Summer Music Festivals in Michigan

Summer Music Festivals and More

Ann Arbor Folk Festival, 2007
Photo © Erich Zechar

Michigan music festivals are often scheduled in the summer, but a few take place in other seasons. While the music gatherings vary by size, length, and music genre, they all provide an annual venue for local talent and most attract national acts. Detroit also offers many summer music events.

Summer is a nice time to visit Michigan, as the temperatures are pleasantly warm. However, the nice weather does attract more people and bring up prices for tourists.

Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Ann Arbor was nicknamed "Tree Town" for its streets and parks lined with thousands of trees. The Huron River—running through five counties—is an attraction. The Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a venue for folk and roots music since 1977, is a fundraiser for The Ark nonprofit and traditionally takes place over a few days in January. Like many Michigan music festivals, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival includes both national acts and up-and-coming performers.

Faster Horses

Faster Horses combines country music with camping during a music festival on the grounds of the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn's Irish Hills, in the southeastern part of the state. The event, which started in 2013, normally takes place in July and has more than 40,000 attendees annually.

Hoodilidoo

Hoodilidoo is a festival happening since 2009, all about music, peace, and love. It hosts 25 bands over a few days in June in Naquadah, a performance venue in Constantine.

The St. Joseph River traverses through this small village; the town has historic buildings. 

Founders Fest

Founders Fest is a street-side celebration/festival hosted by Founders Brewing and located in Grand Rapids. The state's second largest city on the Grand River is known for its breweries and Heritage Hill, one of the biggest historic districts in the United States.

 In addition to several musical acts, Founders Fest, usually scheduled in late June, has beer tents. 

Common Ground Music Festival

The Common Ground Music Festival normally takes place in July and hosts bands on multiple stages at Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing, the state's capital, where you'll find the restored State Capitol Building and the Potter Park Zoo. Located along the banks of Grand River, the park has trails leading to historic landmarks and developed areas. Most genres are represented, from rap to pop rock; the bands include nationally-renowned entertainers, as well as local acts. 

Electric Forest

In Rothbury, a tiny village in Oceana County, the Electric Forest succeeded the Rothbury Festival held at Double JJ Ranch in 2008 and 2009. Since 2011, the Electric Forest Festival has provided days of electronic music and jam bands in a unique, wooded setting. The sprawling resort grounds contain various stages connected by trails. A festival highlight is a small stage surrounded by pine trees strung with hammocks and lights. The event usually takes place in late June and has a big party atmosphere at night. Other activities and entertainment include art exhibits, yoga classes, and storytelling.

The Gold Rush Indoor Waterpark is nearby. 

Detroit Area Music Events 

Detroit is Michigan's biggest city, called "Motor City" for its longtime connections with the auto industry. The area is home to many cultural activities that visitors enjoy, including several nationally renowned summer music festivals. The really big summer music festivals include Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and The Detroit Jazz Festival. As you head out to the suburbs, there are even more music festivals, including the WYCD Hoedown, Jazzin on Jefferson, Detroit River Days, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Michigan Elvisfest, Michigan Jazz Festival, Arts, Beats and Eats, and Dally in the Alley.

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