Fort Wayne: Midwest Music City
Fort Wayne’s growing reputation as a Midwest Music City is well-deserved! From our amazing music festivals to our burgeoning nightlife scene, music lovers relish the time they spend in our community.
We are also home to the nation’s largest online music retailer, Sweetwater, whose Fort Wayne campus welcomes all visitors to enjoy its stunning retail store (one of the largest in the country), studios, performance center, and entertainment options.
In Fort Wayne, summer fun starts with the many outstanding festivals found throughout our community. Music is a big part of what makes these events rock, check out the complete list here.
In addition, we are home to dozens of great music-specific festivals including Rock the Plaza, Buskerfest, Middle Waves, and more! Browse our list of music festivals that continue to grow:
Now teaming up with the Embassy Theatre, Middle Waves Music Festival will return to Fort Wayne in 2024. A two-day music festival in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, Middle Waves offers something for everyone including large interactive art projects.
Held every summer, Buskerfest is a celebration of the street performer and the unexpected. Although you will find typical street performers like jugglers and balloon artists, you will also hear a lot of music from musicians and guitarists who will add to that unexpected atmosphere.
Taste of the Arts
Taste of the Arts, held annually in August, is a celebration of artistic talent with live performances of theatre, music, and dance on 10 stages, an art fair, hands-on activities, Buskers around the fountain, and an all-day artists market. The event is free and so is admission to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Cinema Center and History Center. Plus, dozens of local restaurants set up booths along Tasting Row, offering you the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Fort Wayne's culinary scene. Find performance times, maps, and more at tasteoftheartsfortwayne.org.
Summer Concert Series
From an outdoor concert series to Friday-night-favorites, be sure to check out one of these great summer concert series below!
Summer Nights at the Embassy
The Embassy Theatre hosts national productions from the Broadway stage and concerts of all musical formats. But during the summer, visitors can enjoy Summer Nights at the Embassy in the ballroom and access to the Parkview Health rooftop. Enjoy a variety of entertainment every Wednesday night from June through August from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. With a cash bar and food by various local eateries, you will not want to miss these fun evenings of entertainment and stunning views of the downtown skyline.
Foellinger Outdoor Theatre
Each stage in Fort Wayne offers a little something different. At the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, you can experience a one-of-a-kind venue that has in the past played host to many great acts. From Pat Benatar to Gene Simmons and The Beach Boys, the Foellinger Outdoor Theater never disappoints!
Muddy River Concert Series
Every other Wednesday this summer, you can experience live local acts on the banks of the St Marys River in Promenade Park. Jam out with bands doing two sets, starting at 7:00 pm.
Sunday Heritage Concert Series
The second and fourth Sundays of each month bring a variety of performers to Promenade Park for these laid-back outdoor shows. Hear from the Philharmonic Players' Association, the American Legion Band, and more.
Rock the Plaza
On Saturdays from May to August you can join the local musicians and Rock the Plaza at the downtown public library’s bandstand. 816 Pint & Slice will be on the plaza offering cold drinks and delicious pizza and snacks. Make sure you bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the live local music!
Living Fort Wayne Concert Series
This June, July, and August, enjoy this free family-friendly event held on special Wednesdays from 6-10 pm. Join the fun this summer at Headwaters Park West along the St. Mary's River in downtown Fort Wayne as we celebrate local musicians, food trucks, and Fort Wayne’s three rivers.
Fort Wayne is also home to dozens of great music venues around town! These venues host great acts that come through their doors throughout the whole year. Check below to learn more about each venue, and follow their schedules to catch a show!
- Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
- Baker Street Centre
- Brass Rail
- The B-Side
- The Club Room
- The Clyde Theatre
- Embassy Theatre
- The Ruin
- The Sweetwater Performance Pavilion
There are even more opportunities to enjoy music in Fort Wayne, explore the Visit Fort Wayne Calendar of Events for all other concerts around town!
If you’re a music gear aficionado, then you may have heard about Sweetwater! Sweetwater is the largest music retail store in the nation, and they are one of the nation’s leading musical instrument and sound retailers. Although music gear is their jam, you can do much more at this large facility! From band camps to concerts and jam sessions to recording studios, Sweetwater is the ultimate musician’s destination. Sweetwater always has something cool to explore throughout the summer. You may even be the first to hear a soon-to-be rock star!
Enjoy their modern, open campus via a self-guided tour. Experience the thrill with a trip down their 2-story slide. Stop for lunch (or coffee) at the Crescendo Cafe or Downbeat Diner. There's always something going on at Sweetwater.