Here’s some good news: Spring will soon feel (and sound) a lot more like summer. The perennial Midwest Music Festival will be in full bloom for its fourth year and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Get ready to scrap any plans you have to lounge around this upcoming 4/20 weekend. The MWMF, which takes place right up the road in Winona, runs from the 18th all the way through the 20th and offers so many performances going on simultaneously and at all times that it may cause a minor bout of cognitive dissonance. Relax, this is a good kind of anxiety.
This year’s MWMF will be gathering well over 100 musical acts of all kinds from all over the Midwest region. Everything from hip-hop and folk, to indie rock and electronica will grace the many stages and venues. Minneapolis’ well renowned indie-rapper Astronautalis and Duluth’s big time indie-rockers Retribution Gospel Choir will be two of the headlining performers, but they are just two drops in a huge pool of musical talent that will be on display. La Crosse’s own indie-rock sensation, Porcupine, will be there along with other local names like Reed Grimm, 64 Squares, and Click Track. Again, the acts just mentioned make up maybe 5 percent of the festival’s total output, so please note that discovering great new music will inevitably happen.
So how does this colossal mass of music work? Take all these performances and spread them out to 13 different venues and stages over the three days. This makes for an experience that might be similar to channel surfing or traveling. Either plan ahead for what you want to see, or be serendipitous and go to whatever feels right at that moment. Of course, a combination of both methods might be best. Check out for an extremely helpful (and almost necessary) schedule of everything going on.
There are a few options to consider when buying tickets: day passes are $20, three-day passes are $49 in advance, $55 at the gate (there is also a special 6 ticket group rate of $35 each).
You can also sign up to volunteer, which means you trade four hours of work at the festival for a three-day pass and a T-shirt. Pretty nifty.