Summer in St. Louis is all about drinking an overpriced Bud Light and sweating it out while listening to some great music. And we have no shortage of great music here. But with so many events being announced each day, it’s hard to know which ones you should attend. We dug through all of the options and came up with three can’t miss summer concerts. You’re guaranteed to find a good time (and a ton of fantastic music) at these three big summer music festivals.
Open Highway Music Festival
June 16 & 17
631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield; 314-915-0656
The first major music event destination of the summer is going down in Chesterfield, of all places. The lovely little outdoor amphitheater out there will host the Open Highway Music Festival. This homegrown Americana festival used to be held at a much smaller venue (Off Broadway in the Marine Villa neighborhood) but it’s grown so much that it had to be bumped to a bigger space. This year, the lineup features 11 performers, including a mix of local and international stars. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit headline along with Blackberry Smoke. Isbell is a regular on stages here in St. Louis, and we like to take some of the credit for his ever-growing success. We’ve been fans since the start, and we’re proud to see his type of music (and his type of attitude) win over others. Tickets start at $35.
August 26 & 27
5595 Grand Drive, 314-367-7275
Everyone is calling Evolution Festival the “new Loufest,” and for good reason: It’s a major festival being held on the same footprint in Forest Park at the same time of year that LouFest happened. But this new outdoor summer festival comes with its own distinct flavor. Namely, the lineup. Evolution organizers seem to have learned from LouFest’s past mistakes and have taken those lessons to heart. First off, with Brittany Howard, the Sugar Hill Gang, Ice Cube and more, people of color are well represented in the lineup. Evolution has also invited artists with a wide range of musical styles to all share the same stages. This fest isn’t just a rock fest, it isn’t just indie and it isn’t just rap: It’s a combination of all of that and more. This guarantees a nice mingling of music audiences, which is one of the things that makes our heart glow here in this Midwestern melting pot. Plus, the lineup includes major entertainers such as Brandi Carlisle and the Black Keys while also giving local artists, including the Knuckles and Yard Eagle, a major spotlight. Single-day general admission tickets start at $75.
Music at the Intersection
September 9 & 10
Grand Center Arts District
If it’s a big, awesome event that everyone in St. Louis is going to love, you can pretty much always guarantee that the Kranzberg Arts Foundation is behind it. And Music at the Intersection is no exception. With the Steward Family Foundation and the Regional Arts Commission helping present the festival, this event already has plenty of St. Louis star power behind it before it even announces a lineup. This fantastic festival held in Grand Center aims to celebrate St. Louis’ “imprint on the American songbook” in blues, jazz, soul, R&B, hip hop and rock. And since we’ve given so much to the history of music, celebrating us is quite the endeavor. The lineup for this always well-organized two-day event includes heavies such as Herbie Hancock, Grandmaster Flash, the Bad Plus, Smino, Snarky Puppy, Arrested Development and the Suffers. St. Louis talent is put on display in a major way at this festival, too, with performances scheduled from artists including Earthworms, Agile One, Mark Lewis, Blvck Spvde and more. Single day general admission tickets start at $79.
For more on how to have a great St. Louis summer, check out our summer guide.
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