Bluestem Amphitheater in Moorhead

Performing Arts Take Center Stage in Northwest Minnesota

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Bluestem Amphitheater, Moorhead / Blue Toad Media LLP

Performing Arts Take Center Stage in Northwest Minnesota

Por Erica Wacker

Performing arts abound in Minnesota, and it’s not just Twin Cities venues that have audiences cheering.

In the northwest part of the state, orchestras, choirs, theater groups and concert halls have a full calendar of impressive performances lined up all year long. Whether you’re headed to Bemidji, Moorhead, Walker, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids or Thief River Falls, consider adding a live show to your must-see list.

Bemidji Symphony Orchestra performing on stage

The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra performs six concerts a year

All Genres of Music

Music fans have their pick of performances in various genres throughout the region. The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra holds a series of six concerts between October and May, as well as a summer pops show. Concerts are held at the Bemidji High School Auditorium and feature post-show conversations with the artists.

Northeast of Moorhead in Ulen, the Top Hat Theatre brings performers from Minnesota and beyond to the auditorium at Ulen-Hitterdal Public School from fall through spring. Further north, Roseau and Thief River Falls both host annual concert series at the local high schools.

Moondance Jam singer on stage with large crowd

Moondance Jam and Moondance Jammin Country bring thousands of music fans to Walker

Outdoor entertainment is a big draw in the summer, and often combines camping with some of the biggest names in music. Major festivals include Moondance Jam (hard rock) and Moondance Jammin Country Fest in Walker, and Kick’n Up Kountry in Karlstad.

All summer long, Moorhead’s Bluestem Amphitheater hosts major acts in its 3,000-seat outdoor venue, with recent headliners ranging from Boyz II Men to Weezer. Also look for some of your favorite artists performing at Bemidji’s Sanford Center.

People leaving a performance at the Bemidji Chief Theater

The Chief Theater is a local landmark in Bemidji

Dramas, Comedies & Musicals

Several area theater groups keep locals and visitors entertained with a mix of original and internationally known productions. In Bemidji, the popular Paul Bunyan Playhouse stages five summer shows at The Historic Chief Theater (the Bemidji Community Theater puts on other productions here throughout the year).

In Park Rapids, the Northern Light Opera Company specializes in Broadway favorites, and Jasper’s Theater serves up its own brand of music, magic and comedy in a converted barn. Nearby, the tiny town of Hubbard is home to the Long Lake Theater and its wide range of comedies, dramas and musicals.

Additional entertainment options include the Thief River Falls Area Community TheaterTrollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes and the Minnesota Folklore Theater in Walker.

Erica Wacker

Erica Wacker is a Midwesterner through and through, growing up in Illinois, going to college in Wisconsin, and settling down in Minnesota. She loves to run, travel with her family, and go to concerts to relive her youth.