Bring a chair and enjoy the music: Artists bring concerts outdoors throughout West Central Minnesota

Folk artists, country musicians, bluegrass bands, concert musicians, marching bands and rock-and-rollers can all be found at area parks, wineries, backyard breweries and city streets.

Dennis Benson conducts the Prairie Winds Concert Band Aug. 8, 2019, at the opening day of the Kandiyohi County Fair in Willmar.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo
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Mother Nature and regional musicians are teaming up this summer for a variety of free outdoor community concerts.

Folk artists, country musicians, bluegrass bands, concert musicians, marching bands and rock-and-rollers can all be found at area parks, wineries, backyard breweries and city streets.

Some musical events are held on a weekly or monthly basis, like the Prairie Winds Concert Band at Rice Park in Willmar, and some are one-time community events, like Porchfest in New London.

Seating is provided at some venues but it’s advisable to bring your own lawn chairs.

Granite Falls

Live music will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in June, July and August as part of the Maker’s Market along the Minnesota Riverwalk in downtown Granite Falls. The musicians on June 2 are Kindred Spirits; July 7 is Christa Bohlman; and Aug. 4 is Machinery Hill.


For more information, visit the website at, and Facebook at


Litchfield Downtown Council presents "Thriving Thursdays" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Central Park in downtown Litchfield. A different non-profit will be selling food each week.

The Thursday concerts are June 2, Everett Smithson Band; June 9, Litchfield Area Male Chorus; June 16, Mr. J's Quintent; June 23, Mark Jensen; June 30, Terry Shaw's "Dad and Drea"; July 7, Special Watercade event "Tricia and the Toonies," a children's puppeteer; July 14, Ali Gray Country; July 21, Second Fiddle; July 28, Acoustic Relativity; Aug. 11, DJ Stacy; Aug. 18, Crimson Edge and Aug. 25, October Sun.

For more information, visit the Council’s Facebook page at

Charlie Parr, right, and Liz Draper, were the featured performers Saturday, June 5, 2021, during Porchfest in New London, which included the official dedication of the Bill Gossman Memorial Stage, in honor of the former New London mayor, potter and musician who died last year.
Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune

New London Porchfest

The New London Porchfest will start at 11 a.m. June 4 in New London. There will be Main Street music and front porch concerts all day. The event was created in celebration of the late Bill Gossman, former mayor of New London, and is organized by the New London Arts Alliance.


Concerts will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Depot Museum park gazebo in Danube:

June 14, The Kingery Family; June 28, Wheelhouse Trio; July 7, Tim Eggebraaten the “Off Duty Cop” on Thursday as part of Danube Fun Days; July 26, Los Lobos Nortenos and Aug. 2, Jackson and The Burn.


Prairie Winds

The Prairie Winds Concert Band will present concerts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Rice Park in Willmar. The dates are June 8, June 15, June 22, 29 and July 6.

Band practice is at 6 p.m. in the park, followed by an opening group at 7 p.m., and then the band at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit or Facebook at

Pioneerland Band Festival

The 35th annual June 14 Flag Day band festival and parade in Benson will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Vikingland Band Festival

The 38th annual Vikingland Band Festival parade marching championship will be at 1:30 p.m. June 26 in Alexandria. The website is and on Facebook at


Summer concerts will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Riverview Park Bandstand in Appleton. In case of inclement, but not severe, weather, the concert will be in the '52 Wing Auditorium.

The Tuesday concerts are June 14, Swift County Concert Band and the Lac qui Parle Valley High School choir; June 21, A Hard Day's Night Beatles tribute band; June 28, Prairie Waters Troubadour Tom Watson; July 12, Blue Ox Jazz Babies; July 19, Wendinger Band; July 26, Route 68 Big Band; Aug. 2, Brianna Helbling and Lars Hegland.


The Community Ed Concert Series will be at 6 p.m. Thursdays at Veterans’ Park in Paynesville during the month of July. The schedule for the weekly concerts are July 7, Gig Noonan; July 14, Wheelhouse Trio; July 21, Crystal Breeze and July 28, Alex Lageson.


More information can be found online at .


Music in the Park will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays beginning July 17 at Pirrotta Park on the shores of Green Lake in Spicer.

The schedule for the Sunday concerts are July 17, Robby Vee and his Rock and Roll Caravan; July 24, Allie and Joe; July 31, Miss Myra and the Moonshiners; Aug. 7, Harpers’ Chord; Aug. 14, West Addison Blues, a tribute to Blues Brothers and Aug. 21, Custom Made.

More information can be found online at and on Facebook at

Audience members enjoy live music during the first Rockin' Robbins concert of the season Tuesday evening, July 13, 2021, at Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar. The free outdoor concert series continues for three more nights: July 20, July 27 and Aug. 3.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

Rockin’ Robbins

This free outdoor concert series, sponsored by the Willmar Rotary Club, raises money for Robbins Island improvements. Each event includes a free concert, food vendors, beer/wine tent, kids’ activities and artisan market.

Concerts take place at Robbins Island from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning July 12 with Xpedition; July 19, Johnny Holm Band; July 26, Good for Gary and Aug. 2, Fabulous Armadillos.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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