Looking for the best music festivals in Michigan? Look no further, because I’m here to help!
What do you think of when you hear “Michigan”? Maybe you think of the capital of Detroit, the famous hub of the American automotive industry (hence the nickname “Motor City”). You might think of Eminem, who proudly hails from Detroit. I’ll forgive you for that, but you’re getting warmer. Perhaps you think of it as the birthplace of Motown Music. Now you’re getting really warm.
Music is rooted deep in Michigan’s history, and each year the music scene only grows in diversity and quality. Music festivals in Michigan are a dime a dozen, spread from Detroit to Grand Rapids, Lansing to Kalamazoo, and spanning a plethora of genres.
My list of the best Michigan music festivals will be sure to fill up your summer music festival schedule – and beyond.
1) Electric Forest Festival
When: Late June/early July
Out of all these music festivals in Michigan, I don’t think any of them are as bucket-list worthy than the famous Electric Forest! I’ve been dying to attend for years, but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m hoping 2019 might be my year for that, but tickets are already sold out 7 months in advance! It’s one of the most highly sought-after festivals in the U.S, and is guaranteed to be the highlight of your summer!
“Have you ever felt anything like it? The beat of the bass charging the atmosphere with electrifying energy. Bolts of lightning streaking through the forest, arcing around the trees, and captivating the crowd into awe.A mind-melting experience of community, woodland, and rhythm bringing 45,000 people together every year in a musical-matrix of natural and electric vibrations…”
2) Movement Detroit
“Each year on Memorial Day weekend, thousands of people from across the globe gather in the birthplace of Techno to celebrate the heritage of Detroit and its musical influence over countless generations, new and old. Movement Music Festival is one of the longest-running dance music events in the world, committed to showcasing authentic electronic music and providing an experience unlike any other. The festival takes place in Hart Plaza – Detroit’s legendary riverfront destination. ”
3) Faster Horses Country Festival
“Faster Horses Festival is a three-day country music and camping festival that takes place in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Michigan every July and is often dubbed as the “party of the summer”! This annual festival brings a star-studded lineup and an average of 40-50,000 country music fans from around the world. Following the festival’s monumental 5th anniversary last year, Billboard praised that “Faster Horses is not just another music festival…it definitely has a personality” and since its establishment in 2013, has earned a reputation as “a state-of-the-art down-home jamboree” (MLive).”
4) Common Ground Music Festival
“The Common Ground Music Festival is a multiple day music festival entering its 19th year. The festival has highlighted more than 400 artists including 38 Grammy award winners and 22 Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Each July, more than 40,000 people come to Lansing, Michigan to enjoy the best in music, entertainment food and beverage. This annual celebration features an outstanding lineup of musical acts, focusing on top-level, national and regional music performers of many genres including contemporary and classic rock, pop, alternative, country, hip hop, rhythm & blues, soul and more.”
5 ) Hiawatha Music Festival
“The Festival is held the next-to-last FULL weekend in July, at the Marquette, Mich., Tourist Park. Each year’s event features traditional-music styles that include bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic blues and folk – including singer/songwriters – and dance. Mainstage acts include nationally known performers as well as regional and local favorites.”
6) Hoxeyville Music Festival
“Nestled on 150 acres of farmland surrounded by the Manistee National Forest, Hoxeyville Music Festival is a testament to pure north country peace and celebration.
Hoxeyville is the midwest’s premier Americana and Roots festival. We boast two stages featuring national touring artists, and the best and brightest Michigan talent with an intimate capacity of three thousand. We are proud of our incredibly supportive community, safe, family friendly camping (and playground!), excellent kids’ tent programming, unbelievable food, and an easily traversable site. Hoxeyville is strategically located near various mountain biking trails and the Pine River—a national wild and scenic river, world class blue-ribbon trout stream and a renowned paddle sports playground. Kestelwoods restaurant, party store and campground is a convenient five minute walk from the festival grounds.”
7) Bled Fest
“This all ages music festival takes place in the unique setting of a former high school, with plenty plenty of room to enjoy the music while allowing for an intimacy that you won’t find at similar outdoor concerts. Multi genre with a focus on punk, hardcore and emo. Several local and regional mainstays supplemented by touring acts from further afield.”
8) Riverscene Indie Music Festival
Where: Bay City
“This new festival will bring out indie artists from around the country and Canada to Bay City. The outdoor mainstage at Wenonah Park overlooks the Saginaw River’s edge – a picturesque backdrop for a festival in the Tri-Cities.”
9) Mo Pop Festival
“The annual Mo Pop festival wrapped up on Sunday night, after two days full of rhythm and fun for audiophiles and indie music fans from all across Metro Detroit.
The festival was primarily an outdoor concert event at West Riverfront Park between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Joe Louis Arena. Event goers enjoyed avenues with vendor tents, food trucks and interactive instrument booths while enjoying the view of the Detroit River.
“This was my first time at Mo Pop, and it was amazing,” says 24-year-old Southfield resident Taylor King. “I feel like I’m among friends or family here. Events like this make me want to move to the city.”
10) Audiotree Music Festival
“Founded in 2013, the festival celebrates new and emerging artists from all over the world and is curated by the popular web series Audiotree Live. This independently run music festival has aimed to be one of the safest, most welcoming, rewarding and affordably priced music festivals in the country.
Each year festival attendees not only gather for music but also an incredible selection of craft beer, food trucks, and specialty vendors. We foster a true community through the participation of Kalamazoo artists, university student groups, non-profits, and local companies, and we are committed to keeping our ticket prices low.”
11) Wheatland Music Festival
“The Wheatland Music Festival is an annual celebration of music and the arts, dating back to 1974. Every year, both local and world renowned musicians gather together in early September for three days of singing, dancing and friendship. Thousands of children and adults converge on the 160-acre festival site to enjoy a wide variety of traditional arts and music. Festival goers take part in workshops, demonstrations, dances, and impromptu jam sessions throughout the site as well as stage performances, juried arts and crafts, and a wide variety of food.”
12) Daily in the Alley
“Dally in the Alley in Detroit, Michigan, is a community celebration of the local music scene, restaurant industry and art world. Boasting the title of Detroit’s biggest community event, the festival showcases numerous craft vendors, live entertainment performances, poetry workshops and a large variety of delicious dining options.”
13) Detroiz Jazz Festival
When: Late August / early September (Labor Day Weekend)
“For nearly 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by providing year-round concerts and educational programming, and of course, organizing the world’s largest free jazz festival, featuring world-class talent, over Labor Day weekend. With the support of corporate sponsors, philanthropic organizations, individual donors and volunteers, the Detroit Jazz Festival is free to music fans looking to revel in the artistry and improvisation of jazz legends, rising stars, legacy and homecoming artists. Each year’s lineup of more than 60 performances as remarkable and diverse as the genre itself, as well as spontaneous late-night jam sessions, offers something for everyone.”
14) Breakaway Music Festival
Where: Grand Rapids
“Organized by Prime Social Group, Breakaway Music Festival is a genre-spanning concert event that takes place in Major League Soccer stadiums throughout the United States. With previous festivals in Columbus and Dallas, and with plans to expand in coming years, Breakaway is becoming one of the foremost music festivals in the country. Past headliners include Bassnectar, Empire of the Sun and Kendrick Lamar.”
15 ) Detroit Music Weekend
“Detroit Music Weekend grows bigger, better, and bolder in 2018 with a huge collection of unique Detroit shopping and dining opportunities, multiple downtown happenings, and – of course – music, and lots of it. This blockbuster event is what the world expects from Detroit, and this June, the city’s performing arts come together for a total downtown Detroit experience.”
Bonus | Excellency Music Festival
It takes place in Bay City at the Historic Masonic Temple on August 9th. We are an alternative rock music festival that originated 3 years ago. Some notable past artists include Tiny Moving Parts, Hot Mulligan, Belmont, I See Stars, and Flint Eastwood. This year’s headliners include Hot Mulligan, Homesafe, Forest Green, Rarity, Heart Attack Man, and Jetty Bones – with strong support from Second Best, Charmer, Kayak Jones, If Only If Only, Gold Route, and Dogleg. Our festival is indoor and features many different food and craft beer vendors. Previously in 2018 we sold out – with high hopes of another successful festival this year. Tickets are on sale right now at www.xlncmusicfest.com for just $20.”
Am I missing any music festivals in Michigan…?
I’m always discovering new festivals in different states, so if you think I need to update this list with any epic upcoming festivals in Michigan – shoot me an email and I’ll take a look! I haven’t been to Michigan yet, but am hoping to make it there this summer for either Electric Forest or Movement Festival (I am a huge techno snob actually, lol).