A Brief History

Bad Bad Hats

 

Mid West Music Fest was born in 2010 when AmeriCorps volunteer Sam Brown was stationed in the historic city of Winona, beautifully nestled between the bluffs and the Mississippi River. Boasting three institutions of higher education and a blossoming arts scene including the annual Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Frozen River Film Festival, Boats and Bluegrass and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Sam quickly fell in love with his new community and planted his ambitious idea amongst a group of eager new friends. His idea would be a first-of-its-kind event in the area that brought together more than 70 bands and musical acts at various venues around the community. Loosely modeled on Salem, Oregon’s “Cherry City Music Fest” (which was loosely modeled on Austin’s South by Southwest), MWMF was from the beginning an all-ages, multiple-genre, volunteer-driven festival.

In 2014, we officially incorporated as a nonprofit, increased our educational opportunities through our Sounds Like School initiative, and offered more music at more venues throughout the year. 2016 marked our first year of organizing a multi-stage, multi-genre companion weekend of the festival in our sister river town of La Crosse, WI.

Now entering its 9th year, Mid West Music Fest is a 4-day event with more than 100 acts and a dozen stages between to the two historic cities–including many special events and collaborations throughout the year.

We hope you will join our efforts to continue our vision of being the place where music and community meet.

The mission of the MWMF is to promote music and art activism in the region, creating opportunities for artists, stimulating downtown economic development, and providing diverse educational resources for artists, community members, and children.

2017 Line-Up

Charlie Parr • GGOOLLDD • Twilight Hours • Heatbox • Night Moves • TUGG • Reina del Cid • Frankie Lee • The Big Wu • Dead Horses • People Brothers Band • Pieta Brown • Black Market Brass • The Honeydogs • Tenement • Black Eyed Snakes • Frogleg • Blackfoot Gypsies • Michaela Anne • Los Colognes • Trapper Schoepp • Jon Stickley Trio • Alex Rossi • John Craggie • Farewell Milwaukee • New Sound Underground • Driftless Sisters • Gaelynn Lea • Chicago Farmer • Porcupine • PHO • Flint Eastwood • Jillian Rae • Kind Country • Al Scorch • Them Coulee Boys • The Smokin’ Bandits • Mike Munson • Midnight Reruns • The Ultrasounds • Joe & Vicki Price • Sleeping Jesus • Auralai • General B and the Wiz • Good Night Gold Dust • Circle of Heat • Feed the Dog • The Dead Pigeons • Joseph Huber • Lydia Liza • Buffalo Gospel • Catbath • BBGUN • Luke Callen • Tabah • The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League • Coyote • Eddie Allen • Seasaw • The Brother Brothers • McNasty Brass Band • Laska • Ben Lubeck • Dusk • Adam Levy • The Golden Strings • Jay Smart • Beet Root Stew • Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars • J. Hardin • Gregg “Cheech” Hall • Ben Weaver • Idle Empress • The Heavy Set • Mr. Blink • Feeding Leroy • Pigtown Fling • Tony Peachka • Ilika Ward and the Moonlight Riders • Rachel Hanson • Sonic Beats • Lunch Dutchess • Listen Here, Kids • Bo.Monro • The Old Fashioneds • Fathom Lane • Medicine Brothers • Elizabeth Ghandour & The Heighburners • Brahman Shaman • Driftwood Bones • Under Paris Skies • Jake Ilika • Waldemar • Joey Ryan • Crooked Willow • Dan Israel • Anima • Jaybone Bell & Restless Light • Adam Strelow & The Worthy Adversaries • Barely Losing • Sam Cassidy • Midwest Voltage • Len Voy • Big Liquor • Almighty American • Matt Monsoor • Flecher Magellen • Eddie Danger • Doctor Bob • Afflatus • Matt Mahlum • Brianna Kocka • Andrew Hughes • Sheep for Wheat • Barbaro • Sounds Like School Variety Show • The Coax • Burke Brothers  Jake Manders • Nanaimo Jazz • Jill • Israel Roemer • Ivory James • Karate Chop, Silence • Land at Last • Frequency Collisions • Voodoo Fix • Teague Alexy Band • Ignite 

Past Artists

2016 Line-Up

Jeremy Messersmith​ • Possessed by Paul James​ • Charlie Parr​ • Erik Koskinen​ • Heiruspecs​ • The Cloak Ox​ • Bad Bad Hats​ • The 4onthefloor​ • The People Brothers Band​ • De La Buena​ • General B and the Wiz​ • The BAMBIR​ • Apollo Cobra​ • Mikel Wright & The Wrongs​ • Wheelhouse​ • Land of Blood and Sunshine​ • Christopher the Conquered • Romantica • The Lowest Pair​ • The Heavy Set​ • Gospel Machine​ • Ignite • Ruben • Los Colognes​ • Little Fevers​ • Oh My Love​ • Pho​ • Frogleg​ • Reina del Cid​ • The Dang Ol’ Tri’ole​ • Farewell Milwaukee​ • Gloom Balloon​ • Porcupine •Mike Munson • American Scarecrows​ • Al Church • Driftwood Bones​ • Dusty Heart​ • Fury Things​ • The Weathered Heads​ • The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank​ • Martin Devaney​ • Rachel Hanson​ • TABAH​ • Under Paris Skies​ • Bae Tigre​ • Murder Shoes​ • Hot Cellars​ • The Multiple Cat​ • WSU Faculty Jazz • Feed the Dog​ • The Wide Awakes​ • Them Coulee Boys​ • ARCADA​ • The Ultrasounds​ • Mista Clue​ • The Persian Leaps​ • Beet Root Stew​ • Dig Deep​ • Honest Monday​ • The Ericksons​ • Roger Hoover​ • The Surf Zombies​ • Matt Latterell​ • Eddie Danger and Doctor Bob • Sheep For Wheat​ • The Fraymakers​ • Sounds Like School Variety Show • Winona Brass Band​ • Pigtown Fling String Band​ • Jake Ilika​ • Shen Teh • Amanda Grace • A.M. Stryker​ • Brianna Lane​ • George McCorkell • Almighty American​ • Matt Monsoor)​ • Ilika Ward Duo​ • Bluff Mountain Ramblers​ • Jake Mander Music & Art​ • Eddie Danger • Barely Losing

2015 Line-Up

Charlie Parr • Communist Daughter • Chastity Brown • Lucy Michelle featuring Chris Koza and John Munson • Black Eyed Snakes • Frankie Lee • Black Market Brass • DJ Abilities • Pieta Brown • Brass Messengers • We Are The Willows • Toki Wright & Big Cats • Southside Desire • Bad Bad Hats • Gabriel Douglas • Corpse Reviver • The Traveling Suitcase • J.E. Sunde •Circle of Heat • Stereo Confession • Koo Koo Kanga Roo • Twins • France Camp • The Ericksons • Farewell Milwaukee •  Kevin Bowe and Okemah Prophets • The Heavy Set • Bomba de Luz • Land of Blood and Sunshine • Gloom Balloon • The Fattenin’ Frogs • Rank Strangers • Kind Country • The Last Revel • The People Brothers Band  • Jack Klatt  • Teenage Moods • Valaska • Porcupine • Counterfactuals • batteryboy • Bones, Jugs, & Harmony • Beet Root Stew • Mike Munson • General B & the Wiz • Jaybone Bell & Restless Light • Breakaway • Botzy • Ruben • Federales • The Ultrasounds • Har-di-Har • Ali and the Scoundrels • LOTT • Rachel Kilgour • Ryan Holweger • Gregg Hall • Joey Ryan • Gravy Train • Christopher the Conquered • Brooks Strause • Riflebird• Eddie Danger and Doctor Bob • The Weathered Heads • Reina del Cid • Chris Koza • Mr. Nasti • Mother Banjo • Lydia Liza • Amanda Grace • Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers • Ilika/Ward Duo • Old Fashioneds • Hurricane Harold • Dirt Road Ramblers • Jaybone Bell • Black River Revue • Dead Horses •  Nicole Rae • Savanah Smith • Gabe Barnett and Big House Rounders • Driftwood Bones • Paul Fonfara • Jake Manders • The Cavewives • Loud Nerves • Pill Hill • The Slamming Doors • The Union Suits • Rat Pit • The Multiple Cat • Between Two Bluffs • Karl B & The Soul Surgeons • Chris Holm • Eli Glor • Sharrows • Love Nocturnal • Jay Simonson • The Miami Dolphins • Click Track • Turkey Creek • Chris Kendall • Small Town Anthem • Midwest Paul Cook • Austin Weatherhead • The Shakes & Rumbles • Mac Whaley • SMU Gaslight Winners • Brian Just Band • Kelly Blau • Jacob Grippen • My Grandma’s Cardigan • Noah James Hittner • Seasaw • Elsa Va • Noah Short • Whalehouse • The Wide Awakes • Bo Monro • Akif Khan

2014 Line-Up

Charlie Parr • Lizzo • Caroline Smith • The 4onthefloor • We Are The Willows • Mark Mallman • Dosh • Horseshoes and Handgrenades • The Cactus Blossoms • Cliff Eberhardt • Jillian Rae • Bob Bovee & Pop Wagner • Anonymous Choir • Joe and Vicki Price • John Mark Nelson • Porcupine • Enemy Planes • Koo Koo Kanga Roo • Bad Bad Hats • Farewell Milwaukee • Joey Ryan and the Inks • Farewell Circuit • Carroll • Fathom Lane • Bomba de Luz • Karl and the Country Dutchmen • France Camp • Corpse Reviver • Sun Gods to Gamma Rays • Whysowhite • Mike Munson • Pine Hearts • The 757s • Natty Nation • Southside Desire • The People Brothers Band • General B & the Wiz • Black River Revue • The Fattenin’ Frogs • Anthony Ruptak • Click Track • Dead Horses • Ali and the Scoundrels • Beet Root Stew • Zinghoppers • The Ditchrunners • Complicit • The Heavy Set • Ruben • Puff Puff • The Ultrasounds • Maudlin • Gregg Hall and the Wrecking Ball • The Belle Jar • Sleeper and the Sleepless • Jaybone Bell & Restless Light • Manfort • The Last Revel • Brilliant Beast • The Multiple Cat • Breakaway • Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold • Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys • The Sex Rays • Riflebird • Fairfax, AK • Heart Pills • Lion and Gazelle • Farsights • Reverend Eddie Danger • Neon • Good Night, Gold Dust • Niki Becker • EMOT • Moth Mountain • Jack Klatt • Har-di-Har • Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade • John Beach Band • Driftwood Bones • Apartment 4 • Boats vs. Manatees • Weathered Heads • Gravy Train • Gabe Barnett & Big House Rounders • San Dimas • Adja Gildersleve & Frans. • Good Luck and Godspeed • The Old Fashioneds • Jacob Grippen • Bo. Monro • Andy Nelson • Marv Wilt • All Good Things • Eli Glor • The Champlifiers • Tour Funk • Moonhouse • Tippler • Steve, The Brodom • Jesus Chrystler • Ryan Van Slooten • Sima Cunningham • Coconut and the Duke • Joshua Lauer • Category U • Vocal Point • 4th Coast • Matthew Francis Byrnes • Austin Weatherhead • Amanda Hardy • Elsa Va • Matt Hannah • Paul Spring • Corey Koehler Band • Fugnacious • Rat Pit • Grey Matter Black • Seb’s Medicine • Pride of the Prairie

2013 Line-Up

Astronautilis • Retribution Gospel Choir • Charlie Parr • General B & The Wiz • Claudia Schmidt • The Ericksons • Jenn Rawling & Basho Parks • Jacob Green • Witness & The Family Secret • Wildflower • Monilith to Aramoff • Jaybone Bell & Restless Light • Saint Mary’s Jazztennial • Portage • My Private Eye • Matthew Francis Byrnes • Aloe • Ralphed • 64 Squares • unstratified • Hill County Destroyer • Paulie Matushek • Wake Up Bedhead • Shoe Shop • Greg Taylor • Emma Mae Spring • Caroline Smith • Apollo Cobra • Willie Murphy • Chastity Brown • Halloween, Alaska • We Are the Willows • The Pines • Beet Root Stew • Daredevil Christopher Wright • Cuddle Magic • Porcupine Rivals the Peacemaker • Jake Manders • Mike Munson • Tom Feldman • Hyphon • Ruben • Jacob Grippen • Sun Gods to Gamma Rays • Urine • FDR • Ecid • Moonlight Grammar • Milo • Alex Frecon • Click Track • The May North • Tour Funk • People Brothers Band • Push & Turn • Mike Swenson • Andra Suchy • The Heart Pills • Ryan Holweger • Mudcat & The Bottom Feeders • Category U • Har di Har • Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings • The Fattenin’ Frogs • San Souci Quartet • The Big Wu • Hang ’em High • The Ultrasounds • Bomba de Luz • Maudlin Southside Desire • Neon • The Weathered Heads • The Zinghoppers • Jake Ilika & The Heavy Set • Stereo Confession • Brett Newski • Eli Glor • Kaiser Cartel • Freddy Johnston • Reina del Cid • Savannah Smith • Swallows A Winter Downpour • Very Small Animal • Anthony Ruptak • Billy Curmano • TriOx • Rumble Pups • All Good Things • Cannons North • Reed Grim • Jack Norton • The Sudden Lovelys • Thomas & The Rain • Rat Pit • Ali & The Scoundrels • West of Aldine • Fairfax, AK • Aric Sampson • Vocal Point • Riflebird • The Tinderbox • Oliver Fox

2012 Line-Up

Nicholas David • Greg Brown • Tapes ‘n Tapes • Toki Wright • Zoo Animal • Charlie Parr • Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps • The 4ontheFloor • Rogue Valley • White Iron Band • Chris Koza • Matt Ray & Those Damn Horses • Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons • Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank • Amanda Grace • Edward S. Lemar & Dr.Bob • Amanda Hardy • Talk O Destiny • Greg Taylor • County Road G • Sly and Kawola • Summyrsalt • Andy Nelson • Jester Jest • Jacob Grippen • mike munson • Beef Slough Boys • JazZen • Joshua Lauer • Hyphon • Urine • Joel + Jake of The Northwoods Band • The Ultrasounds • Bones Malone • Steve Parry • Option Two • General B & The Wiz • Erik the Viking • Gregg “Cheech” Hall • Apartment 4 • Def Gone Graphic • I am Dragon • Cool Kids Committee • Ralphed • Turn Back Now • Ben Weaver  • Beet Root Stew • The May North • Ruben • As It Is Yester • Midwest Dilemma • Fairfax, AK • Jon Eric • Nancy Edstrom • John Bernadot • Kyle Ollah • Welcome to Dead House • Charlie Brown • Brahman Shaman • Porcupine • Jake Manders • Michelle Lynn & the Bad Passengers • Riflebird • Coconut & The Duke • Jaybone Bell • Jolly Roger Protocol • Don D Harvey • WSU Jazz Ensemble Galynne Goodwill • DJ Episteme • Hill County Destroyer • Patti Darbo and Stacy Hughes • DJ Tommy LAH & DJosh • The Primitive Blues Band • Bunny Phone • DJ Panther and MOE Lights • Kimya Dawson • Joe and Vicki Price • Koo Koo Kanga Roo • Apollo Cobra • People Brothers Band • BNLX • God Johnson • Mages • Rachael & the Ranch Hand Resistance • Bella Ruse • Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees • i like you. • Bam Bam & the Gigolos • Ida Joe and the Show • Electric Spanking • The Melismatics • Enemy Planes • Circle of Heat • Bomba de Luz • Wake Up Bedhead • Bluefish Fellows • Kensington Stone • Batucada Nossa Senhora • Michelle Lynn • 1,2,3, Walrus! • Kensington Stone • Maudlin • A Capella Rock Band • WSU Chamber Orchestra • WSU Dance Society “Rejuvenate” • Emma Mae Spring • Savannah Smith • Lenny Alcamo • Black Magic • Click Track • Adja Gildersleve • Cheez Land Uke Band • Nate Gill • la poema • Comedian Mike Brody • Boats vs Manatees • Breakaway • Nakeder Clothed • Sarah Morris • Austin Weatherhead • WSU Choirs • My Private Eye • Goatee Brothers

2011 Line-Up

Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles • Haley Bonar • The Pines • Black Eyed Snakes First Communion After Party • Heiruspecs • F.Stokes • Pert Near Sandstone • Nicholas David • Ill Chemistry (Desdamona & Carnage) • The Winona HIMS • Charlie Parr • Roster McCabe • Usful Jenkins • Northwoods Band • Fayme Rochelle and the Waxwings • Pezzettino • Murzik • Canon Ball • Dreamland Faces • Jeff White • We Are The Willows • Enchanted Ape • The Goondas • Gypsy Lumberjacks • Tom Robinson Band • Prophetic • Thee Unholy Three • D. Bess • Jon Eric • Apollo Cobra • Joe and Vicki Price • Ida Jo & The Show • New X Art Ensemble • Mike Swenson • Chris Goebel • Amanda Grace • Charlotte Deranek • Paul Teerlinck • Golden Arrow • sAdja Gildersleve • Gregg & Natt • .unstratified • 123 Walrus • Neon • Patti Darbo • Josh Lauer • Sugar Loaf Gang • Jake Manders • Michelle Lynn • Melissa Kay McCarthy • Ralphed • Mike Munson • Beef Slough Boys • Fox Holes & Crow’s Nests • Rogue The Wolf • Anna Laube • Mosquito Hollow • Oktober • Chris Kendall • Dustin Thomas • Goodluck and Godspeed • Nick Shattuck • The May North • DJ Panther • My Private Eye • MoonDawg • Matt Ray & Those Damn Horses • Bo.Monro w/ Frontier Steve • Magic Mama • Sly and Kowalla • Tyde the Omega • Ed Legace • Hyphon • i like you. • Witness • The Serfs • Batucada • Nossa Senhora • The Legendary John Beach Band • Riflebird • People Brothers Band • Bomba de Luz • WSU 8 O’Clock Jazz • St8 of Grace • The Soviet Onion • Hydrogen 21 • Dustin Dorsey • Welcome to Dead House • Circle of Heat • Tim Fast Sweet North Band • Kensington Stone • I am Daniel • Ruben • Dietz Parker • brahman shaman • Beet Root Stew • The Brilliant Beast • Froseph • Mouse Pocket • Turn Back Now • The Morning Foreign • Featherburger • Fish Frye • Boats Vs Manatees • Bam Bam and the Gigolos • Ocelot Eyes • Ghostmouth • Elliot Arms • Billy B • Wake Up Bedhead • Underdub • More Then Lights • Thumbelina and the Tangerine Fists of Justice • Liam Vance and the Centipedes • Speshul K • Porcupine • Maudlin • Hill County Destroyer • Procession of the Species

2010 Line-UP

Dessa of Odometer • The 757s • The New X Art Ensemble • Sahara Desert Dancers • Renewsical Musical • Froseph • Rogue Valley • Sena Ehrhardt Band • Blue Dog • The Legendary John Beach Band • Kensington Stone • Rogue The Wolf • My Private Eye • Maudlin • Porcupine • Beef Slough Boys • Matt Ray & Those Damn Horses • Beet Root Stew • Fish Frye • i like you. • Swing Inc. • The Cold Open • The Wet Bandits • Apartment 4 • Trapper Schoepp and the Shades • Thumbelina & the Tangerine Fists of Justice • unstratified • Kaboopski • The Red Barn Band • Billy B • Speshul K • Adam Without Eve • Option Two • Mr.Ruff and Random • Adam August • bo.monro • 123 Walrus! • Michelle Lynn • Brahman Shaman • Brilliant Beast • Liam Vance • Bam Bam and the Gigolos • The Unholy 3 • The Soviet Onion • Anna Laube • Tim Johnson • Ha Koah • Fishing for Guppies • Boats vs. Manatees • Beneath the Palace • Gun Barrel City • These Hearts • Adalia Skies • Alive Yasen • Marie Maria • Joe Kujawa • Dustin Thomas • Pastel Black • Dustin Dorsey • Lisa Mattson • Jessica Lindsey

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