Summer Music Festivals in Michigan

Summer Music Festivals and More

Chuck Flask and Keith Kemp perform during the 2012 Electric Forest Festival

 

C Flanigan/Contributor/Getty Images

After the long, cold winter, music lovers in Michigan are treated to a great annual lineup of music festivals in the summer.

While there are some cold-month music fests, too, such as the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a venue for folk and roots music since 1977 that takes place over a few days in January, the state's music history comes alive as the temperatures heat up. Summer is a nice time to visit Michigan, as the temperatures are pleasantly warm, though the nice weather does attract more people and bring up prices for tourists.

The summer's annual music gatherings vary by size, length, and music genre, but they all provide an annual venue for local talent and most attract national acts.

Hoodilidoo

Hoodilidoo has been a mainstay since 2009, and this festival is all about music, peace, and love. It hosts 25 bands over a few days in June at Naquadah, a performance venue in Constantine, which is 40 miles east of Lake Michigan and an hour's drive from South Bend, Indiana. The St. Joseph River traverses through this small village, and the town has many historic buildings. 

Founders Fest

Founders Fest is a street-side celebration 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 plenty of 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. 

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. The festival is close enough to Ann Arbor, Lansing, and even Toledo, Ohio, that it makes a great starting point to explore the region.

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, while 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.  But it's also Motown, sharing the moniker with the legendary record company that pioneered the iconic soul sound of the 1960s right here in Detroit, so it's fitting that the area is home to many cultural activities 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, which stretch all the way to the start of fall, including the WYCD Hoedown; Jazzin on Jefferson; Detroit River Days; Ann Arbor Summer Festival; Michigan Elvisfest; Michigan Jazz Festival; Arts, Beats and Eats Festival; and Dally in the Alley.

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