MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Music festivals 2019

May

  • (May 24 – 27)Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Festival

    Oak Forest, IL

    In this south Chicago suburb, there's music on five stages, plus a petting zoo, hurling, theater, Irish dog and pony exhibits and red hair, freckle and bonnie baby contests.


  • (May 26)Soundset

    St. Paul, MN

    This hiphop festival is at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.


June

  • (Jun 7 – 9)2 Rivers Wine & Jazz Festival

    Ottawa, IL

    The festival in this town on the Fox and Illinois rivers features wine from 25 Illinois vineyards and jazz and blues in Washington Park.


July

  • (Jul 4 – 7)Catfish River Music Festival

    Stoughton, WI

    More than 20 bands perform in Rotary Park during this free festival, which includes artisans, food, beer, wine and fireworks on the Fourth and on Sunday.


  • (Jul 5 – 6)Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

    Davenport, IA

    In LeClaire Park on the river, blues musicians celebrate the music that traveled up the Mississippi. 


  • (Jul 12 – 13)80/35 Music Festival

    Des Moines, IA

    This indie and jam music festival (named for the junction of two interstates) is at Western Gateway Park.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)Square Roots Festival

    Chicago, IL

    The Old Town School of Folk Music presents this Lincoln Square festival, which includes more than 60 acts on four stages plus 30 local and regional craft beers and food from neighborhood restaurants.


  • (Jul 13)Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    This music and arts festival in the Longfellow neighborhood, near Harriet Brewery and Midtown light-rail station, features five stages and 20 bands, including Cornbread Harris, Erik Koskinen and Kent Burnside and the New Generation.


  • (Jul 19 – 21)Pitchfork Music Festival

    Chicago, IL

    This indie and alt-rock festival is in Union Park. Headliners include Mavis Staples, Low and the Isley Brothers.


August

  • (Aug. 1 – 3)WE Fest

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and Brooks & Dunn are among the headliners at this big country festival in west-central Minnesota.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)Live From the Rock

    Red Rock, ON

    This folk festival is on the shores of Lake Superior, east of Thunder Bay near Nipigon. Camping is on-site.


  • (Aug. 9 – 10)Tall Tales Music Festival

    Burlington, WI

    This free festival celebrates storytelling through music, with performances by national as well as regional musicians. In addition, workshops are offered for people of all ages.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)Shawano Folk Music Festival

    Shawano, WI

    The family-friendly festival in this northwoods town includes dance, crafts, children's activities and instruction on four stages in Mielke Park, plus indoor evening concerts.


  • (Aug. 10)Square Lake Film & Music Festival

    Stillwater, MN

    This festival near Square Lake County Park, north of Stillwater, alternates short independent films with live music. Festgoers arriving by bicycle get half-price tickets, which sell out in advance.


  • (Aug. 30 – Sep 1)Boundary Waters Blues Festival

    Ely, MN

    Ten bands play Friday and Saturday on Fall Lake, five miles east of Ely. There's camping on-site.


  • (Aug. 31 – Sep 1)Los Dells

    Mauston, WI

    This Latin-music festival features on-site tent camping and shuttles from hotels in the Wisconsin Dells.


September

  • (Sep. 1 – 2)Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival

    Geneva, IL

    Musicians and storytellers perform on eight stages at this festival in Island Park on the Fox River.


  • (Sep. 7 – 8)East Troy Bluegrass Festival

    East Troy, WI

    Listen to bluegrass bands and contests in the historic village square. There's also a food court and marketplace.


  • (Sep. 13 – 14)World Music Festival

    Madison, WI

    This free festival features music and dance from around the world on the Memorial Union Terrace and, on Saturday, at the Willy Street Fair.


November

  • (Nov. 1 – 2)Witching Hour Festival

    Iowa City, IA

    This festival focuses on the creative processes of musicians, artists, comedians, writers, thinkers, scientists and magicians.