One great thing about summer in Michigan is all the great music you can hear outdoors!   There are plenty of opportunities to hear great music all over Michigan this summer--from local acts in the park to national headliners, performing on some of the area’s biggest stages.

The West Michigan Tourist Association has put together a pretty good list, and we’ve added a few too.

Calhoun County

  •  The Marshall Blues Fest is Saturday, June 24th with blues music filling the air on Michigan Avenue in downtown Marshall.
  • “Northern Tempest” will play a free concert this Saturday, June 24th at 4pm at the Roofsit for Inasmuch House in front of Mancino’s at 2171 West Columbia in Battle Creek.  The band will sell CD’s for $10 and donate the proceeds to Calhoun County’s only shelter for homeless families.
Photo by Tim Collins, WBCK
Photo by Tim Collins, WBCK
  •  Clara’s on the River has live music on the patio every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, featuring pianist Terry Lower, vocalists Edye Evans Hyde and Lana Hoffman, and many guest artists.  It’s 6pm-10pm
Claras-Jim-TSM Photo
  •  Vibe@5 is a weekly concert series every Friday in July and August, featuring local and regional performers.
  •  The Caribbean Festival is Saturday, July 22nd with Reggae music taking center stage in addition to tasty island food.
  •  Leilapalooza on Saturday, July 29th. This all-day music festival features over 60 acts on multiple stages.
  •  Rounding out the summer is the Michigan Metal Fest on Saturday, August 25th at the Leila Arboretum. Listen to metal music as 40 acts perform on four stages. The music never stops in Battle Creek!
  •  The Marshall Mandolin Summit in Marshall is August 18th and 19th. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see performances featuring Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg and Don Stiernberg. The wonderful songstress Sarah Jarosz (Prairie Home Companion) and the legendary Tim O’Brien (Hot Rize) will also be guests for one night each.
TSM Photo
TSM Photo

More Outdoor Music in Southwest Michigan

Celebrate summer with great local music, tasty food, and frothy brews at Arcadia Brewing Company’s Riversedge Summer Music Festival Series in Kalamazoo. There’s music every month, with mini festivals on June 24th, July 22nd, August 12th, and September 16th. Tickets are $10 per event or $30 for all four. Children and young adults 20 years of age and younger gain free admittance to all events!

Summer music at Bell’s Brewery’s Beer Garden starts in June and continues until September. Enjoy a Bell’s beer surrounded by sculptures, beautiful trees, flowers, and hops in a lush garden in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. Billy Strings, Drive-by-Truckers, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), The Verve Pipe, and The New Pornographers are only a sample of the musical talent coming to the Bell’s Beer Garden this summer.

Hastings Live! is an exciting new free outdoor summer concert series in Downtown Hastings. Thornapple Plaza hosts the Wednesday evening Community Concert series and the Friday Night Features. The Plaza is located adjacent to downtown and its unique shops and restaurants and the Thornapple Riverwalk, offering more than three miles of trail along the banks of the scenic Thornapple River. Concerts start at 7:30pm, so come early to enjoy shopping, dining, and strolling! This year’s line-up includes favorites and raising stars such as The Crane Wives, Hip Pocket, Alan Turner and His Steel Horse Band, The Accidentals, and more. In addition, Fridays at the Fountain offers the best in local music starting at noon every Friday from June 16th to August 18th on the lawn of the historical Barry County Court House.

The Allegan County Fair is home to many live entertainment events, including musical and stage acts! On Friday, September 8th, catch Alabama and John Michael Montgomery for an unforgettable concert experience. Return to the fair on Thursday, September 14th for Thomas Rhett and Friday, September 15th to see the dynamic duo Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. Tickets are available now for the fair’s many entertainment events.

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo is hosting concerts starting in September and going through the end of the year with their 2017/18 season. Featuring some of the best pianists in the world, they’re bringing their Rising Stars Series to the next level. Keep an eye out for more incredible performers coming to Kalamazoo as the festival announces additional events into the new year.

Common Ground Festival in Lansing presents an impressive array of national-level entertainment each night on multiple stages from July 6th to 9th. Grammy Award Winners, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members, and top-level, national and regional music performers of many genres, including contemporary and classic rock, alternative, country, hip hop, and R&B take the the stage to wow thousands of fans. With an attractive, intimate venue, state of the art production, and a comprehensive array of amenities, the festival continues as the premier outdoor music event of the summer in southern West Michigan.

The Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph has music every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday evening this summer. Music is located at Dockside at Plank's Tavern, attached to the inn. Drink specials include $3 Landshark or Bud Light and $5 craft drafts from many local breweries.

St. Joseph also hosts outdoor music all summer long. Their Friday Night Concert Series starts June 23rd and runs through September 1st. Hosted every Wednesday from June 28th to August 23rd, the Borwn Bag Concert Series bring music to your lunch hour from noon to 1pm. Rounding out your weekend are the St. Joseph Municipal Band Concerts on Sundays from June 25th to September 4th. You'll have two chances each day to see these concerts with performances at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. All concerts are free and held at the John E.N. Howard Bandshell.

Virtue Cider in Fennville is hosting live music throughout the summer. Join them on the lawn at their cider house for live music, cider, and fun! They recently completed their outdoor stage, giving them the ability to host these live events, and they’re excited to have a full season of entertainment planned. Make sure to have a glass of their delicious cider when you stop by this summer.

Downtown Coldwater is hosting their Entertainment Under the Stars series of free outdoor concerts every Tuesday night in July. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, and enjoy the sounds of folk, bluegrass, classic country, and rock!

At Kalamazoo Ribfest, the ribs may be the star of the show show, but national entertainment and local bands will provide plenty of entertainment as you feast. This year’s headliners include Grand Funk Railroad and Rev Run from Run DMC. Kalamazoo’s largest annual downtown festival brings plenty of ribs and even more live entertainment when it takes over Arcadia Creek Festival Place from August 3rd to 5th.

The Fennville DDA presents the 15th year of Tuesdays in the Park this summer, with every other Tuesday starting June 13th and running through August 8th. Music ranges from jazz and blues to urban folk and world music. Make a day of these events, with a variety of outdoor activities, farm markets, wineries, cideries, and restaurants to visit before each concert.

The Bay Pointe Inn in Shelbyville is well known for their live music and entertainment. Gun Lake LIVE is an outdoor concert series with live music every Wednesday from now until Labor Day. Enjoy the music and dancing in this casual and fun setting.

Round Barn Winery in Baroda has outdoor music all summer long, with an event calendar filled with festivals, parties, and more. Events include Barodeo on July 15th and 16th and Makers Market on July 29th and 30th. Each event features music acts from across the state, performing country, rock, blues, and more. Of course, their delicious wine and food will be available every time you visit.

And that just scratches the surface!  There’s so much more great outdoor music across the state.  See more here at the West Michigan Tourist Association site.




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