Mid West Music Fest returns to Winona for its eighth year next weekend, expanding on its proven history of showcasing Midwestern talent of all musical varieties. This year’s festival brings together the folk/Americana you expect at a festival with the word Midwest in the title, as well as a hodgepodge of urban punk, funk, grunge, and indie rock from the Twin Cities to the north. 

This amalgamation of entertainers features household names as well as newcomers, both poised to give Winona one of its best weekends of the year. In synch with its directionally-named festival peer SXSW, the venues span across downtown Winona; from bars and venues to cafes, shops, and religious temples. No one is safe from the music. NO ONE!

The music, by the way, will be fantastic. Adam Levy, Charlie Parr, Gaelynn Lee, General B and the Wiz, Lydia Liza, Lunch Duchess, Night Moves, and The McNasty Brass Band are just a few of the names on the bill of 80. Not to mention author readings, including Danny Sigelman, who recently penned the narrative to a soon-to-be iconic piece of Minnesota photojournalism called "Heyday," featuring an incredible collection of generation-spanning photographs from Daniel Corrigan. A full lineup can be found at www.midwestmusicfest.org.

There will no doubt be something for everyone. As a small-town festival, there is a much larger sense of local pride and community that encompasses the entire city. You can go for a show or for an afternoon, but there are definitely enough unique performances to keep you entertained for the whole weekend.

Featured Artists

Adam Levy

The Honeydogs are one of the most notable and fruitful Twin Cities rock bands of the ‘90s - ‘00s, and have continued to put out record after record as recently as last year. Their lead singer and creative force Adam Levy, who will be featured at Mid West Music Fest, has maintained a position of musical influence in the realm. His first release as a solo artist, 2015’s "Naubinway", sees his rock sentiment softened by the tragedy of his son’s death. Despite his oft-solemn subject matter, his ability to make toes tap is as sharp as ever. 

Charlie Parr

"Easily confused, and very shy." - words from his own website. Fans of Charlie Parr will no doubt enthuse his intense dedication to his music as well as his drive. He never seems to stop touring his music, and currently has performance dates posted through July online. As the kids say these days, Parr is "married to the game." 

Gaelynn Lea

You’ll likely recognize Gaelynn from her stunning performance as part of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, which she participated in as the 2016 winner of their annual contest. The Duluth violinist, who has since toured extensively as a solo artist, is an active disability advocate who was born Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease. Her disease forced her to learn her instrument in an unusual way, holding the instrument like a cello, but it most definitely did not alter her spirit or her ability to create strong, relatable, heartfelt folk music.



Mid West Music Fest


Friday, April 28 through Saturday, April 29


Various locations around Winona


$25 single day, $45 both days; midwestmusicfest.org/tickets

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