MICHIGAN—If concert ticket sales (and the Ticketmaster debacles) are any indication, 2023 will be a year for the live music record books. The most sought-after passes for music festivals are already selling out, so if you’re ready to bump to the beat with a few hundred fellow live music fans, check out our list of Michigan’s most anticipated 2023 festivals.
Local Spins Fest
Where: Grand Rapids
When: May 20
Local Spins started as an online pet project documenting the West Michigan-area music scene. More than 10 years later, the music website now hosts a one-day festival with a purely Michigan lineup. In the week leading up to the event, Local Spins will also host smaller musical acts across Grand Rapids at venues like the Listening Room and SpeakEZ Lounge.
Buses By The Beach (family friendly)
Where: West Olive
When: May 26-29
If you’re a VW owner or lover, you may already be a fan of the Buses By The Beach organization. This year their annual Bus Benefit has a music lineup that includes Nicholas James and the Bandwagon, Brother Elsey, and The Fat Animals. The weekend family festival includes camping, swimming in Lake Michigan, outdoor activities, and lots of VW cars and buses. It sells out fast, so get your tickets soon.
When: May 27–29
If EDM is your jam, you already know about the Movement Electronic Music Festival, which has been a fixture in the scene for more than 20 years. On Memorial Day weekend, this techno party brings thousands of ravers to the urban birthplace of the genre for a Motor City dance party to end all dance parties. Underworld and Charlotte de Witte headline the 2023 festival along with 20+ acts already announced—and more to come.
Noreast’r Music & Art Festival (family friendly)
When: June 9-11
A weekend festival for the whole family, the Noreast’r Music & Art Festival is held at the Oscoda County Fairgrounds, and includes camping, music, workshops, and art. 35 performers are in the eclectic lineup, including The Whiskey Charmers, Kitty Donohoe, Jill Jack Band, Goldpine, and the Blue Water Ramblers.
Buttermilk Jamboree (family friendly)
When: June 16-18
The Buttermilk Jamboree is a family-friendly festival of music and art with activities for the whole family. Featuring dozens of artists both regional and local, there is camping, swimming, crafts, a kids’ area, and more. Be sure to join the community through the Buttermilk Jamboree’s Facebook page for extra details.
Acorn Music Festival—NEW!
Where: Three Oaks
When: June 16-18
The Acorn, a charming venue in Three Oaks, is hosting its first summer music festival with more than 15 artists over three days, including headliners Alejandro Escovedo and Shemekia Copeland. For full lineup updates, visit the 2023 Acorn Music Festival website.
Electric Forest—SOLD OUT
When: June 22-25
The legendary Electric Forest is already sold out for 2023, but passes may be available via their waitlist or official exchange site. With impressive headliners and favorites like The String Cheese Incident, ODESZA, Illenium, Zeds Dead, and Above & Beyond, performing in the artistically lit enchanted Sherwood Forest, this unique EDM fest is sure to be another unforgettable weekend.
22nd Annual Michigan ElvisFest
When: July 7-8
Genre: Elvis Tribute
If you get all shook up over Elvis, you won’t want to miss ElvisFest at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. In addition to Elvis tribute bands and performers, they’ll have good trucks, a cash bar, and raffles.
Blissfest (family friendly)
Where: Harbor Springs
When: July 7-9
Genre: Folk & Roots
Blissfest is a festival near Petoskey that’s been entertaining families since 1981. The organizers call it “the quintessential Michigan summer experience” in the picturesque, rural northern part of the state. 2023’s lineup has yet to be announced, but last year’s impressive headliners were Shawn Colvin and Leftover Salmon, so expectations are high.
Where: Grand Rapids
When: July 14-15
Upheaval Festival is the largest rock festival in western Michigan, and touts some big headliners like Bring Me the Horizon, Lamb of God, Falling in Reverse, and Halestorm. With 22 featured acts, official after shows, and special guests, there will be plenty of rock to go around.
When: July 14-16
Faster Horses is one of Michigan’s largest music celebrations, attracting over 40,000 festival-goers to the International Speedway near Jackson. This country music juggernaut is a three-day camping extravaganza featuring 2023 headliners Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Shania Twain, and about 30 more acts for this “party of the decade.”
Beaver Island Music Fest
Where: Beaver Island
When: July 20-22
A destination music fest, Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan is only accessible by ferry, boat, or plane. The 2023 Beaver Island Music Fest lineup features Sponge, The Rubies, The Plate Scrapers, and many more. Camping facilities are included for ticket-holders during the festival.
African World Festival
When: July (TBA)
Genre: African diaspora
The Wright Museum of African American History will be hosting its 40th anniversary African World Festival this summer. The dynamic annual celebration regularly attracts more than 50,000 attendees over the course of three days with its stellar line-up of local and nationally acclaimed acts, over 100 vendors, youth and family activities, classes, and more.
Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival (family friendly)
When: July 21-23
This acoustic festival, held at Tourist Park in the Upper Peninsula’s largest town, boasts a variety of acoustic offerings, including bluegrass, blues, folk, singer-songwriters, country, Irish/Celtic, Appalachian, and even Cajun, performed by both nationally-known as well as local acts. The Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival arts and craft show, kid-friendly activities, and other outdoor fun are also added draws for this event.
Mo Pop Festival
When: July (TBA)
This two-day downtown Detroit festival, typically held in the last weekend of July, has attracted some big names in the past, including Lizzo, Iron & Wine, Chromeo, Modest Mouse, and more.The Mo Pop Festival draws crowds of some 30,000, so we hope that the 2023 event will be announced soon.
When: August 1-6
Referred to us by Girls Rock Detroit, this special event is held in the same undeveloped natural area that was home to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival for four decades. Fern Fest carries on the torch as “a safe and inclusive women’s music festival for all women (cis, trans, non-binary, BIPOC, Deaf/HOH, women with disabilities) to foster connection, community and belonging.” This nearly week-long festival will feature workshops, crafts, and food trucks, in addition to musical acts.
Hamtramck Music Fest
When: August (date TBA)
Hosted across many different venues in Detroit’s famously Polish suburb, the Hamtramck Music Fest brings performers and music enthusiasts together for a greater purpose—raising money for the music and arts programs at Hamtramck Public Schools. One wristband grants guests access to many different venues across Hamtramck, such as Small’s, Trixie’s, and the Polish Village Cafe.
Excellency Music Festival
Where: Bay City
When: August 12
This one-day festival of pop-punk, indie, emo, and post hardcore rock is held at the Historic Masonic Temple in Bay City. The Excellency Music Festival typically features 30 acts of both nationally recognized and local artists. Last year’s headliners were Knuckle Puck, Free Throw, and Can’t Swim.
Hoxeyville Music Festival (family friendly)
Where: Wellston, MI
When: August 18-20, 2023
Genre: Americana & Roots
The 2023 Hoxeyville Music Festival features over 20 acts headlined by Marcus King, The Wood Brothers, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, and more. Located in the Manistee National Forest, festival goers at this laid-back, family-friendly event may also enjoy camping, hiking, along with a kids’ tent for the little ones.
17th Porcupine Mountains Music Festival (family friendly)
Where: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
When: August 25-26
Genre: Americana & Folk
Jam out in one of Michigan’s best natural areas: more than 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, thousands of acres of state and federal land, a community lighthouse, boating, hiking, camping, and local culture…and music. Keep your eyes on the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival website for a lineup to be announced soon.
Detroit Jazz Festival—FREE
When: September 1-5
The world’s largest free jazz festival for over 40 years running, The Detroit Jazz Festival typically features more than 60 performing acts and ample late-night jam sessions during Labor day weekend. Though the 2023 lineup has yet to be announced, you can be sure it’ll celebrate the rich jazz history of Detroit.
Wheatland Music Festival (family friendly)
When: September 8-10
What began as a fundraiser for their local food co-op is now celebrating the 50th Annual Wheatland Music Festival as one of Michigan’s most popular family-friendly music festivals. Attendees of all ages participate in campsite decorating, workshops, jam sessions, and more.
Dally in the Alley
When: September (TBA)
Run entirely by volunteers, Dally in the Alley is a Motor City grassroots block party in the Cass Corridor with over four decades of history. The festival features local musical acts, food, vendors, and merchandise designed by local artists. Though the 2023 lineup has not been announced, Dally in the Alley usually showcases around 40 musical acts.
Earthwork Harvest Gathering (family friendly)
Where: Lake City
When: September 15-17
More than a music festival, Earthwork Harvest Gathering is “an intergenerational safe space” at a family farm in rural northern Michigan. Guests are invited to camp on the property for free. Also offering programs that inspire civic engagement and ecosystem awareness on topics such as food justice and water equity, the festival typically features over 100 acts—along with open mics and jam sessions to bring folks together.