Top 10 Music Festivals in Michigan

Top 10 Music Festivals in Michigan

The state of Michigan has birthed, or at the very least cultivated, some of contemporary music's most enduring genres within the past fifty years. 

Though Lansing is the state's capital city, Michigan's most influential and largest city is Detroit; dubbed 'Motor City' due to its celebrated car manufacturing industry, homegrown label Motown Records established itself a global powerhouse for releasing what are now stone-cold classic soul, pop, and funk records throughout the 60s. 

Aside from Motown, blues, punk, techno, and hip hop music runs deep within the city's lifeblood, the likes of long-term resident John Lee Hooker, Jack White, Iggy Pop, Jeff Mills, and Eminem affirming their status as Detroit's most famous sons.

Of course Michigan is much more than merely one city, and they hold a myriad of music festivals to prove the state's diversity. Here are Festicket's ten favourites.

Electric Forest


Festival lineup (2019): ODESZA, Kygo, Bassnectar, Alison Wonderland, Zeds Dead

Without any doubt one for the festival bucket list is Electric Forest; set amongst the flora and fauna of Rothbury's majestic Sherwood Forest, the festival literally transforms the tranquil woodland into an electrifying, kaleidoscopic, and hedonistic haven. Soundtracked by a meticulously curated lineup of electronica's foremost artisans, almost 50,000 lucky festival-goers descend on the enchanted forest in search of an experience like no other. 

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; Sherwood Forest, Rothbury, MI

Electric Forest 2020 Guide & Waiting List 

Movement Electronic Music Festival - Detroit


Festival lineup (2019): Amelie Lens, Richie Hawtin, Orbital, Disclosure, Danny Brown, Carl Craig

Each Memorial Day weekend, thousands of ravers flock to the spiritual home of techno to celebrate the beginnings of the genre, its illustrious history since then, and the unparalleled imprint it's made in the course of contemporary music. As one of dance music's longest-running festivals, numerous generations of festival-goers congregate to celebrate techno's origins, and the apparent impact on electronica and beyond.

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI

Movement Electronic Music Festival - Detroit 2020 Guide & Waiting List 

Hoxeyville Music Festival

Festival lineup: Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Railroad Earth, Billy Strings

A consummate ode to the USA's rich lineage of Americana and bluegrass music, the intimate festival invites a series of the most influential artists within the genres, alongside local talent, to play amongst the rolling acres of Manistee National Forest. Spread across three stages, it's a serene, communal, and family-friendly environment with a child-focused programme of activities and games so the kids are occupied whilst you kick-back with the earthy sounds.

When & where: 16-18 August 2019; Wellston, MI

Common Ground Festival

Festival lineup (2019): Big Boi, Zedd, Brandi Carlile, City And Colour, Playboi Carti

For twenty years now, Common Ground Festival has hosted some of the USA's finest contemporary talent, either in the shape of Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, or artists that have accrued multiple Grammy Award wins over the course of their careers. Mixing in legacy artists with modern icons from a wide array of genres always bodes well for great atmosphere, and even better sing-a-longs. 

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; Lansing, MI

Detroit International Jazz Festival


Festival lineup (2019): Macy Gray, Stanley Clarke, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Held in Detroit on every Labor Day since 1980, this free festival is, without doubt, a mainstay of the city's cultural tapestry. Over sixty different performances across multiple pop-up stages within the city ensures that the heartbeat of jazz is still pumping healthily, seeing the likes of legends like Dave Brubeck and Pat Metheny perform in the past.

When & where: August 30 - September 2 2019; Hart Plaza & Campus Martius, Detroit, MI

Mo Pop Festival


Festival lineup (2019): Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Kali Uchis, Lizzo, Ella Mai

This two-day inner-city favourite caters for indie audiophiles that have a penchant for rhythm, ingenuity, and dancing. Steadily growing to an average attendance of 20,000 festival-goers each year in its six-year lifespan, Mo Pop Festival draws on the vibe of major alternative festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella, whilst emphasising the niche, boutique aesthetic along Detroit's famed riverfront.

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; West Riverfront Park, Detroit

Hiawatha Music Festival


Festival lineup (2019): Old Salt Union, The Fitzgeralds, Po' Ramblin' Boys

Unfolding within the beautiful forested area of Tourist Park, Marquette, this quaint and traditional music festival is the ideal locale for those who love old-fashioned nature camping and outdoor activities as much as homegrown music. Inviting a combination of local and more domestically successful talent to perform, if you love bluegrass, Celtic, acoustic, blues, and gospel music, then this is the place to be.

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; Tourist Park, Marquette, MI

Wheatland Music Festival


Festival lineup: The Special Consensus, Quebe Sisters, Jones Family Singers, The Mammals

Music, dance, arts and crafts, nature, and the practice of storytelling are all championed at Wheatland Music Festival. A firm date on the Michigan calendar since 1974, the festival began as a free concert on the grounds of the Rhode family farm and blossomed from then into a gathering of new friends within the 160-acre site.

When & where: 6-8 September 2019; Remus, MI

Faster Horses Festival


Festival lineup (2019): Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band

Country music is firmly the order of the day at Faster Horses, which no doubt inspired the festival's equine moniker. Over 40,000 festival-goers descend on the Michigan International Speedway, young and old, for a ho-down of epic proportions with icons of the genre.

When & where: 2020 Dates TBA; Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival


Festival lineup: The Allman Betts Band, Benny Turner, John Primer, Laith Al-Saadi

What began as a tribute to ageing blues icons during the late 60s/early 70s, the Ann Arbor-based festival quickly expanded to encompass the realm of jazz too, inviting a generous list of venerated guests like Miles Davis, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sun Ra, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Al Green. The festival's programme split across outdoor arenas, indoor concerts, and even authentic jazz clubs will immerse you into both blues and jazz's expressive, emotive domain.

When & where: 16-18 August 2019; Ann Arbor, MI


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