Mid West Music Fest to celebrate 10th annual festival in 2019


Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) will be holding its 10th annual festival in 2019. The multi-genre, multi-venue music festival will be moving the spring event back a month, to be held on May 3 and 4 in Winona and on May 17 and 18 in La Crosse, Wis.

Started as an AmeriCorps project by founder Sam Brown in Winona in 2009, Mid West Music Fest is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission of bringing the community together to support artists, live music, education and economic development. In 2018, over 4,000 people came together as part of the music festival in La Crosse and Winona. The festival features local, regional, and national musicians and has become an economic stimulator for the region — in effect creating its own music economy.

A study by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) reports that a vibrant music economy “fuels job creation, economic growth, tourism development and artist growth, and strengthens a city’s brand.” The story further mentions, “A strong music community also attracts business investment.”

For the 2018 event, Mid West Music Fest teamed up with the Winona State University Department of Economics to survey patrons of the festival. What they found out is that patrons were spending almost $75,000 per day (not including the ticket price) in the community. The four days of the festival are putting $300,000 into both the Winona and La Crosse economy, and that is in just four days.

This year will be the festival’s 10th year in Winona and fourth since expanding to La Crosse in 2016. Last year drew record numbers of attendance for the festival while hosting over 150 of the best in established and up-and-coming musical acts of the Upper Midwest and beyond, across multiple venues in these two historic river downtowns. The festival has become an annual tradition for music fans from across the region who flock to the area to celebrate music and community. The festival is also a favorite for musicians, who revel in the opportunity to hear each other play and often are seen sitting in on other band’s sets. Music industry professionals are beginning to attend the festival to scout new acts.

Keep an eye on MWMF’s website (www.midwestmusicfest.org) or on social media for announcements regarding the 2019 line up, ticket sales and more.

As part of its mission as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, MWMF keeps ticket prices low and relies on the generous support of donors. If you are interested in donating to Mid West Music Fest, please contact festival director Parker Forsell at parker.f@midwestmusicfest.org.


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