Making Music in Yellowstone Country
The music scene in Yellowstone Country is more than just a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll. Here you’ll find bluegrass, folk, reggae, hip-hop, classical and a mix of everything in between. No matter the season, incorporating live music into your Montana adventure is good for the soul. We’ve outlined some highlights, but you’ll discover plenty of entertainment in unexpected places, so scope out the local events calendar while you’re visiting one of our towns.
Red Lodge’s, historic Pollard Hotel hosts regular music on the weekends. Enjoy dinner or a cocktail in the spot where Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane stayed. Snow Creek Saloon is a local favorite, where you’ll find heart-pumping tunes and late-night crowds. For après ski adventures, stop into the Bierstube at the base of Red Lodge Mountain. June is an especially busy month for this popular mountain town, with the annual Red Lodge Music Festival and the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival, which brings in some of the country’s best songwriters each year.
Historic bars dot Yellowstone Country, and the Murray Bar in Livingston is one of the most renowned. (Anthony Bourdain dubbed the Murray Hotel one of the world’s best!) Bands play at least every weekend at the Murray. Also look out for shows at Katabatic Brewing Co. and other local haunts.
Paradise Valley is more than just phenomenal fishing and beautiful scenery. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the amount of music flowing through the area. The bar at Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa hosts live music each weekend, and people come from all around to don their dancing shoes. In the summertime, The Old Saloon hosts bands weekly, and Pine Creek Lodge puts on a fabulous concert series.
Given that it’s a college town, you can imagine the amount of music Bozeman sees. Throughout each week, bands and open mic nights rotate around the regular hot spots—The Filling Station, The Eagles Club, Zebra Cocktail Lounge and the Haufbrau House—but the breadth of performances here goes well beyond that. The Bozeman Symphony is in its 50th season, Brick Breeden Fieldhouse brings in top billboard names, and the gorgeous Ellen Theatre hosts musicians from around the country. Every Thursday, June through August, Bozeman’s Main Street shuts down for the Music on Main concert series. In addition to great music, you'll enjoy food trucks, kids activities and a whole lot of community camaraderie.
Big Sky has put itself on the music map. This winter, don’t miss Big Sky Big Grass—an annual bluegrass festival featuring some of the best pickers in the country. Big Sky Arts Council puts on shows at various locations throughout the year, but their crown jewel is the Music in the Mountains concert series, which takes place each summer.
It doesn’t take a trained ear to enjoy the music in Yellowstone Country…but the sounds coming out of this mountain music mecca might lead to some serious toe tapping.