MICHIGAN MUSIC FESTIVALS 2021
The contagion COVID-19 completely wiped out last year’s Michigan music festival schedule, with large gatherings curtailed or banned across the state.
Local Spins continues to check with festival organizers, websites, events pages and more for list. Please note: Even if a 2021 festival is listed here, it could be canceled, postponed or changed at any moment. Keep checking this site and festival links, especially as the date draws near.
If we err in 2021, let’s err on the side of optimism and hope for a fantastic festival season. May your campsite be dry, your totems fly and your ears be filled with the joy of music in Michigan. Email email@example.com for festival updates or additions to this list. And email firstname.lastname@example.org for advertising opportunities.
MICHIGAN MUSIC FESTIVALS 2021
NEWS & NOTES
SCROLL DOWN FOR A FULL LISTING OF 2021 FESTIVALS
MAY 12 UPDATE:
BIG TICKET FESTIVAL – The Gaylord City Council has cleared the Big Ticket Festival to host up to 12,000 people at the Otsego County Fairgrounds, organizers announced. The Christian music festival takes place July 9-11.
MAY 11 UPDATE:
HOXEYVILLE MUSIC FESTIVAL – Billy Strings, The Allman Betts Band, The Sam Bush Band and Yonder Mountain String Band will play Hoxeyville Aug. 13-15 in Wellston, Mich., festival organizers announced. Regional acts such as Lindsay Lou, The Sweet Water Warblers, Luke Winslow-King and Michigan Rattlers also are on the bill. Details here.
MAY 6 UPDATE:
BREAKAWAY MUSIC FESTIVAL – Denver producer and electronic/dance artist Illenium will headline Friday’s opening night of Grand Rapids’ Breakaway Music Festival at Belknap Park on Aug. 27, with Detroit native and pop/hip hop/soul/electronic star Quinn XCII closing out Saturday night’s lineup, festival organizers announced. Breakaway Music Festival will also feature sets by Gryffin, Madeon, Big Wild, Chelsea Cutler and other pop, EDM and hip hop acts.
MARSHALL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL – The Marshall Bluegrass Festival being held July 23-31 at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds will feature performances by Fast Track, Edgar Loudermilk Band, The Clay Hess Band with special guest Ron Block, The Caleb Daugherty Band, Kyle Jarvis IIIrd Generation Bluegrass, Larry Efaw and The Bluegrass Mountaineers, New Outlook, Harbourtown Bluegrass and Out of the Blue.
MAY 5 UPDATE:
DEPOT MUSIC FESTIVAL – The After 26 Depot Cafe has announced it will stage the seventh annual Depot Music Festival on July 31 at the Cadillac Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion in downtown Cadillac. All proceeds will support the After 26 Project.
BRETHREN MUSIC FESTIVAL – The Spirit of the Woods Music Association revealed that it will host the Brethren Music Festival on June 19 at Dickson Township Hall in Brethren. Organizers called it “a concert in the park” from 1-6 p.m.
ELVISFEST – The Michigan Elvisfest scheduled for July 9-10 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds has been canceled due to uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.
APRIL 27 UPDATE:
FARM BLOCK FESTIVAL & REUNION – Slated for the end of July, the 2021 Farm Block Festival and Reunion in Allouez in the Upper Peninsula has been canceled for the second year. “As you may have anticipated, we have decided to cancel the 2021 Farm Block Festival and Reunion,” organizers wrote on Facebook. “This was a decision made not out of fear, but out of deep care and consideration for the health and safety of all.”
420 CANNABIS MUSIC FESTIVAL – The first-year 420 Cannabis Music Festival will be staged Aug. 13-14 at Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing, with Sada Baby, Doobie and more artists still to be announced. Details here.
APRIL 25 UPDATE:
ALPENA BLUES FESTIVAL – The June 19 Alpena Blues Festival in downtown Alpena will feature “Ladies of the Blues” for 2021, with performances by Thornetta Davis, Nora Jean Bruso, Tasha Owens, Cee Cee Collins, Erin Coburn and Pretentious Pig.
DUNESVILLE MUSIC FESTIVAL – Earlybird tickets for Dunesville Music Festival taking place July 23-25 in Lake Ann are now on sale. The festival will feature Ann Arbor’s Chirp, among other bands.
APRIL 22 UPDATE:
WILLOWSONG MUSIC FESTIVAL – For the second year in a row, the Willowsong Music Festival in Sidney, Mich., is canceling its planned late August event. Organizers cited the recent upswing in COVID cases in Michigan and compliance with state health guidelines for the move.
APRIL 21 UPDATE:
BUS BENEFIT – Memorial Day weekend’s annual Bus Benefit hosted by Buses by the Beach at Camp Blodgett along Lake Michigan in West Olive will once again take a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers announced that the decision was made with “a heavy heart. … After many discussions with local officials, Camp Blodgett and other early season Michigan festival organizers, we feel that this is the best thing for our tribe, our health and our community.”
FREDERIC MUSIC FESTIVAL – The Frederic Music Festival planned for June 25 in the northern Michigan community has postponed its event. Citing health department restrictions on crowd size, organizers said “the health and welfare of our community was the biggest factor.
APRIL 19 UPDATE:
PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS MUSIC FESTIVAL – The Friends of the Porkies organization has canceled the 2021 edition of the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival which had been scheduled to take place Aug. 27-29 at the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area in Ontonagon. Organizers said that for the second year, the festival would remain on hiatus “due to issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” With too much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, “planning to proceed this year turned out to be too much of a gamble” and organizers “still can’t find a realistic path to making that happen.” The festival plans to return next year on Aug. 26-28; those with tickets can roll them over to 2022. More information and details about refunds available online here.
APRIL 16 UPDATE:
MICHIGAN IRISH MUSIC FESTIVAL – Organizers called it “almost unbearable to imagine another festival season without live Irish and Celtic music.” The Michigan Irish Music Festival — set to be staged at Muskegon’s Heritage Landing in mid-September — has announced that due to “uncertainty surrounding the pandemic” and active COVID cases in the state, the 2021 festival has been canceled.
APRIL 15 UPDATE:
SMILING ACRES MUSIC FESTIVAL – A brand new festival will make its debut in Trufant July 2-3: The Smiling Acres Music Festival will feature two days of performances by West Michigan artists on a 40-acre site northeast of Grand Rapids. Organizer and musician Mark Lavengood said capacity will be limited to 400 adults with plenty of room for social distancing. Read more about the festival and check out the performer lineup in this Local Spins story.
JAKE’S MUSIC FESTIVAL – Grand Rapids’ Jake’s Music Festival, a one-day spring festival starring West Michigan bands to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, won’t take place in April this year, organizers announced on Facebook. “With so many unknowns, we will not be holding the festival this April. We are looking at doing something in the fall, but with venues being hit so hard by the pandemic, our plans are in flux,” they wrote.
HOOTENANNY ON THE FARM – The second annual Hootenanny on the Farm will take place in Wayland July 30-31, with performances by Taylor Hernly, Lance Rogers, James Reed, Clarke Sexton, Nolan Taylor, Dave Shoemaker, Myron Elkins, The Hammer and The Hatchet and Christian Dawson. On-site camping available. Email email@example.com for more details. Tickets are $45.
APRIL 12 UPDATE:
COWPIE MUSIC FESTIVAL – For the second year in a row, Cowpie Music Festival on Shagbark Farm near Caledonia won’t be held in August due to uncertainties surrounding the COVID pandemic. Owner “Farmer John” Crissman reported during a Michigan Music Alliance webinar on festivals that organizers instead hope to stage a one-day, no-camping “Slice of Pie” event with three or four bands in late summer or fall.
APRIL 8 UPDATE:
BREAKAWAY MUSIC FESTIVAL – Breakaway Music Festival will return to Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park Aug. 27-28. Although the lineup hasn’t been announced, pre-sale tickets ($89.99 for two days) are available for “Breakaway Fam Club” members. Sign up and get details online here. Breakaway festivals will also be held Sept. 3-4 in Columbus, Ohio, and Oct. 1-2 in Charlotte, N.C.
APRIL 7 UPDATE:
BUTTERMILK JAMBOREE – Buttermilk Jamboree will once again be postponed, with organizers looking ahead to 2022. Organizers say capacity restrictions and other COVID concerns will likely still be an obstacle in June, forcing them to skip this year’s event.
BATTLE CREEK CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL – The Battle Creek Caribbean Festival will take place July 17 in downtown Kalamazoo.
SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FESTIVAL LIST FOR MORE NEWS UPDATES
MICHIGAN MUSIC FESTIVALS: THE LIST
Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Hamtramck Music Fest
Trixie’s Bar, Hamtramck
Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival
CANCELED; RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 7, 2022
Mitten State Music Revival
Historic Masonic Temple, Bay City
CANCELED: BBQ Bluegrass and Blues
Whirlpool Centennial Park, St. Joseph
CANCELED: Buses By The Beach
Camp Blodgett, West Olive
CANCELED Movement Music Festival
Hart Plaza, Detroit
SOLD OUT Hippie Fest
Kalamazoo County Fairground, Kalamazoo
POSTPONED TO 2022 Camp Greensky
Hoxeyville Festival Grounds, Manistee National Forest, Wellston
CANCELED (Plein Air event will replace it) Festival Of The Arts
Downtown, Grand Rapids
CANCELED FOR 2021 Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival
Oscoda County Fairgrounds, Mio
RESCHEDULED FOR AUG. 26-29: Cedar Polka Festival
Tennis Courts, Cedar
CANCELED; RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 17-19, 2022
Circle Pines Center, Delton
Summer Solstice Jazz Festival
Downtown East Lansing (Bailey Parking Lot, Albert-Division intersection), East Lansing
Alpena Blues Festival
N. 2nd Ave., Alpena
Brethren Music Festival
Dickson Township Hall, Brethren
Charlotte Bluegrass Festival
Eaton County Fairgrounds, Charlotte
CANCELED Electric Forest
Double JJ Ranch, Rothbury
Marshall Blues Festival
Smiling Acres Music Festival
West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association’s 4th of July Camp & Jam
Kent County Youth Fairgrounds, Lowell
3695 Division Road, Harbor Springs
(RESCHEDULED FROM SEPT. 3-5)
Big Ticket Festival
Otsego County Fairgrounds, Gaylord
CANCELED: Michigan ElvisFest
Wayne County Fairgrounds, Belleville
Belknap Park, Grand Rapids
Beaver Island Music Fesitval
28599 Hideaway Trail, St. James, Beaver Island
Faster Horses Festival
Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn
CANCELED: Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival
Marquette Tourist Park Marquette
Battle Creek Caribbean Festival
Downtown Battle Creek
Dunesville Music Festival
The Harm Farm, Lake Ann
Marshall Bluegrass Festival
Calhoun County Fairgrounds, Marshall
Hootenanny at the Barn
Wayland (Location given upon ticket purchase; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
July 30-Aug. 1
CANCELED: Farm Block Festival & Reunion
July 30-Aug. 7
Baroque On Beaver
Various locations, St. James, Beaver Island
Depot Music Festival
Cadillac Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion, downtown Cadillac
Port Sanilac Blues Festival
Waterfront, Port Sanilac
Milan Bluegrass Festival
KC Campground, Milan
Unity Christian Music Festival
Heritage Landing, Muskegon
1865 Roby Road, Johannesburg
420 Cannabis Music Festival
Adado Riverfront Park, Lansing
Hoxeyville Music Festival
Wellston (Manistee National Forest)
Walk the Beat
East Side of Grand Haven
Flint Drop Fest
Buckham Alley, Flint
RESCHEDULED TO AUG. 13, 2022
Phil Denny’s Armory Smooth Jazz Fete
330 Marshall, Lansing
Frankenmuth Summer Music Fest
Heritage Park, Frankenmuth
LivelyLands Music Festival
Outside of Empire on W. Empire Hwy. at Backyard Burdickville
Cedar Polka Festival
Tennis Courts, Cedar
Breakaway Music Festival
Belknap Park, Grand Rapids
Frog Holler Farm, Irish Hills
Blues By The Bay
East Tawas Harbor Park, East Tawas
Forest Trail Music Festival
352 West Forest Trail Road, Freesoil
Tie Dye Festival
Big Fam Music and Arts Festival
Harmony Pines, Lake Ann
Forest Trail Music Festival
325 W. Forest Trail Rd., Free Soil
CANCELED: Porcupine Mountains Music Festival
Winter Sports Complex, Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park, Ontonogan
CANCELED: Willowsong Music Festival
CANCELED: Michigan MetalFest
Leila Auditorium, Battle Creek
RESCHEDULED TO JULY 9-11
Big Ticket Festival
Otsego County Fairgrounds, Gaylord
Art, Eats & Beats Festival
Downtown Royal Oak
Tierney Park, Lexington
Wheatland Music Festival
Pierce Road & 30th Avenue, Remus
CANCELED: Michigan Irish Music Festival
Heritage Landing, Muskegon
Earthwork Harvest Gathering
Mud Farm, Lake City
NEWS UPDATES & NOTES ARCHIVED
MARCH 31 UPDATE:
Hoxeyville Music Festival (slated for Aug. 13-15 in Wellston) announced that limited earlybird and kids’ tickets are now available. “Hoxeyville is committed to your safety by providing an environment where we can ALL enjoy a wondrous weekend of music together. You can help! We are confident that by August, all adults desiring so can be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the festival state on Facebook. “While we cannot mandate attendees be vaccinated, we will protect our youngest campers for whom vaccines are not yet available by requiring ALL ADULTS to have properly worn masks and socially distance in shared public spaces.”
Upheaval Festival, slated for July 16-17 at Belknap Park in Grand Rapids, has added Rob Zombie as the headliner for Saturday night (which already features Staind, Skillet, Like a Storm, Blacktop Mojo and others). Korn headlines Friday night, with Chevelle, Avatar, Joyous Wolf, Gemini Syndrome and more bands on the hard-rocking opening night.
MARCH 29 UPDATE:
Blue Water Folk Society’s Thumbfest will take place Sept. 4 at Tierney Park in Lexington.
MARCH 28 UPDATE:
East Lansing Info reports that the Pumpstock Music Festival in East Lansing tentatively plans to return this summer, but things have yet to be finalized.
MARCH 27 UPDATE:
The Milan Bluegrass Festival will take place Aug. 6-7 in Milan, with tickets going on sale June 20.
Whether this year’s Earthwork Harvest Gathering takes place outside Lake City in September remains uncertain. Organizers posted on Facebook that they’re “studying things closely and consulting with trusted colleagues, and it feels too early to make a call either way.”
MARCH 24 UPDATE:
Blissfest Music Organization has announced the “heart-wrenching” decision to cancel Blissfest for the second year in a row due to uncertainty regarding COVID restrictions and safety concerns. Initially scheduled for July 9-11, the next Blissfest near Harbor Springs will now take place July 8-10, 2022. “We need to make decisions to keep everyone safe,” said Sarah Reinfelder, operations manager. “An event this size is always about safety.” Read more at Local Spins here.
MARCH 16 UPDATE:
The Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival slated to take place July 16-18 in Marquette has been canceled. It’s the second year in a row that the long-running event has been forced to take a hiatus due to COVID. “It has been a long and challenging process for the board to reach this conclusion,” Hiawatha executive director Susan Divine said in a prepared statement, adding there are plans for a virtual festival with hopes that “a music gathering of some kind might be possible in the fall.”
MARCH 12 UPDATE:
The Cedar Polka Fest has been rescheduled for August 26-29, 2021, held downtown in the village of Cedar. (Previously, it had been set to take place June 17-20.)
MARCH 9 UPDATE:
Another Michigan music festival has been canceled for the second year in a row: Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival slated for July will now be held July 30 and 31, 2022 at the Historic Fort Wayne.
MARCH 8 UPDATE:
For the second year in a row, Camp Greensky has been canceled due to the COVID pandemic. Festival organizers officially announced that they are postponing the three-day, northern Michigan festival to June 2022. “We were patient and hopeful that we could make some magic happen this June, but it’s just not in the cards to present the festival we all know and love in the current circumstances,” the “heartbroken” leaders of the festival stated on Facebook. “We’re grateful for all of your understanding and patience as we all work towards some kind of ‘new normal.’ ”
Organizers of Nor-East’r Music & Art Festival near Mio have announced cancellation of the June 11-13 event. It’s the second year in a row that the festival — which takes place on Oscoda County Fairgrounds — has been scrapped due to COVID-19. “It absolutely breaks our hearts to do this for a second year, but rest assured, we will be back in full force in 2022,” organizers said in a press release, noting the “uncertainty” surrounding a June gathering. “Additionally, the local economy has been hit so hard that asking our neighbors for financial support just doesn’t seem appropriate for this year.”
Grand Haven’s Walk the Beat will return to the lakeshore city on Aug. 14, with bands performing at several different locations and fans walking from venue to venue to listen to their sets. Walk the Beat also is hosting a songwriting contest. To enter, send your entry to email@example.com by March 15.
The Marshall Bluegrass Festival returns to Main Street in Marshall July 25-31 with “international touring entertainers, Grand Ole Opry performers and award-winning talent.”
Despite uncertainties in COVID restrictions, several Michigan festivals have announced plans to return in 2021:
Frederic Music Festival on June 25 in Eagle Park in Frederic;
Houghton Lake Blues Festival July 7 at the Houghton Lake Playhouse (with Larry McCray, Jake Kershaw, Erin Coburn and Rhett Yocum);
Christian music’s Big Ticket Festival July 9-11 in Gaylord (with Cory Asbury, Zach Williams and Danny Gokey);
Tamarack Music Festival July 31-Aug. 1 at Tamarack Creek Soap & Gifts in Morley;
Unity Christian Music Festival Aug. 11-14 at Muskegon’s Heritage Landing (with King & Country, TobyMac, Matthew West and We the Messengers).
Dunesville Music Festival has put out a call for musicians, vendors, workshop teachers and visual artists.
The Acoustic Sunset Concert Series at Camp Blodgett has announced that it won’t be returning in 2021.
The Hamtramck Music Festival has been canceled.
Big Ticket, a Christian music festival, has changed its dates from Sept. 3-5 to July 9-11 at the Otsego County Fairgrounds in Gaylord.
Beaver Island Music Festival is moving ahead with plans for the July 15-17 festival in the middle of Lake Michigan. Should that not be possible, the festival is urging donations to the nonprofit Patrons of the Arts in Rural Communities (PARC). See the PARC Facebook page for more info.
Electric Forest’s dates are still up in the air. “Forest HQ is currently considering options … we are holding to our typical June timeframe.” The Forest Family abides.
Forest Trail Music Festival, which hosted a socially distanced inaugural event in Freesoil last year, is seeking musicians and vendors for its Aug. 27-29 event. Contact organizers at ForestTrailMusic@gmail.com or 231-510-3056.
Arts Eats & Beats in Royal Oak, sponsored by Soaring Eagle, together with the Oakland County government raised more than $400,000 to support musicians. See The Detroit News story.
The classical music festival Baroque on Beaver reports that it received a grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation to pay for a new website and branding.
The Great Indoor Folk Festival, which opted out of the popular winter event for 2021, said “we look forward to being back in the saddle 2022” in its announcement on Facebook.
Copyright 2021, Spins on Music LLC