It’s hard to beat a great live performance, the kind that keeps you on your feet all day (and/or night) and has you humming your favorite tunes in the days that follow.
In Missouri, several fairs and festivals revolve around live music, offering performers of varying genres and celebrating a variety of cultures.
So start fall on the right note (sorry, couldn’t resist) when you visit the Joestock Music Festival, Sept. 2-4, in St. Joseph. Felix Street Square in the city’s downtown comes alive as dozens of local, regional, national and international acts perform.
A week later, Sept. 9-10, St. Joseph plays host to the Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival, which honors one of the city’s most famous sons, musician Coleman Hawkins.
Capital Jazzfest takes place in Jefferson City Sept. 10, with live music performances running from 1:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on a stage at the corner of Madison and High streets. Jazzfest runs in conjunction with the popular Capital Street Art Fair.
Also on Sept. 10, the city of Grandview hosts Music on Main from 3:30-10:30 p.m. The free event features Beatles tribute band Liverpool, along with Stateline Drive (country, pop and rock), Goddesses of Rock, and Boogie Wonderland.
In Branson, a city known for putting on a fabulous show, don’t miss the fun of the 43rd Annual Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts and Music Festival. Held Sept. 15-17, the event offers a live music venue featuring performances by local artists.
The sounds of Ireland and Scotland are the focal point of the Second Parkland Celtic Festival, Sept. 16-18 in Park Hills. Performers include Julia and Justin Dill (Irish music and dance), The Kilties (drum, bugle and bagpipe corps) and Casey Reeves & the Irish Rockers (Celtic folk and rock).
On Sept. 17, Riverside MusicFest features a live show with the Little River Band at 8 p.m. The event in E.H. Young Park includes food trucks, local vendors and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
The northeast Missouri city of Kirksville hosts a great day of blues music on Sept. 24. The Round Barn Blues event features nationally known performers, along with local talent, and includes more than 100 artisans and vendor booths.
St. Louis is a hotbed of live music shows during the fall months and a variety of genres are represented. Special, music-themed activities include:
• Big Muddy Blues Festival, Sept. 3-4 at Laclede’s Landing. It’s one of the biggest blues festivals in the U.S.!
• LouFest, Sept. 10-11, in Forest Park. The diverse lineup includes Chris Stapleton, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Big Gigantic and Buddy Guy.
• The Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival, which brings music to the Webster Groves Historic District Sept. 17.
• The St. Louis Folk and Roots Festival features Elephant Revival, Katie Glassman and Greg Schochet, Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur, Hubby Jenkins and more as they perform at Sheldon Concert Hall from Sept. 23-25.
Music is also part of the fun at events such as:
• Kansas City Irish Fest, Sept. 2-4.
• St. Nicholas Greek Festival, Sept. 2-5, St. Louis.
• Concordia Fall Festival, Sept. 6-10.
• The SEMO District Fair, Sept. 10-17, Cape Girardeau.
• Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest and Cowboy Festival, Sept. 14-Oct. 29, Branson.
• Swingin’ in the Vines Fall Harvest Festival, Sept. 15-18, Augusta.
• The Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival, Sept. 16-18.
• The 26th Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival, Sept. 17, California.
• Pioneer Days, Sept. 23-24, Mountain View.
• Harvest Hootenanny, Sept. 23-24, Hannibal.
• Q in the Lou, Sept. 23-25, St. Louis.
• Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival, Sept. 23-25, St. Louis.
• Strange Folk Festival, Sept. 23-25, St. Louis
• The 85th Annual Plaza Art Fair, Sept. 23-25, Kansas City.
• Burg Fest, Sept. 23-24, Warrensburg.
• Turkey Festival, Sept. 24, Eldon.
• Fall Arts and Crafts Festival, Sept. 24-25, Washington.
• The Delta Fair, Sept. 27-Oct. 1, Kennett.
• Route 66 Cuba Fest, Oct. 15-16.
• 40th Annual Autumn Historic Folklife Festival, Oct. 15-16, Hannibal.
And guess what? That's not all the festivals with live music in Missouri this fall. Keep exploring VisitMO to find more great fall festivals where music is part of the fun.