The 10 Best Music Festivals in Alaska

Alaska’s music scene is as vibrant and diverse as its landscape. From blues to rock, and hip-hop to folk, thereโ€™s a festival for every genre. Here are the 10 best music festivals in Alaska that you need to check out!

1. Sitka Jazz Festival

Sitka, Alaska

When: February (three days)

The Sitka Jazz Festival welcomes jazz lovers and musicians from all over Alaska to join in the celebration of this genre. The festival features a variety of jazz styles.

From traditional to modern, you will find something familiar and new. Enjoy live performances from prominent jazz artists in the intimate setting of Sitka.

2020 Sitka Jazz Festival All Alaska Jazz Band2020 Sitka Jazz Festival All Alaska Jazz Band

2. The Alaska Folk Festival

Juneau, Alaska

When: April (seven days)

The Alaska Folk Festival is a celebration of the unique and diverse music of Alaskan artists. This festival showcases original and traditional folk music from all over the world, including performances by both professional and amateur musicians.

46th Alaska Folk Festival || Friday, April 9th || Mainstage Concerts46th Alaska Folk Festival || Friday, April 9th || Mainstage Concerts

Enjoy local foods, participate in workshops, and revel in the beauty that Alaska has to offer during this memorable week-long event. Admission to the event is free so make sure to check it out!

3. Juneau Jazz & Classics

Juneau, Alaska

When: May (seven days)

Juneau Jazz & Classics is one of the most anticipated music festivals in Alaska, featuring performances by renowned jazz, blues, and classical artists. The festival offers a variety of events, including concerts, workshops, and lectures.

Marine Jazz Combo at Juneau Jazz and Classics FestivalMarine Jazz Combo at Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival

In addition to enjoying live performances by talented musicians, students are offered workshops and scholarships that can help them hone their musical skills.

4. Fairbanks Summer Folk Fest

Fairbanks, Alaska

When: June (one day)

The Fairbanks Summer Folk Fest brings together some of Alaskaโ€™s best traditional and modern folk, Celtic, bluegrass, and jazz musicians for an all-day celebration. Listen to the soulful melodies from some of the world’s most talented songwriters, acoustic guitarists, fiddlers, and more.

Fairbanks Folk Fest (Summer Music Fest!)Fairbanks Folk Fest (Summer Music Fest!)

This one-day festival also features food trucks, craft vendors, and a stunning outdoor setting. Admission to the event is free so make sure to check it out!

5. Chickenstock Music Festival

Chicken, Alaska

When: June (two days)

This festival is one of the most unique in all of Alaska. Situated in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, Chickenstock Music Festival is a two-day outdoor event that celebrates Americana, bluegrass, and folk music. Enjoy performances from some of the best artists in these genres, as well as delicious food and craft beer.

Danama ~ 1:31 Am ~ Chickenstock Music Festival (Stockbury)Danama ~ 1:31 Am ~ Chickenstock Music Festival (Stockbury)

6. Salmonfest Alaska

Ninilchik, Alaska

When: August (three days)

Salmonfest Alaska is a three-day celebration of music, art, and fish in one of the most beautiful spots in the state. Enjoy performances from some great artists in rock, reggae, blues, folk, and more.

Salmonfest 2021Salmonfest 2021

The festival also features delicious local food vendors and activities for all ages. You’ll be seeing different fish-inspired arts and crafts, as well as a variety of food booths. Camping on-site is available, so you can stay close and enjoy all the festivities.

7. Summer Solstice Music Festival

Seldovia, Alaska

When: June (four days)

The Summer Solstice Music Festival is a four-day celebration of music, art, and culture in beautiful Seldovia, Alaska. Enjoy live performances from some of the best artists in jazz, blues, rock and roll, and other genres. The event includes an open mic, workshops, and busking.

Summer Solstice Festival Alaska 2019Summer Solstice Festival Alaska 2019

8. Alaska Hempfest

Willow, Alaska

When: June (three days)

Alaska Hempfest is a three-day festival celebrating cannabis and hemp culture. Enjoy live performances by some of the best reggae, hip-hop, and other genres of music.

The artist TruLy 13@DD @ HempfestThe artist TruLy 13@DD @ Hempfest

The event also features art, food, and education on all things related to cannabis. Admission is free and people of all ages can enjoy the festivities.

9. Soundwaves Music Festival

Harding Lake, Alaska

When: July (one day)

Enjoying music while taking a swim is what Soundwaves Music Festival is all about. This one-day festival celebrates music and fun activities in the scenic Harding Lake in Alaska.

Sound Waves @ Harding Lake, AlaskaSound Waves @ Harding Lake, Alaska

You can watch live performances from some of the best DJs and electronic musicians, as well as take part in various water activities such as swimming, wakeboarding, kayaking, and chilling on a boat.

10. Southeast Alaska State Fair

Haines, Alaska

When: July (four days)

The Southeast Alaska State Fair is a four-day celebration of music, fun shows, and activities. Enjoy live performances from some of the best local and national acts in country, rock, folk, blues, reggae, and more. Other than music, there are exhibits and a variety of showcases and activities for the whole family.

Southeast Alaska State Fair - Where Community Happens!Southeast Alaska State Fair – Where Community Happens!

Conclusion

Alaska has something for everyone when it comes to music festivals. With genres like folk, bluegrass, rock, reggae, and hip-hop – there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re looking to enjoy some live music in the great outdoors, consider checking out these ten festivals in Alaska.

Alaska Folk Festival Featured Image (Top) by: Gillfoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons