End-of-Summer Shows: August Concerts and Festivals

Make the most of the final summer month by attending one of the many remaining concerts and music festivals. Happening all over the state within several genres, there’s something for everyone.


Brad Paisley has been active in the country music scene since 1999, selling more than 12 million albums. The seasoned veteran and a few other country openers are bringing their talents to Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Aug. 26. Learn more.

Toby Keith is no novice to country music. Having the most played country song of the 90s, “I Should’ve Been a Cowboy”, and still releasing an album two years ago, Keith’s career has been both consistent and successful. The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee will be rocking the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 27. Learn more.

Relatively new to the country scene, having six years of experience, Sam Hunt has shaken up the charts since his first single “Leave the Night On” and is still seeing heavy radio play with his latest single “Body like a Back Road.” Hunt will be at the Minnesota State Fair on its final day, Sept. 4. Learn more.


Pat Benatar, whose voice brought us hits such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” is doing a couple shows in Minnesota this summer with partner Neil Giraldo. You can expect several of Benatar’s solo hits, as well as songs that went platinum from the duo. See the pair Aug. 8 in Apple Valley or Aug. 9 in Moorhead. Learn more.

The brotherly trio Los Lonely Boys is bringing their Tex-Mex rock flavor to the north. After putting a pause on their performances and albums a few years back, dealing with injury and death in the family, they’re ready to make a comeback at the Minnesota Zoo on Aug. 9. Learn more.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted group, formed in Wisconsin, is returning to their home region. BoDeans has been rocking since 1983, but they still are producing music—they released their 13th album this year. Join them for old and new hits Aug. 12 at the Minnesota Zoo. Learn more.

Beer maker Fat Tire presents a festival like no other. Tour de Fat is coming to 33 cities across the U.S., and Minneapolis is getting a taste on Aug. 19. Rock music groups KOLARS and the Record Company start and end the day, but between these acts, much more is happening. Catch a fashion show, dance contest, and a strange bike race where the last person to cross the finish line wins. Fun and philanthropic, Tour de Fat hopes to raise more than $600,000 for non-profit organizations this year. Learn more.

Releasing an album nearly every year since his music career began in the early 2000s, Father John Misty is no amateur. The singer and guitarist also upped his street credit by working on the albums of A-list celebrities including Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. He released his album “Pure Comedy” this year, and you can hear some of these hits live Aug. 19 at the Surly Brewing Festival. Learn more.

Canadian group Nickleback has made quite a name for themselves in the U.S., having the best-selling rock song of the 2000s, according to Billboard. The four-man band will be jamming in the Grandstand with songs such as “How You Remind Me,” “Photograph,” and “Rockstar.” As if that wasn’t enough entertainment for the evening, Daughtry will be tagging along. Frontman Chris Daughtry got his start on “American Idol” and has continued his career with popular hits including “Home” and “It’s Not Over.” Catch both bands at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 24. Learn more.

The soothing-voiced man behind Five for Fighting, Vladimir John Ondrasik III, is bringing his piano rock ballads to the Minnesota Zoo on Aug. 25. Fans can look forward to his most-played hits such as “Superman” and “100 Years” that graced the radio in the early 2000s. Learn more.

John Mellencamp is one of the biggest names in rock music history, and he’s bringing his talents to the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 29. His widely-known jams including “Jack and Diane” and “Hurts So Good” will be rocking the Grandstand. Learn more.


In the outdoors of Duluth, the Bayfront Blues Festival entertains nearly 20,000 fans. Two stages host more than 30 performances Aug. 11–13, including headliners Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Lucky Peterson and the Imperial Flames. Don’t miss the late-night dance party under the big top tent Friday and Saturday night. Learn more.

The 17th year of the Boundary Waters Blues Festival is rocking Ely Aug. 17­–20. Catch the nighttime kickoff party on Thursday, followed by two full days of music Saturday and Sunday. Headliners include RAMM band with the O.C. Horns and Rocco Calipari and the Head Honchos. Learn more.


Nominated five times for Event of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival knows how to have a good time. The festival promises more than 30 hours of music Aug. 10–13, but that’s not all. Dances, contests, crafts, games, workshops, food, and merchandise for purchase will also be available. Be sure to look for spontaneous jam sessions that many of the 4,000 attendees like to get into. Learn more.


Singer, dancer, and actor Usher has been coming out with R&B hits since the mid-’90s. On Aug. 31, the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand welcomes the artist who has brought us jams including “My Boo” and “Confessions Part II” but also new hits, such as “No Limit” from his latest album. Learn more.