10 Music Festivals in the Midwest This Summer

Eaux Claires Featured Image

Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival || Eau Claire, Wisconsin

July 17–18

There’s something special about playing in one’s hometown, and Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) decided there was no time like the present to capitalize on that magic. The Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival is curated by Vernon and Aaron Dessner (of The National) and takes place in Vernon’s hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (In case you’re wondering about the festival’s name, “Eaux Claires” is the original French spelling of the town of Eau Claire, WI.)

This is more than a celebration of local music: In addition to world-class artists, the two-day festival, held at the 20-acre Foster Farm on the banks of the Chippewa River, will feature visual art, integrations of music and light, locally-sourced food and beverages, and many other artistic and experiential elements yet to be announced. The lineup includes The National, Spoon, Bon Iver, Doomtree, Haley Bonar, Lizzo, Low, PHOX, Sturgill Simpson, Sufjan Stevens, The Tallest Man On Earth, and many more.

Info: Foster Farm, 3443 Crescent Ave, Eau Claire, WI; $135/two-day general admission, $250/two-day Chippewa VIP passes

Buy tickets and find more info at www.eauxclaires.com.


Pitchfork Music Festival || Chicago, Illinois

July 17–19

This summer marks the 10-year anniversary for Pitchfork Music Festival. The independently run event is as passionate about supporting local businesses as it is about the music, hosting 50 vendors and specialty fairs throughout the long weekend. But the bulk of the 50,000-some attendees are there for the music, and the lineup shows why: Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Chance the Rapper, Future Islands, Run the Jewels, CHVRCHES, The New Pornographers, Courtney Barnett, and Mac DeMarco are just a few of the 46 performers.

Info: Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL; $65 per day

Buy tickets and find more info at www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com.


Hinterland Music Festival || Des Moines, Iowa

July 31–August 1

This is the first year of Hinterland Music Festival, and it’s going to be a beautiful whirlwind of artistic mastery. Held in Water Works Park, a 1,500-acre oasis in the center of Des Moines, the festival is curated by Sam Summers (of First Fleet) and blends music with bicycle culture, art installations, craft vendors, family events, and more. The lineup is a who’s who of Americana, indie, alt-country, soul, and folk, featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Brandi Carlile, Future Islands, TV on the Radio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lucius, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and Joe Pug.

Info: Water Works Park, 2201 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines, IA; $45/one day, $75/both days

Buy tickets and find more info at www.hinterlandiowa.com.

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