MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Music festivals 2022

February

  • (Feb. 3 – 5)Winter Dance Party

    Clear Lake, IA

    The Surf Ballroom marks the 61st anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, with concerts, luncheons, dance lessons and crash-site tours.


April

  • (Apr. 22 – 24)Bluegrass, Bourbon & Brews Festival

    River Falls, WI

    Hear music at half a dozen venues in the downtown of this western Wisconsin college town.


  • (Apr. 22 – 23)Eau Claire Jazz Festival

    Eau Claire, WI

    Headliners play the State Theatre, and on Friday, more than 50 bands play acoustic jazz, ragtime, big-band and blues along Barstow Street downtown, recreating New York's 52nd Street.


  • (Apr. 29 – 30)Midwest Music Fest

    Winona, MN

    Dozens of musical groups in all genres play in museums, galleries, cafes and arts centers across town. There are arts workshops for children, too.


May

  • (May 1 – 8)Homegrown Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

    More than 100 musical acts perform in venues around the Twin Ports, and there also will be film, visual arts and craft beer.

     


  • (May 21 – 29)Duluth Dylan Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The town in which Bob Dylan was born celebrates the singer's 81st birthday with a Blood on the Tracks train ride, a singer-songwriter contest, a bus tour, films, music and a trivia contest.

     


  • (May 26 – 30)North Iowa Band Festival

    Mason City, IA

    There's a carnival, craft show and car cruise, but don't miss the 10 a.m. Saturday band parade in this northern Iowa town, which Meredith Willson made famous in "The Music Man.''


  • (May 27 – 29)World's Largest Brat Fest

    Madison, WI

    There's music on four stages, plus kids' games, a sports zone, carnival rides and Sunday fireworks. Headliners include Smash Mouth. Admission is free. Outside the Alliant Energy Center.


  • (May 29)BobFest

    Spring Green, WI

    The Spring Green General Store in this artistic town on the Wisconsin River celebrates Bob Dylan's 81st birthday with free outdoor music.


June

  • (Jun 10 – 12)Country Thunder Iowa Music Festival

    Forest City, IA

    The country-music festival in this town near Clear Lake features Lee Brice, Kip Moore and Chris Young. There's camping (and glamping) onsite.


  • (Jun 17 – 18)Winstock Country Festival

    Winsted, MN

    Jake Owen and Tim McGraw headline this festival just west of Minneapolis.


  • (Jun 17 – 18)Northwoods Blues Festival

    Chippewa Falls, WI

    The blues festival is at Riverfront Park. 


  • (Jun 17 – 18)Sol Grass Music Festival

    Washington Island, WI

    This bluegrass festival is off the Door Peninsula, and tickets include tent camping.


  • (Jun 23 – 25)Country Fest

    Cadott, WI

    This year's big outdoor festival near Chippewa Falls features Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Lee Brice.


  • (Jun 23 – 25)Lakes Jam

    Brainerd, MN

    Tesla, Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell are among the headliners at this music-and-camping festival at Brainerd International Raceway.


  • (Jun 23 – 25)Blue Ox Music Festival

    Eau Claire, WI

    This family-friendly acoustic festival is near Eau Claire.

    There's camping onsite.


  • (Jun 24 – 25)Twin Cities Jazz Festival

    St. Paul, MN

    Listen to jazz in Mears Park, in St. Paul's Lowertown.


  • (Jun 30 – Jul 3)National Women's Music Festival

    Middleton, WI

    In addition to concerts, this musical and cultural festival at the Marriott Madison West features comedy, theater, film and writers' workshops.


  • (Jun 30 – Jul 3)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.


July

  • (Jul 7 – 10)Winnipeg Folk Festival

    Winnipeg, MB

    This easy-going, family-friendly festival features more than 70 performers from eight countries, food and hand-made art from around the world plus a fun play area for children. 

    Many people camp on-site at Birds Hill Provincial Park. Tickets are cheapest when bought in advance.


  • (Jul 7 – 9)Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

    They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 800 acts perform on 12 stages along Lake Michigan. 


  • (Jul 7 – 10)Hodag Country Festival

    Rhinelander, WI

    This year, performers at this big fest include Neal McCoy, Jon Pardi, Kip Moore and Sam Hunt. There's a band contest, too.


  • (Jul 8 – 9)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 8 – 10)Blissfest

    Cross Village, MI

    This family-friendly folk and roots festival on a farm includes reggae, country, zydeco, jazz and Celtic music on three stages and four workshop areas. There's also a juried arts and crafts fair. Rustic camping is available.


  • (Jul 9)Driftless Music Festival

    Viroqua, WI

    This free folk and roots festival is in Viroqua's Eckhart Park.


  • (Jul 14 – 16)Rock Fest

    Cadott, WI

    This outdoor festival is near Chippewa Falls.


  • (Jul 21 – 23)Country Jam

    Eau Claire, WI

    Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch and Cody Johnson are  among the headliners of this fest. There's camping on-site.


  • (Jul 28 – 31)Lollapalooza

    Chicago, IL

    This big music festival features dozens of bands and, unlike other Grant Park festivals, is not free. Reserve rooms far in advance.


  • (Jul 29 – 30)Prairie Dog Blues Festival

    Prairie du Chien, WI

    This Mississippi River festival on historic St. Feriole Island features 12 bands on two stages, with onsite camping.


August

  • (Aug. 4 – 6)Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

    Davenport, IA

    Since 1972, fans of this Jazz Age cornetist and composer have held this festival in his hometown on the Mississippi.


  • (Aug. 4 – 6)WE Fest

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan are among the headliners at this big country festival in west-central Minnesota.


  • (Aug. 4 – 7)Mile of Music

    Appleton, WI

    More than 180 singer-songwriters perform at more than 40 venues along College Avenue downtown.


  • (Aug. 11 – 14)Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

    Richmond, MN

    This family-friendly festival includes music on five stages and workshops at El Rancho Mañana Campground, 20 miles west of St. Cloud. 


  • (Aug. 11 – 13)Ashley for the Arts music festival

    Arcadia, WI

    This nonprofit festival is in the southwest Wisconsin bluffs, half an hour north of Winona, Minn.

    Headliners include a variety of country and rock stars. Thursday admission is free, and Friday-Saturday tickets are $20-$30. In addition to music, there will be an arts fair, children's activities and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Aug. 12 – 14)Bayfront Blues Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The annual music fest on the Lake Superior harbor showcases national and regional acts on three stages.


  • (Aug. 12 – 14)Shawano Folk Music Festival

    Shawano, WI

    The free, family-friendly festival in this northwoods town includes dance, crafts, children's activities and instruction in Franklin Park.


  • (Aug. 12 – 14)Michigan Full Moon Fest

    Grand Junction, MI

    There will be three days of blues music and camping in this village, 10 miles east of South Haven.


  • (Aug. 19 – 20)Big Bull Falls Blues Fest

    Wausau, WI

    Enjoy national and local blues musicians in Fern Island Park. There's a beer garden, of course.


  • (Aug. 24 – 28)Lakes Bluegrass Festival

    Pine River, MN

    This family-friendly festival, just off the Paul Bunyan State Trail, features more than 40 bluegrass shows and free workshops.


  • (Aug. 26 – 28)Porcupine Mountains Music Festival

    Silver City, MI

    Few settings are more beautiful than Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on Lake Superior; 25 national and regional blues, folk and bluegrass acts perform.

     


  • (Aug. 27)Crossroads Blues Festival

    Rockford, IL

    Enjoy a day of blues in Lyran Park, with food from local restaurants.


September

  • (Sep. 2 – 4)Marquette Area Blues Fest

    Marquette, MI

    Enjoy a weekend of music in Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Lake Superior.


  • (Sep. 3 – 4)Fox Jazz Festival

    Menasha, WI

    This free Fox Cities jazz festival is in Jefferson Park, on the shores of Lake Winnebago.


  • (Sep. 16 – 18)Riot Fest

    Chicago, IL

    This Douglas Park music festival also features a circus sideshow revue and carnival.


  • (Sep. 22 – 25)Boats and Bluegrass

    Winona, MN

    This family-oriented festival in Prairie Island Park, on the Mississippi River, features disc golf and paddling as well as music. A weekend pass includes camping and canoeing, and kids under 16 are free with an adult ticket. Buy tickets early to save money.