MWMF releases line up for 10th-anniversary festival


Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) has announced the full line up for the 10th-anniversary music festival held in Winona on May 3-4 and in La Crosse, Wis., on May 17-18, 2019. Performing across both historic downtowns will be over 100 musical acts representing a wide variety of the best-established and up-and-coming acts of the Upper Midwest and beyond.

New headliners for 2019 in La Crosse include honkytonk rockers Banditos, Americana/indie rocker Ruby Boots, and funk band Luthi — all from Nashville — Denver-based Great American Taxi, which includes La Crosse’s Chad Staehly, La Crosse native Reed Grimm, and Midwest-based, nationally touring act The Last Revel. 


New headliners for 2019 in Winona include Twin Cities soulsters Nooky Jones, Doomtree hip-hop artists Longshot and Lazerbeak, funk band Alex Rossi, and indie-synth act Graveyard Club. Returning to the festival will also be past favorites such as Charlie Parr and Black Eyed Snakes, both of Duluth, Minn.; Them Coulee Boys of Eau Claire, Wis.; La Crosse’s TUGG; and, from Milwaukee, Wis., De La Buena, playing in Winona after their stellar La Crosse performance in 2018. Winona-local Mike Munson will also perform again, this time alongside Mississippi’s Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, following their recent collaboration on Munson’s new album, “Rose Hill.”

The 2019 festival will highlight the contribution of women to the local music scene with a “Women in Minnesota” music showcase at the Burke Music House, sponsored by Treedome, The Current, and Carpet Booth Studios. Women in Minnesota will feature performances by Abby Wolf, Humbird and Annie Mack.

Other special events include the first annual Uke Fest at the Alexander Mansion in Winona on May 4 — sponsored by Rock the Cause — and a brunch-time show on May 19 at La Crosse Distillery with Them Coulee Boys to close out the 2019 fest. Both events are open to the public.

The festival will again showcase some well-seasoned artists among the younger up-and-coming acts, including R&B/funk/Latin maestro Paul Cebar of Milwaukee, Wis.; New Primitives, coming from Minneapolis, Minn., with percussion legends Stanley Kipper and Chico Perez; and Walter Salas-Humura (The Silos) who was foundational alongside Midwest acts Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks, and Bottlerockets in establishing the alt-country genre, which has since morphed into Americana.

Adding to MWMF’s mission to be “the place where music and community meet,” the festival has added more events for children and families. Dr. Bob’s puppets will return, as well as newcomers.

The Dangerous Fun Show sideshow performer; the Magick Solar Suitcase, an interactive electronic music collaboration; and a vintage clothing and maker market. Stages in both Winona and La Crosse will provide a space for local youth to perform. Adult kids will also be treated to a performance by crooning comedy sensation Clownvis Presley, who LA Weekly says is “Better than the real Elvis.”

A change in festival dates, pushing the event back a full month, allows for use of a greater variety of outdoor venues, such as the newly refurbished Levee Park in Winona and the Oktoberfest grounds in La Crosse.

In order to fulfill its mission as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and keep ticket prices low, MWMF relies on the generous support of donors and would like to thank all who support the festival. If you are interesting in donating to MWMF, please contact festival director Parker Forsell at


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