskegon’s Hackley Park for free Friday evening entertainment and a family-friendly atmosphere at Parties in the Park. Parties are 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, featuring great food and adult beverage vendors!

Head over to Rowan Park for the Muskegon Heights Festival, June 10-15th. This community celebration features games, arts & crafts, concerts and food vendors. For more information call 231-578-2099.

Enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Montague Band Shell, June 18th & 25th. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a lovely summer evening listening to a variety of genres of music. The rain site is Montague High School.

Make a stop at the White River Light Station in Whitehall June 22nd for live music from Wyatt and Sheri Knapp! Known for their sparkling vocals, lush harmonies, and tasteful blend that sets them apart, this personable and engaging husband-wife duo are a must see.

Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids brings the finest national and international musicians to West Michigan, thrilling music lovers across all genres and all generations. The Summer Concert Series runs from June through September and features beautiful terraced lawn seating and food, beverage and merchandise concessions—surrounded by spectacular views of gardens and sculpture.

Muskegon Summer Wine Up Festival, taking place June 8th, is a new festival in Muskegon’s Hackley Park. It will be a day of celebration, music, fun, and a learning opportunity for wine novices and pros alike to try and taste the different varieties of wines created in Michigan and the U.S. The cost is $15 and includes 4 tastings. The first 800 people will receive a souvenir wine glass for tasting. You must be 21 to attend this event.

Ludington is ready to rock this summer!

  • Local musicians perform live every Thursday night of the summer season at the North James Street Plaza. This is an outdoor event and a perfect way to enjoy time with friends while listening to great music.
  • Get ready for Ludrock, July 6-7th! Local musicians gather for this two-day event at the water’s edge for a good cause, providing a series of concerts, which are free to the public. Vendors and raffles will raise money for local non-profit organizations. A kids craft area and food will also be part of the festivities.
  • Rhythm & Dunes Concert takes place July 27th and August 3rd at Waterfront Park. Get on your feet and get ready for a dance party!  Bring your own seating, grab your cooler and friends, then head to downtown Ludington.

Soaring Eagle Casino’s upcoming outdoor shows in Mt. Pleasant include Snoop Dogg, Gin Blossoms & Collective Soul, Gabriel Iglesias, Five Finger Death Punch, Tim McGraw, and more!

Max & Emily’s Eatery is celebrating 11 years of dancing in the streets and family-fun in Downtown Mt. Pleasant. Past performances include Jeff Daniels, The Verve Pipe, and Central Michigan’s very own Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers.

Founders Fest 2019: A Celebration of Beer and Music, is coming up on Saturday, June 22nd, at Founders Brewery in downtown Grand Rapids. Founders Fest brings together the tastiest beer with the finest artists from around the country, and the world. This year’s performers include Gov’t Mule, Toots & the Maytals, Macy Gray, War & Treaty, and Lady Ace Boogie.  Additional info and tickets can be purchased online from Founders Brewery.

During the summer months, Mecosta County has various live music opportunities for everyone to enjoy.

  • Pocket Park Music Series, which takes place, May 31stt through the end of August, on Friday afternoons from noon until 2:00 pm, in Pocket Park, between The Raven and Chemical Bank on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Big Rapids. Additionally at each concert, a local non-profit organization and/or service agency is recognized and thanked for their service to the community.
  • Prefer a more relaxed, musical evening? Visit the Hemlock Park Bandshell for the Bandshell Concert Series, beginning June 20th through August 15th. Every Wednesday, with an exception for the week of July 4th, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, bring a blanket or a chair, along with some friends to enjoy music right by the river.  
  • The Ferris State Community Summer Band Series, 7:00 pm on Wednesdays throughout the county, includes the Big Rapids Bandshell, Old County Jail, Canadian Lakes Castle, and the Rotary Park. For a full list of dates, visit the Big Rapids Community Calendar.
  • The New Hope Church Concert Series will be hosting two nights of evening music on June 15th and August 31st both at 6:00 pm. The first performance will be by the band Greater Vision with a second performance by The Browns; doors open at 5 pm, seating is limited and tickets in advance are $15 with day of tickets priced at $18 per person.

The Big Rapids Lions Club and the Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau are bringing back the very popular and exciting Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival to the downtown Big Rapids Bandshell on Saturday, July 6, 2019. This day of musical entertainment will start off with a salute to our dedicated military personnel and Flag Presentation and Dedication of the Colors by the Morley American Legion Post #554 with the National Anthem being sung by local talent Allison Leveque. The lineup for the day includes the Ohio based Soul Men with backup band Paradise, the Z Darrell Marvel Band, Chicago Rock and Blues singer Lauren Wolf and The Lauren Wolf Band, Rick Hicks and the Rick Hicks Blues Band and award winning Blues performer Sharrie Williams. Tickets are available for purchase either online at bigrapids.org/bluesfest or from Three Girls Bakery, the Old Pioneer Store & Emporium, the Mecosta County Convention and Visitors Bureau, or from any Big Rapids Lions Club members.

Experience Grand Rapids’ John Ball Zoo like never before (i.e. at night, with adult beverages, and without any kids) at Rock, Roar and Pour, a 21+ event with beer, wine, and cider for purchase, savory foods from the grill as well as delicious concession options, live music from local bands, and animal encounters. Rock Roar and Pour musical guests include the Crane Wives on June 27th, Jedi Mind Trip July 25th, The WhatNots August 22nd, and Great Scott on

Enjoy The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, June 21st and 22nd, a free two-day music festival in the heart of downtown East Lansing, featuring the best in local, regional and national talent, children’s activities, a traditional New Orleans-style Second Line Parade, and more. Presented by the City of East Lansing, and the MSU College of Music, with artistic direction by Rodney Whitaker.

The Hudsonville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the June Concert on the Green series at Veterans Park in Hudsonville. This free family friendly event takes place every Thursday night in June.

Holland will be full of music this summer!

  • The Acoustic Sunset Concert Series at Camp Blodgett, June 2nd, 16th, July 21st and August 18th.  
  • American Legion Concert Series Tuesdays June 11th – August 13th at Kollen Park
  • Concerts in the Park, Wednesdays at noon June 12th through August 28th in GDK Park
  • Summer Concert Series in Kollen Park, Fridays June 14th- August 23rd, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.
  • Singer-songwriters and cover bands frequently perform on a weekly basis at Park Theater in downtown Holland.
  • Enjoy the sights and sounds of street performers every Thursday while you’re shopping and dining in Downtown Holland with the Street Performer Series! From 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm each Thursday from June 13th through August 29th, musicians, caricature artists, face painters, jugglers, magicians and even aerial acrobats will entertain visitors strolling along the 8th Street.

Head to C2C Gallery in Grand Haven for First Fridays, June 7th and July 5th, 6:00 pm and see local artists and musicians share their talents.

Grand Haven Main Street will celebrate the community of Grand Haven by hosting a free public concert on the Waterfront, at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium. The event will be held Saturday, June 29th, from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm.  

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

 

South

Nearly 200 artists are expected to participate in the 68th annual Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair June 7th-8th. Always the first weekend in June, the fair runs Friday, 3:00 pm-8:00 pm, and Saturday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Artists are the headliners, but entertainment, food vendors, Saturday children’s activities, and a Friday beer garden add to the fun. Friday will offer live music, food and drink at the ever-popular Beer Garden, outside the KIA. Featured will be Bell’s Beer and food by the Eccentric Cafe. Saturday will see music in the park, art sales from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and children’s activities noon-4:00 pm.

Hippie Fest returns to Kalamazoo County Fairground in Kalamazoo Saturday June 1st.  Featuring live music, bohemian shopping, vintage hippie car show, DIY tie-dye, giant bubble garden, cirque performers, kids activities, delicious food, and more.

Grab your lawn chair and head on down with the family for the 16th Annual Marshall Blues Festival, a smokin’ hot summer tradition! Marshall blocks off Michigan Avenue for some music, food, and fun. Saturday, June 22nd is the date to save: the music starts at 3:00 pm and rocks until 11:00 pm. A variety of food can be found lining the streets with saucy barbecue, cheesy pizza, nachos, soft pretzels, and more. If you get thirsty, a 21 and older beer tent is waiting to cool you off with ice cold beer.

Bell’s Brewery and Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo host a series of concerts in the beer garden throughout the summer.

Enjoy live music Fridays and Sundays throughout the summer at Dablon Vineyards in Baroda

You’ll find wine and tunes in the dunes at the 14th Annual Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival at Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer on Saturday, June 15th. Come for a wine tasting experience with all 18 member wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail.  The festival will have live music, food trucks, other food tastings, and educational seminars about the wine produced right here in Southwest Michigan. Visit LakeMichiganWineFest.com for ticket information.

Kick up your heels at Journeyman Distillery’s annual summer party in Three Oaks, offering craft cocktails, a cookout menu, and their single-grain, cask strength, Corsets, Whips & Whiskey. Play cornhole, compete for prizes on the 18 hole “Welter’s Folly” putting green, and enjoy family, friends, and neighbors. Don’t miss a toe-tapping music line-up including classic blues by student musicians from non-profit, The Blues Project, Sanctified Grumblers, and Paul Erdman. The party begins June 29th at 11:30 am and lasts until 10:00 pm. Admission is free and open to all ages!

The Wednesday Brown Bag Concert Series in St. Joseph begins June 26th, from noon-1:00 pm. Enjoy free concerts Wednesdays at noon at the John E.N. Howard Bandshell. Bring your lunch and take a break from the daily grind. In addition, enjoy free concerts Friday nights June 21th and 28 at 7:30 pm at the John E.N. Howard Bandshell in downtown St. Joseph with the Friday Night Concert Series. Groove to the sounds blues, jazz and more!

Head to South Haven for musical fun!

  • Join the community as they gather at Riverfront Park for live, outdoor music every Thursday night during the summer. Riverfront Park is located on the Black River, with a scenic view of the harbor and South Haven’s iconic red lighthouse. Bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket, snacks, and good company!
  • Enjoy great live music among the dragon boat races, craft fair, kids activities and rides and make sure to visit the merfolk gathered along the South Pier during HarborFest Mermaid MegaFest June 14th-15th!
  • Rhythm on the River Music Festival takes place July 19th – 20th, and is a two-day festival celebrating Michigan musicians and their original work. Located at Riverfront Park, you’ll have excellent views of the harbor along with family-friendly fun, local food, and craft beer.

Live music is happening all over Saugatuck during Saugatuck Expo Week: The Art of Music, June 10th – 16th! Outdoor music lovers will want to visit during the entire month with the full lineup planned! See the full list at Saugatuck.com/events.

The Saugutuck-Douglas Area Business Association hosts Music In The Park, featuring popular bands playing at Wicks Park Gazebo in Saugatuck. Family and friends are welcome to picnic and dance in this family friendly atmosphere Wednesdays at 7:00pm beginning June 19th through August.

South Central Michigan sets the stage for outdoor music throughout the summer. Downtown Coldwater is once again hosting ‘Entertainment Under the Stars’ series of free outdoor concerts every Tuesday night from June 19th-July 31st. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, and enjoy the sounds of folk, bluegrass, classic country, and rock! And mark your calendars for Thursday evenings for the Sounds of Summer concert series in Quincy. Starting June 22nd, and running through August, each Thursday from 6-8:00 pm will feature a musical performance at the Village of Quincy Park. Bring your blankets and chairs!

Come to Downtown Coldwater July 20th from 3:00 pm-7:30 pm to experience the annual ArtWalk and Vintage Market. Organizers are moving it outside this year with food trucks, a community drum circle, live music, and a kids area for creating art, along with a variety of fine artists and vintage vendors.

Looking for more?  There are several special events and festivals featuring live music this summer all over West Michigan!

Festival of the Arts, June 7, 8, and 9, in downtown Grand Rapids, celebrates 50 years of community art, music, dance and food!

Party with Southwest Michigan’s beer, wine, and spirits makers at Bridgman’s Weko Beach June 8 at the Makers Trail Festival. Enjoy beer, wine, and spirits tastings from over 30 different Southwest Michigan makers, local food, and live music all with a Lake Michigan view. Tickets are $10 in advance or $20 at the gate.

Lansing’s Juneteenth Celebration & African American Parade commemorates the end of slavery in the United States by celebrating the joys of liberty, educating the community about African-American heritage and promoting positive cultural interaction. This three-day event, occurring June 13-15, includes music, dance, entertainment, educational exhibits, children’s activities, a health fair, and parade! This year, they’re celebrating more than 25 years in the Lansing area.

Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival takes place at Dickson Township Park in Brethren in Manistee County on June 15th. The festival features a day full of music on two stages, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, great food, and a closing dance.

Join Leelanau Studios in Traverse City for Planet of the Grapes, a fun afternoon on Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 3:00 to 8:00 pm at the Grand Traverse Regional Campus Festival Lawn. Indulge in local wines, brews and foods while grooving to live musical performances by Soul Patch, Levi Britton and more! Comedy performances include Norm Stulz (HBO, ComedyCentral). Enjoy the Wine Education Room for educational wine tasting seminars.

Head to Lansing June 27-30th for the 20th annual Common Ground Music Festival. 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.

Plan a special day with the whole family at Rock Stock in Muskegon, July 4-6. This year’s 4th of July celebration will feature lots of great food, craft beers, vendors, tried and true music, and KIDSTOCK, a Kangaroo Palace special event for kids of all ages.

Folks return to Treetops Resort in Gaylord year after year for the annual Summerfest and Fireworks show. The weekend offers something for all ages and all interests including the Red, White & Blue Golf Scramble, scenic chairlift rides, kids games and activities, live music, disc golf, lawn games, food and drink specials, and the epic fireworks show at dusk. Entry to SummerFest is free, but guests may purchase tickets for select activities, food and beverage. Custom packages are available for this festive and family fun weekend scheduled for July 5-7, 2019.  For more information call: (844) 368-6557 or visit Treetops.com.

Muskegon 150th Celebration, July 11-13, will recognize 150 glorious years in the City of Muskegon with a three-day concert series at Heritage Landing that will include Bret Michaels, Gretchen Wilson, Kansas, Warrant, and Freddie Jackson!

Amusement rides, food, live music, mud running, monster truck showdown, motocross and rodeo await you at the Ottawa County Fair in Holland, June 22-27.

The En Gedi Christial Music Festival, held at the En Gedi Campground near St Joseph, a  one day family focused festival on July 27th, is packed full of music and activities for the whole family. This festival features music from Sanctus Real, Jonny Diaz. and many more. With gates opening at 10 am, your family will enjoy this beautiful setting along the St. Joseph River and the festive atmosphere of the kids zone and area vendors. Details and tickets are available at https://engedimusicfest.com. Use promo code wmta10 for 10% off your ticket price.

Come to Heritage Landing in Muskegon August 7-10th for the Unity Christian Music Festival,  Michigan’s premier Christian music festival! Enjoy dozens of great acts and plenty of family activities.

Country radio station, WMUS (107.9FM) invites you to join them at beautiful Heritage Landing for Moose Fest 2019! This FREE day of music, August 17th, features many of your favorite artists playing acoustical sets. Listen in or check their website at www.107mus.iheart.com for information on locations where you can pick up your FREE tickets to this great day of music on Muskegon Lake.

Breakaway Music Festival in Grand Rapids, August 23rd and 24th

Bring the family to Hastings’ Summerfest August 23 – 25. The annual event features an arts and crafts sale on the lawn of the historical and picturesque Barry County Courthouse, food, live music and entertainment, sporting events, Grand Parade, car show, and more.

Harbor Fest takes place August 24-25 at downtown Marquette’s Mattson Lower Harbor Park.HarborFest is one of the best free 2 day music festivals in the UP, but it’s so much more! It includes a beer and wine tent specializing in craft beers, food tents, kids inflatable activities, a classic car & motorcycle show, a luge demonstration track to try, live music, and the culmination of a fishing tournament with live dock-side catch and release.

The Marquette Area Blues Fest has quickly become one of the most popular blues festivals in the Midwest. It takes place every year over Labor Day weekend on the shores of Lake Superior in beautiful downtown Marquette, MI. This year’s dates are Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2019.

Back for the 20th year, the Muskegon Irish Music Festival, September 12-15, features continuous music on seven covered stages, featuring live music, great dining options, beverage offerings, and more. You’ll also love the Celtic Kitchen and Bob and Bernie’s Pub for authentic Irish food and beverages including Irish Fest Stout Irish Cream. There’s also the Irish Marketplace, children’s activities, a cultural center, a session tent, and tea room. The festival offers an Early-In Free promotion on Friday from 5:00 to 6:00pm.

PRIME Music Festival, September 20 and 21, in Lansing.