This past year has been a strong one for us when it comes to catching live music. It also included visiting a fair amount of music festivals that left us wanting more. One such festival that we visited for the very first time and truly impressed us was the Under the Big Sky Festheld in scenic Whitefish, Montana.
Under the Big Sky Fest debuted in 2019 and took one year off before returning in 2022 and 2023. The music that is booked by the firm Outriders crosses many genres of country music. Is it outlaw country, alt-country, country rock or indie country? What the music is not, is modern country radio.
Next summer’s three-day fest will mark the fifth one held on the scenic 350-acre Big Mountain Ranch owned by Johnny Shockey. This setting offers a nature lover’s paradise of grassy prairies set alongside forested hills and a running creek with a backdrop of Whitefish Mountain Resort. And as an added bonus, it’s located just 30 miles from Glacier National Park. This area of Montana is one place where you will not be disappointed when visiting!
The festival itself takes place on the edge of Whitefish that is chock full of breathtaking views of the Northern Rocky Mountains. There are two stages, the Great Northern Stage and the Big Mountain Stage that are a short walk from one another with a small sparce woods in between. The stages are close enough but far enough that there was no sound bleed between the stages. There are plenty of food vendors and beer, including several options from local Montana breweries!
A natural amphitheater welcomes attendees to the Big Mountain Stage that also happens to have a creek that runs through it and sits next to the on-site rodeo. The rodeo takes place for about 30 minutes between each band on this stage. This stage also allows for some stunning sunsets as a backdrop to the music.
Last year’s lineup was quite strong that was headlined by Zach Bryan, Hank Williams Jr. and Caamp. But the support acts were also quite phenomenal live performers that included Whiskey Meyers, Ryan Bingham, Shane Smith & the Saints, Nikki Lane, Elle King, Colter Wall, Charlie Crocket, The Dead South, Hayes Carl, Leann Rimes and more! Even one of the stars from the hit television series Yellowstone, Luke Grimes, performed a set while previewing his new EP while at the fest.
For 2024, Under the Big Sky will be headlined by mega-bluegrass star Billy Strings, Turnpike Troubadours, and Miranda Lambert. Both Strings and the Troubadours have performed in the past at Under the Big Sky but it is quite the coup to have Strings back as he has been selling out arenas across the country.
And the rest of the lineup is no slouch either! Over the three days, Tanya Tucker, Sierra Ferrell, Paul Cauthen, Charles Wesley Godwin, Brothers Osborne, Mt. Joy, Tanner Usrey, Kaitlin Butts, and Sarah Shook & The Disarmers to name a few will be performing. This past summer we caught both Usrey and Butts in Pendleton, Oregon at the Jackalope Jamboree and both made a memorable impression on us!
Tickets to the 2024 Under the Big Sky go on-sale today, Friday, December 8 at 11:00am Pacific. Three-day General Admission passes will cost $295 +fees while three-day VIP passes will set you back $595 +fees. VIP passes include VIP parking, shaded areas, private beer garden, private restrooms and is only open for those 21 years of age or older. To purchase 2024 Under the Big Sky Fest tickets, click here.
Under the Big Sky also offers a payment plan with no extra fees. This two-step plan allows one to place 50% down and the remaining 50% due on February 1, 2024. Payment plan pricing includes all taxes and fees, nothing more.
Children 6 and under can enter for free. Please RSVP your child during checkout when purchasing your tickets. You will receive a scannable complimentary ticket with purchase. Children 7 and older must purchase a GA ticket. Please note, VIP tickets are strictly 21+.
Charles Wesley Godwin
City and Colour
Shovels & Rope
The Lil Smokies
Richy Mitch & The Coal Miners
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Dead & Down
This past summer’s fest sold out and saw about 20,000 people attend each day. Tickets were sold to people from all 50 states and saw a few international sales from Canada, Australia, Italy and Sweden.
Here’s a photo recap from the 2023 Under the Big Sky Fest…
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.