Under the Big Sky Festival Brings 20,000+ Music Fans to Montana
The Under the Big Sky Festival in Whitefish, Montana brought approximately 30,000 music fans from across the U.S. for three days of live music. The entire weekend felt like an unofficial, official return of live music.
The population of Whitefish is around 8,000, and a security guard told us that there were 20,000 tickets sold for the festival. There were some reports that nearly 40,000 people were in attendance.
Friday night's headliners were Ryan Bingham, Dwight Yoakam, and Billy Strings. Saturday night's lineup was equally as impressive with artists such as Paul Cauthen, Colter Wall, the iconic Emmylou Harris, and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. On Sunday, the festival's final day, the main stage featured Shovels & Rope, Drive-By Truckers, Brothers Osborne, and Tyler Childers.
Aside from the smoke and $9 beers, being able to hear live music again was a breath of fresh air. The guy in the beer line told us he checked IDs from at least 30 different states. Some of the artists who performed at the festival hadn't been in front of a crowd since before the pandemic began.
The Under the Big Sky Festival, now in its second year, still has a few kinks to work out. On Saturday evening, it took nearly an hour to get into the show. The GA parking lots filled up fast, forcing festival organizers to open up the VIP parking lot to everyone. Beer stands ran out of beer each night of the festival a couple of hours before the music was over, but maybe that was planned so that people limited their alcohol consumption.
Here are a few pictures I took from the Under the Big Sky Festival in Whitefish, Montana.