Top 10 Music Festivals in Michigan Worth Checking Out

Music Festivals in Michigan / Source: Lyte Magazine

Music festivals are a great way to experience live performances from talented musicians all in one place. Michigan has some fantastic festivals that feature local, national and international acts covering a diverse range of genres like rock, pop, hip hop, country, jazz, and more.

If you’re looking for an exciting music event to attend in Michigan, here are some of the best festivals worth checking out.

1. Electric Forest Festival

Electric Forest Festival / Source: Dance Music NW

Electric Forest Festival takes place annually in late June at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Michigan. This four-day camping festival features a mix of electronic, jam band, rock and bluegrass music performed on multiple stages set up throughout the forest.

Some of the many artists that have performed at Electric Forest in previous years include The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Odesza, GRiZ, Big Gigantic, STS9, Louis The Child, The Floozies, Lettuce, Keys N Krates, and many more.

Artists performing at Electric Forest Festival / Source: OnlyInYourState

In addition to the music, Electric Forest offers art installations, food vendors, craft workshops, yoga classes, silent discos and themed campsite decorations that attendees go all out on. The festival sells out every year, so get your tickets early if you want to experience this magical event held deep in the woods.

2. Mo Pop Festival

Mo Pop Festival / Source: Playground Detroit

Mo Pop Festival is an outdoor alternative rock music festival held annually in downtown Detroit. This three-day event takes place in July at West Riverfront Park with views of the Detroit River.

Mo Pop attracts over 40,000 attendees and has featured notable artists like Bon Iver, Solange, Grimes, MisterWives, Misterwives, Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, and more throughout its history. The festival includes four stages with a mix of indie, pop, hip hop, electronic and rock performers.

Artists performing at Mo Pop Festival / Source: Verbicide

In addition to the music, Mo Pop offers local food trucks, a craft beer tent, art installations, games, yoga classes, and other fun activities. General admission and VIP tickets provide access to all performances. This is a can’t-miss summer festival for alternative music fans in Michigan.

3. Dally in the Alley

Dally in the Alley / Source: Detroit Free Press

For over 40 years, Dally in the Alley has been one of Detroit’s most iconic community festivals. Held annually on the first Saturday after Labor Day in September, this free one-day event takes place right in the historic Cass Corridor neighborhood.

The Dally in the Alley features several stages of live music from local Detroit artists, spanning genres like rock, blues, jazz, folk and funk. In addition to the music, the festival has local food vendors, artisans, community organizations, children’s activities and adult beverages.

Artists performing at Dally in the Alley / Source: Detroit Free Press

Attendees can browse the vendor booths lining the alley while enjoying the sounds of Detroit’s talented musical acts. The Dally in the Alley has a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere that celebrates the spirit of Motor City. It’s a wonderful way to wrap up summer and kick off fall in Detroit.

4. Michigan BluesFest

Michigan BluesFest / Source: Lansing State Journal

Michigan BluesFest is one of the state’s premiere blues music festivals, held annually in September at Ford Field in Detroit. This two-day event features local, regional, and national blues acts performing on multiple stages, primarily from the Detroit blues scene.

Past lineups have included notable artists like Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, Thornetta Davis, Larry McCray and many more. In addition to the live music, Michigan BluesFest offers Southern-inspired food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and adult beverages to enjoy while taking in the stellar blues entertainment.

Artists performing at Michigan BluesFest / Source: Greater Lansing Convention

They also host blues music workshops, contests, and special events like the Blues Cruise on the Detroit River. With affordable ticket prices, this festival provides an excellent opportunity for blues fans to enjoy top-notch musicians right in the heart of the Motor City.

5. St. Andrews Jazz Festival

St. Andrews Jazz Festival / Source: Jazz at St. Andrews

For over 25 years, St. Andrews Jazz Festival has celebrated Detroit’s thriving jazz scene. This multi-day event held annually each September features acclaimed local jazz musicians along with top national and international talent.

St. Andrews Hall, an iconic Detroit music venue, hosts the festival with concerts spread out over two weekends. Notable artists who have performed include Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, Eddie Palmieri, and other jazz legends.

Artists performing at St. Andrews Jazz Festival / Source: Jazz at St. Andrews

In addition to the main stage performances, the festival holds jazz talks, after parties, late night jam sessions, and classes where attendees can learn from professional jazz musicians. Music lovers who appreciate the artistry of live jazz should check out this premier Detroit jazz festival each fall.

6. Detroit Jazz Festival

Detroit Jazz Festival / Source: Detroit Free Press

Detroit Jazz Festival is one of the world’s largest free jazz festivals, spanning four days on Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit. This lively event features hundreds of musicians performing on multiple stages set up along the Detroit Riverfront.

The festival brings in top talent like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Diana Krall, Terence Blanchard, and other renowned jazz artists. Local Detroit musicians also have a strong presence with performances at the festival.

Artists performing at Detroit Jazz Festival / Source: FOX 2 Detroit

In addition to the music, Detroit Jazz Festival offers national and local food vendors, instrument making demonstrations, late night jam sessions, a photo exhibition, and artist talks. Music lovers can bring blankets and folding chairs to sit back and soak in the smooth jazz sounds wafting through Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park over the holiday weekend.

7. Michigan Irish Music Festival

Michigan Irish Music Festival / Source: 98.7 WFGR

For a rollicking good time, head to Michigan Irish Music Festival in Muskegon every September. This three-day event celebrates Irish culture and Celtic music, featuring live entertainment on seven stages along the scenic shore of Muskegon Lake.

Nationally and internationally renowned Irish bands travel to perform traditional Irish music with folk songs, dancing and instruments like bagpipes, fiddles and bodhrans. In addition to the music, the festival offers Irish food and beverages, shopping vendors, genealogy resources and activities for kids.

Artists performing at Michigan Irish Music Festival / Source: West Michigan Tourist Association

Visitors can participate in events like the Highland Games, 5K race, Gaelic Storm Academy immersion program and sunrise Mass celebrating Irish heritage. Grab your green attire and come enjoy this popular Michigan festival for Irish music fans.

8. Michigan ElvisFest

Michigan Elvisfest / Source: Hawai’i Public Radio

Michigan ElvisFest is the largest Elvis tribute artist festival in the Midwest, attracting thousands of Elvis fans to Detroit each year. Held annually in April at Ford Field, this three-day event celebrates the music and legacy of Elvis Presley.

Dozens of professional Elvis tribute artists compete and perform hits from The King of Rock and Roll’s extensive catalog of songs. Fans can cheer on their favorite Elvises during the competitions and join in sing-alongs during the concerts.

Artists performing at Michigan ElvisFest / Source: NCPR News

In addition to the shows, Michigan ElvisFest features Elvis memorabilia vendors, photo opportunities, Elvis’ favorite Southern cuisine and a candlelight vigil procession on the final night. The festival provides a joyful experience where fans can celebrate everything Elvis.

9. Blissfest Music Festival

Blissfest Music Festival / Source: Local Spins

For over 40 years, Blissfest Music Festival has offered an eclectic mix of roots, folk, Celtic and world music on a scenic farm setting in northern Michigan.

This family-friendly event held annually in July features three days of live music performed on six stages scattered throughout the wooded festival grounds in Cross Village.

Artists performing at Blissfest Music Festival / Source: Petoskey News-Review

In addition to original music from over 60 artists, Blissfest has interactive arts programs, workshops, organic food vendors, onsite camping, kids activities and artisan crafters.

10. Rock N’ Ribs BBQ & Music Festival

Rock N’ Ribs BBQ & Music Festival / Source: The Wincanton Window

Rock N’ Ribs BBQ & Music Festival is a popular summertime event held annually in downtown Royal Oak combining mouth-watering BBQ with rockin’ music. This family-friendly festival spans three days every July at Festival Park.

Festival-goers can sample ribs and other BBQ dishes from award-winning pitmasters along with sides and desserts. There is also plenty of cold beer on tap. Local and national bands perform rock, country and blues music live on two outdoor stages from afternoon through the night.

Artists performing at Rock N’ Ribs BBQ & Music Festival / Source: The Wincanton Window

In addition to food and music, the festival has amusement rides, eating contests, craft vendors and family activities. With free admission on opening day and fair ticket prices all weekend, Rock N’ Ribs offers scrumptious barbecue and sweet sounds for an unbeatable price.

Michigan knows how to throw an amazing music festival, with events held all over the state during the warmer months. Be sure to catch one or several of these fantastic music festivals happening annually in Michigan.

Come for the outstanding music acts but stay for the family fun, cultural experiences, local food, artisan goods and community vibes that make each festival unique. Don’t miss out on these top music festivals in Michigan worth traveling for and checking off your bucket list.

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