If you’re a music lover, summer is your season. Music festival after music festival string together shows you might otherwise have to wait ages to see.
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If you’re a music lover, summer is your season. Music festival after music festival string together shows you might otherwise have to wait ages to see. Thankfully, being in Alaska doesn’t exclude you from the musical joys of summer. Music festivals all over the state draw acts from far and wide, plus the local scene is hopping—it’s produced nationally beloved acts like Portugal. The Man and Builders and The Butchers. Plus, festivals cover a wide gamut of styles, so you can get your fix, no matter what kind of music quickens your pulse. Here are 11 Alaska music festivals not to miss.
World Music Celebration
If you love to groove to beats and melodies from all over the planet, head to the annual World Music Celebration at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Artists specializing in everything from Alaska Native music to Latin music to Middle Eastern music gather to play.
Sitka’s music festival, hosted at Ludvig’s Bistro, features an eclectic mix of artists. It’s put on by Home Skillet Records and definitely makes Sitka worth the visit.
Spectrum Music and Arts Festival
For a transformative dance-friendly experience, head to Chickaloon for the Spectrum Music and Arts Festival. A wide variety of artists gather for one of the few more electronic style festivals in the state, dubbed a festival to “celebrate the infinite diversity of sound and light.”
Alaska Folk Festival
If folk music is what floats your boat, make sure to schedule time to go to the Alaska Folk Festival. It’s the oldest and largest festival of its kind in Alaska and is absolutely free. Need we say more?
Nome Midnight Sun Folk Festival
Is small and homespun more your style? Head to Nome for their Midnight Sun Folk Festival. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the solstice and boasts barn dances, to boot.
Kenai Peninsula Orchestra Summer Music Festival
If you hear strings and classical music in your dreams, this is the summer music festival for you. Orchestral and Jazz music takes over locations all over the Kenai Peninsula—from Homer to Soldotna.
Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a little banjo and mandolin. So check out the Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival, which draws a long list of pickers, strummers, and singers, held at the Boots Bison Ranch.
Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival
If free, small-town fun is what you’re looking for, check out the Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival in Seward. A variety of musicians take the stage, and a carnival and beer garden bring a little something for everyone.
Seriously Fun Fest
This festival is where rock, rap and electronica come together. With major headliners like Matisyahu, craft beers and a giant water slide right through the middle, the Seriously Fun Fest might be the most fun way to pass a summer day off from work.
Sitka Jazz Festival
In Alaska, festival season doesn’t end when summer ends and school starts again. The Sitka Jazz Festival in February warms things up in the heart of winter.
Anchorage Folk Festival
In case you missed the jumping Alaska Folk Festival over the summer, the Anchorage Folk Festival in January has you covered. If you’re a real string pickin’ fan, check out the annual banjo competition.