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 their stunning retail store, 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:
Returning June 2020. You can enjoy music along the river with this two-day festival in the summer. There will be something for everyone, including a large interactive art project! Learn more at MiddleWaves.com.
For another unexpected music festival, consider Gearfest where you can browse music gear from nearly 400 manufactures over a two-day period. From demonstrations, workshops, and performances, GearFest is THE festival for music gear fanatics!
This festival 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 showcase of artistic talent with live performances of theatre, music, and dance on 10 stages, Fort Artisan Arts 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. And don’t forget the food with dozens of local restaurants showing off their culinary skills. Learn 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 on the new Parkview Health rooftop. Enjoy a variety of entertainment every Wednesday night through August from 5:00 – 9:00 pm. With a cash bar and food by various local eateries, you will not want to miss these fun evening of entertainment and stunning views of the downtown skyline.
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 including the Beach Boys under starry summer nights! From Pat Benetar, to Gene Simmons, to The Beach Boys, Foellinger Outdoor Theater never disappoints!
Every summer you can also enjoy music like a local at Jefferson Pointe’s Friday Nites Live. Friday Nites Live is a concert series from June through August that features a range of live music performances from some great local bands. Bring your own lawn chair and circle around the courtyard fountain to enjoy the performance and the sounds of a Friday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 pm!
Botanical Roots Concert Series
On many summer Friday nights, enjoy concerts with local bands performing the opening act. Enjoy a line-up of nationally touring artists in the Botanical Conservatory Terrace Gardens with food by Mad Anthony’s, music, and fun!
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!
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!
- Embassy Theatre
- Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
- The Clyde Theatre
- The Sweetwater Performance Pavilion
- C2G Music Hall
- The B-Side
- Brass Rail
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.