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Lake Superior Big Top Schedule and Live Music Events in Bayfield, WI.



Do you remember the days of waiting in line to get concert tickets for your favorite live music event? Did you also wake up early to stand in line for hours or days before they went on sale?

What about now? Have you stared at your laptop or phone, refreshing the page before the tickets went on sale?

You double-checked your WiFi connection and logged in to make sure you remembered your password. Your credit card is ready. So you wait, with your finger hovering over the “Buy Now” button, for it to turn green.

Success! You entered your information and purchased your concert tickets. And so did thousands of others.

You can’t wait to listen to your favorite artist’s live music and watch them on the big screen (because let’s face it, your seats are too far away).

You look forward to the crowd’s energy and hope that the people in front of you are not too tall to block your view.

Now that you have tickets, there are other details to hammer out, like

  • Driving to the venue

  • Parking

  • Paying for parking

  • Lodging

  • Food

It starts to add up. In 2022, the average ticket price to see a musician in a concert is $96 per person. Adding in other expenses and a few hours of live entertainment for two can easily exceed $500 or more in big cities and large venues.

For some, it’s worth it, and the experience will create memories. But what about those looking for a more intimate experience? What if you could see and listen to your favorite artists with a few hundred people where big screens aren’t needed? What if you could listen and soak in the backstories of songs sung?

Imagine listening to your favorite genre of music under the stars of Lake Superior. You’re sitting under the big blue tent of Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua with a local brew in hand, singing along with Brandi Carlile in a solo performance. Yup, just Brandi, her guitar, and you. Now that’s a concert to remember!

Live Music at Big Top Chautauqua 2022 Schedule


Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua has been a staple music venue since its start in 1986. It’s located at the bottom of Bayfield’s hometown ski hill, Mount Ashwabay.

Over the last 36 years, Big Top Chautauqua has hosted world-renowned musicians and regional and local artists under its blue canvas tent for live music performances.

This eclectic venue plays host to a unique musical experience unlike any other. Picture a circus tent with recycled church pews, fold-up wooden stadium seats, and bleachers for 900 people.

Add in names like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and Brandi Carlile, and you're guaranteed to see world-class performances.

Or attend a show performed by their house band, The Blue Canvas Orchestra. They often sing stories and tell tales of Bayfield’s rich history.

Big Top Chautauqua boasts “culture under canvas.” It hosts events like Bluegrass Day Camp for Kids, The Family Free Series Matinees, and other artists, including Ojibwe dancers and musicians, writers, and comics. You don’t want to miss comic Charlie Beren’s Midwest Survival Guide Tour on July 9th and 10th.

This year’s Big Top schedule is one for the books and features big names, including:

  • Brandi Carlile

  • Tanya Tucker

  • Indigo Girls

  • Charlie Berens

  • Micheal Franti

  • Five for Fighting

  • The Verve Pipe

  • …and more

Some shows feature the legendary music of:

  • John Denver

  • Neil Young

  • Patsy Cline

  • The Music of Woodstock

  • John Prine

And regional favorites:

  • Riding the Wind

  • River Pants

  • Anishinaabe Dibaajimowin: An Ojibwe Story

Check out their 2022 line-up HERE.

A few helpful tips when booking with Big Top:

  1. They DO NOT use third-party ticket sellers like StubHub or Cheap Concert Tickets. It’s BEST to book directly with them through their website or by calling their office. Click here for their ticket policies and FAQs.

  2. Parking is limited. But a FREE Shuttle Service - BIG TOP CHAUTAUQUA is available from many locations in Bayfield, Washburn, and Ashland.

Big Top Chautauqua is not the only place to find live music when visiting Bayfield.

Free Live Music in Bayfield


Live music can be found in Memorial Park next to the Bayfield City Dock in downtown Bayfield. The Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and local sponsors host local and regional artists in the FREE summer series Concerts By The Lake.

The stage is a century-old gazebo with a natural backdrop of Lake Superior. Children run freely through the park, and adults dance to their favorite tunes. Blankets and lawn chairs are scattered on the grass as the daylight fades and the moon rises over Madeline Island. The setting is right out of a movie.

Concerts By The Lake features an eclectic mix of genres, including singer-songwriter, Latin, folk, rock, and your favorite cover songs.

This year's concert series takes place every Tuesday and Thursday starting on June 21st - September 7th at 7 pm. These concerts are free and open to the public.

Check out this summer's schedule and plan on grabbing an ice cream cone or bag of popcorn as you listen to the sweet sound of music fade into the dusk.

With the live concerts being weeks away, you have enough time to plan your entire stay. You want to make sure you're lodging nearby and at a comfortable, affordable place.

Seagull Bay Offers Easy Access to Music Events in Bayfield

Seagull Bay Lakeside Motel is perfectly located on the edge of town for easy access and walking distance to Bayfield's best live music events this summer.

Take a short 10-minute walk on the Brownstone Trail into Bayfield to attend the Concerts By The Lake every Tuesday and Thursday. The lake will never leave your sight as you venture into town and grab your spot on the lawn.

Park and ride to Big Top. Stay at Seagull Bay and catch the FREE shuttle right outside your motel room door up to Mount Ashwabay. Take the shuttle and ride door to door to your Big Top show.

Seagull Bay offers convenience with a view and location that can’t be beat. Celebrate the Bayfield live music scene when you stay at Seagull Bay. BOOK NOW.

Your hosts,

Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks

QUICK LINKS:

Big Top Chautauqua

Concerts by the Lake - Bayfield