Music was a big part of people’s lives when the first settlers gathered in the Monroe County and Bloomington, Indiana area in the early 1800s. They worked hard and entertained each other by singing songs and playing musical instruments. The circumstances are different, but we still love to share music with our friends today. Home to world-class musical artists, cool live music venues, successful record labels, beloved radio stations, one-of-a-kind music events, and the best music school in the country, Bloomington is a music town. We invite you, your family, friends, and all music fans and kind people to our area at any time to check out the many musical offerings we have to enjoy. A few 2023 highlights are below and you can find more information at

2023 Music Festivals

Culture Shock - April 15 at Dunn Meadow.

Burning Couch Festival - April 16 at Switchyard Park.

Riddle Pointe Boogie - May 6 at Lake Lemon.

The Cosmic Songwriter Festival is a new live music festival featuring musical artists sharing the stage to perform original songs. Dates and venues: Wednesday, May 17 – Orbit Room (Jaimee Harris, more). Thursday, May 18 – The Bluebird (Jason Wilber, Local Honeys, more). Friday, May 19 – Blockhouse Bar. Saturday, May 20 – Bloomington Music Expo and Buskirk-Chumley Theater (SG Goodman, Aaron Lee Tasjan, more). 

Also taking place on May 20 is the fourth annual Bloomington Music Expo. This marketplace for vinyl records, CDs, tapes, art, apparel and other music-related items will be held at the Switchyard Park from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There will be a Cosmic Songwriter Festival showcase from 12 noon to 3:00 PM.

The Bloomington Early Music Festival supports history-based performances from the medieval period through the early 19th century to inspire multi-cultural connections between audience and artists. BLEMF started in 1997 and the 2023 event takes place May 21-28. Check the website for most recent event announcements.

The Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council presents the fourth Granfalloon, a celebration of art, ideas and community inspired by Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The event runs June 7-11 at venues on the Indiana University campus and around Bloomington. Grammy winners the Flaming Lips and Arrested Development will headline the main-stage free show on June 10 in downtown Bloomington. On June 9, Oscar-nominated Son Lux performs at the Buskirk-Chumley TheaterLanghorne Slim performs at The Bluebird, and more at various locations. 

Switchyard Park Thursday Night Summer Music Series (free shows starting at 6:00 PM): Thursday, June 15 – Makaya McCraven and Funk Almighty. Thursday, July 20 – Shannon & The Clams with Say She She and Abby Jeanne. Thursday, August 24 – Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway with Henhouse Prowlers.

Bloomington Parks & Recreation - summer concert schedule.

RealFest - June 24 at Dunn Meadow.

The annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival celebrates the diversity, beauty, and joy of music and arts from cultures around the world. 2023 dates are September 28 through October 1.

Recurring Stuff

Hobble Wobbles Pub - Monday night open mic.

Honky Tonk Tuesday & Open Mic - every Tuesday at Blockhouse Bar.

Call & Response Jazz - every Wednesday at Blockhouse Bar.

Cosmic Songwriter Club - first Wednesday of every month at Orbit Room.

The Cabin - open mic on Thursdays.

Food Truck Friday - food and live music every Friday running April through October at Switchyard Park.

Music Venues

The Back Door

The Bishop

Blockhouse Bar

The Bluebird

Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Fairfax Bar & Grill (Thursday Blues Jam)

Indiana University Auditorium

Orbit Room

Porthole Inn

The Sinkhole

The Switchyard (house show series)

Radio Stations

B97 - top 40

The Quarry - rock

Spirit 95 - christian

WCLS - classic hits

WFHB Community Radio - eclectic mix

WFIU Public Radio 

WGCL - talk

WIUX - Indiana University student radio

WTTS - triple A

Record Stores

Landlocked Music

TD's CD's & LP's

Tracks Music

Interesting Links

African American Arts Institute

Ardent Instruments

Blockhouse Studios

Bloomington Roots

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra

Booker T. Jones

David Baker

Girls Rock Bloomington

Hundredth Hill Artist Retreat

Indiana University Jacobs School Of Music

Jason Molina

Jefferson St. Music Studio

John Mellencamp, Lou Reed & John Prine jam

Joshua Bell

Hoagy Carmichael Collections

Mark Bingham

Melody Music Shop

Primary Sound Studios

REM in Bloomington

Rewind Records

Russian Recording

The Ryder

Screaming Gypsy Bandits

Secretly Group