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The 10 Best Music Festivals in Michigan You Can’t Miss

Let’s say you’re on a summer vacation in Michigan and you’ve got a week to kill. A friend suggests a local music festival. Why not? Music is high art—and everybody loves festival photos—so spending a day or two out in the woods is a sure thing.

If you aren’t nature-inclined, the heart of Detroit is more than happy to accommodate you. The Motor City hosts hundreds of music festivals and it seems to be going strong. The best festivals though are the regional events, drawing people from near and far to showcase various artists, bands and live shows. Whether your jam is country, rap, techno, or all three, there is a festival in the mitten for you. So, for the uninitiated, here’s a brief primer on some of the best festivals in the region.

Quicklook: Music Festivals in Michigan

Choosing a Festival in Michigan

The thriving music scene in Michigan is second to none – a blessing to experience in person. Except, Michigan might just have too many music festivals for its own good. Not the worst problem to have, but deciding on where to spend a weekend can be arduous. Music is a draw. It’s on the floor. It’s awesome. To help narrow down the process of finding what festival is best for you, we have put together a list of the 10 best music festivals in Michigan.

Date: Jun 25th – Jun 28th
Music Genre: Electronic & Jam Band
Venue: Double JJ Resort
Location:
7100 S Water Rd
Rothbury, MI 49437

Best for:  Overall Music Festival in Michigan

Price: $309 for a weekend GA pass, $549 for a Maplewoods weekend pass, $699 for a Good Life weekend pass, $1,299 for an Effortless Camping weekend pass (includes a take-home tent, air mattresses, and sleeping bags), $1,999-3,399 for a two or four-person Good Life VIP Sherwood Bungalow Tent package, $3,745 for a weekend two-person Good Life Back 40 VIP Enchanted Camping pass

VIP Experience: Yes, for with a Backlots 40 pass, you receive VIP viewing areas, parking for your car adjacent to your campsite, access to both the Back 40 Old Western Town water park and the Frontier Water Park Facilities, exclusive air-conditioned bathrooms and showers in The Back 40, exclusive artist sets in The Back 40, curated brunch each morning (Friday – Sunday), plus access to all Good Life amenities.

Where to stay? For Electric Forest, there is no better way to experience the festival than through camping. To accommodate those who do not enjoy camping, Electric Forest has multiple tiers of different amenities, from GA camping to air-conditioned cabins with concierges.

Date: Jul 19th – Jul 21st
Music Genre: Country
Venue: Michigan International Speedway
Location:
12626 US-12
Brooklyn , MI 49230

Best for: Contemporary Country Music

Price: $215 for a GA weekend pass, $650 for VIP Tack Room Reserved Pass

VIP Experience: yes, for $650, you receive a reserved shaded seat in front of the main stage, shaded lounge with a cash bar and exclusive culinary offerings, a complimentary massage service, dedicated VIP Concierges, VIP entrance to all festival venue attractions, from rides to venue entrance, and a secret gift

Where to stay? Camping on site is strongly recommended for Faster Horses. Faster Horses is located in Brooklyn, MI, a city with limited hotel options. There are Holiday Inns and Super 8s, but that is as good as it gets.

Date: Jul 10th – Jul 12th
Music Genre: Folk, Family, Mixed
Venue: Blissfest Music Organization
Location:
522 Liberty St
Petoskey , MI 49770

Price: $185 for a GA weekend pass. Kids under 12 are free. $70 for teens 13-17 years old. 

VIP Experience: No VIP options are offered

Where to stay? Camping is included with your GA weekend pass. Keep in mind that this festival is family-friendly & all ages, so camping will be more relaxed than other music festivals. 

Date: Jun 4th – Jun 6th
Music Genre: Bluegrass
Venue: Hoxeyville Festival Grounds
Location:
11130 W 48 1/2 Rd.
Wellston, MI 49689

Best for:  Bluegrass

Price: $300 for a weekend GA pass

VIP Experience: No VIP options are offered for Camp Greensky

Where to stay?Given its location in Wellston, MI, the hotel choices are quite limited. A few motels and inns are located near the festival, but camping on site will be the best experience. Campgrounds are spacious, clean, and communal. Expect to make friends with your neighbors.

Date: May 23rd – May 25th
Music Genre: Electronic
Venue: Hart Plaza
Location:
1 Hart Plaza
Detroit, MI 48226

Best for: House, Electronic, EDM, rock, families, etc

Price: $195 for a GA pass, $320 for a VIP pass, $470 for a Club313 VIP pass

VIP Experience: yes, for $320, you’ll receive access to Main VIP Area (space above and behind the Movement Main Stage) where you’ll find exclusive VIP Bars, featuring discounted drinks and Premium drink choices, private air-conditioned bathrooms, complimentary massages, VIP-only viewing platforms for multiple stages, room reservation access to the Official Movement VIP hotel (while supplies last) at the Westin Book Cadillac or the Foundation Hotel.

Where to stay? The VIP tickets offer access to the official movement hotels, which are the Westin Book Cadillac and the Foundation Hotel. Outside of those options, the Shinola Hotel, as well as local Airbnbs, are great alternatives.

Movement has been a favorite of ours for some time, as we have attended and played close attention to them since DEMF was still a thing, including announcing their lineup since 2016.

Date: Aug 30th – Sep 2nd
Music Genre: Jazz
Venue: Hart Plaza
Location:
1 Hart Plaza
Detroit, MI 48226

Best for: Jazz

Price: GA admission is completely free, $550 for a  Guardian of Jazz VIP sponsor tickets

VIP Experience: Yes, for $550, you’ll receive Weekend access to reserved seating at the stages, access to VIP Hospitality areas, an exclusive invite to the Opening Night Celebration, private artist receptions, and the preview luncheon, official souvenir, poster, and recognition in the Detroit Jazz Festival website.

Where to stay? A common recommendation for all Detroit festivals, the Shinola Hotel and local Airbnbs in Greektown & Corktown are great options.

Date: Sep 1st – Sep 1st
Music Genre: Rap, Urban, Underground
Venue: Midtown Detroit
Location:
4632 Second Ave
Detroit , MI 48201

Best for:  Free Festivals, Rap

Price: Free

VIP Experience: No

Where do stay? With its location in midtown Detroit, there are a large number of options for hotels. Look for hotels by Wayne State’s campus, visiting parents need a place to stay after all.

Date: Jul 10th – Jul 10th
Music Genre: Alternative, Rock
Venue: Cooley Law School Stadium
Location:
505 E. Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48912

Best for: Multigenre Festivals

Price: $89 for a GA weekend pass, $240 for a VIP weekend pass

VIP Experience: Yes, for $240, you’ll receive access to elevated VIP platform and VIP pit at the main stage, complimentary parking, private restrooms, private cash bar, complimentary appetizers, access to the festival via VIP lane at the main gate.

Where do stay? Common Ground is located in Lansing, which presents some good hotel options for festival attendees. The Radisson Hotel Lansing and Hyatt Place Lansing are both quality, affordable festivals that are close to the festival grounds.

Date: Jul 24th – Jul 25th
Music Genre: Pop, Eletronic, Rock, Rap
Venue: West Riverfront Park Detroit
Location:
Detroit RiverWalk
Detroit, MI 48226

Best for: Discovering new artists

When is it?: TBD 2020

Price: $89 for a GA weekend pass

VIP Experience: none

Where to stay? Since this festival occurs in the same location as Movement, my recommendations for where to stay are the same as well. The Shinola Hotel, as well as local Airbnbs in Greektown and Corktown, are great alternatives.

Date: Sep 11th – Sep 13th
Music Genre: Folk, Family
Venue: Wheatland Music Festival Organization
Location:
7251 50th Ave
Remus, MI 49340

Best for: World Music

Price: $120 for a GA weekend pass

VIP Experience: VIP is not offered

Where to stay? Wheatland Festival is located in Remus, which does not offer a lot of variety for hotels. However, this festival is best enjoyed with camping. The heavy focus on Leave-No-Trace and sustainable fun make camping environmentally responsible and fun.

A Festival For Every Genre

While every state has its highlights, Michigan’s music scene is a sight to be seen. From the beauty of Electric Forest to the chaotic excitement of Movement, there’s something for everyone here. 

So, if you’ve always wanted to check out this region — or if you’ve spent time here before and you want to enjoy some less expensive festivals — there’s no better way to do it than by coming to any of these 10. I promise you’ll not regret it.