Saturdays on the Square
Where: Greenville, Kentucky
The details: Multi-genre. In a traditional display of a summer concert series, Saturdays on the Square brings the buzz of music to the calm days of good weather and extended sunshine. Don’t forget to grab your lawn chairs, even if you spend most of your time dancing.
Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering
Where: Battle Ground, Indiana (near Lafayette)
The details: This 3-day festival features old-time, bluegrass, folk, swing jazz fiddle, string band, Celtic and ethnic music – all on one stage.
Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The details: Multi-genre. Like Coachella and Woodstock, you have probably heard of Summerfest. It's one of the biggest music festivals of the year! If you want to check out performances from some of the biggest names in the music industry, this is the place to go.
Where: Rothbury, Michigan
The details: An electronic music festival in nature… Need we say more?
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
The details: Multi-genre. Do you want to know what magical summer nights are made of? A gentle breeze, blaring music that drowns out the crickets and too many people partying under the canopy of a starry night sky. The Forecastle Festival in Louisville has all of that and more.
Where: Moondance Ranch near Walker, Minnesota
The details: It’s classic rock, they have camping and we’re imagining a mini-Woodstock. Bring your denim and your tent and get ready to have a great time!
Where: Cadott, Wisconsin
The details: Just imagine rock fans from around the world gathered on 320 acres for the largest rock and camping festivals in the US. From classic to current, there's something for every rock music fan.
Minnesota Beethoven Festival
Where: Winona, Minnesota
The details: Classical. An ode to the maestro, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival – lasting three weeks – brings in nationally and internationally recognized performers and creates an immersive delve into the classics.
Mile of Music
Where: Appleton, Wisconsin
The details: 200 up-and-coming artists from around the world perform more than 900 sets of live music. Along with taking in music, make music of your own with dozens of hands-on music opportunities like artist-led songwriting workshops and interactive drum circles. Oh, even better, it's a free event!
Where: Fort Wayne, Indiana
The details: Indie, hip hop, and rock & roll. The ultimate summer music festival, Middle Waves is comprised of over 30 acts featured on three stages: two are free, but you need a ticket for the main stage. Get ready. Get set. Rock.
Lotus World Music & Arts Festival
Where: Bloomington, Indiana
The details: This multi-genre/world music festival features artists from across the globe, bringing culturally immersive opportunities to the Bloomington area for nearly three decades. It is a feast for the ears and the eyes, with visual art displays being featured, as well.
German, Latin, Folk and Blues
Where: Dubois County, Indiana
Details: Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, Dubois County offers several unique festivals, where you can enjoy music, food and activities. In August, check out the Jasper Strassenfest and Latino Cultural Festival. September brings the Ferdinand Folk Festival, and October is Haunted Huntingburg with live blues music.
Chicago Jazz Festival
Where: Chicago, Illinois
The details: Jazz is known for being the first truly American art form, and the classic yet versatile style still reigns supreme for many fans. Whether big band or more modern jazz sounds with a twist of outside inspiration is your thing, be sure not to miss one of the premiere jazz music festivals in the US!
Fountain Square Music Festival (FSMF)
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
The details: Multi-genre. With a multi-genre lineup featuring artists whose styles range from indie rock to hip hop, FSMF is the music festival to be at. The annual festival, located in the trendy arts neighborhood of Fountain Square in Indianapolis, draws out huge crowds seeking that feeling of musical elation one can only find at a good show.
Festival of New Music
Where: Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana
The details: Classical music festival featuring new, original works by various artists, including a guest composer who serves as the main highlight of the festival. Fancy clothes are optional, but bring your ears and be prepared to be swept away by the alluring call of classical music.
Where: Cadott, Wisconsin
The details: This 3-day music and camping extravaganza features both legendary and current names in country music. Not much for camping in the heat of summer? There are also hotels nearby!
Blue Ox Music Festival
Where: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
The details: Bluegrass, roots and Americana. American traditions in music are kept alive at the annual Blue Ox Music Festival with deep, soulful tunes that are certain to have you swaying to the beat and thinking of bygone days.
Stay connected. . .
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Cory is a contributing writer on various topics for Old National, where she is also involved in the AchieveAbility program. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in communications and a cognate in marketing from the University of Evansville. She also earned her Master of Arts degree in communications from the University of Southern Indiana.
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Is the beat of live music calling you to pack your bags and hit the road? If so, this guide is for you. We’ve researched music festivals and events in Old National communities (and a few within a short drive). Here are some road-trip-worthy ideas that represent a wide range of musical genres.