Signature Events

The Flathead Valley continues to cultivate a rich music scene, and these three events are particularly important and impressive sources of sonic enjoyment

By Dillon Tabish
Wes Ritenour plays drums at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival on August 27, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

6th Annual Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival

When: Aug. 30-Sept. 5

Where: Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork

One of the Flathead Valley’s signature events, the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival is a can’t-miss festival that features world-class musicians from a variety of genres.

This year’s sixth annual event promises to keep the tradition alive with seven days of live concerts near the shores of Flathead Lake. The shows will include performances by Steely Dan’s Jon Herington, Oscar-winning composer David Grusin, Blues prodigy “King” Solomon Hicks, Jazz legend Lee Ritenour and a finale extravaganza featuring Hall and Oates guitarist Shane Theriot and Dweezil Zappa.

Founded by classical guitar enthusiast David Feffer, the festival has grown into an internationally renowned gathering for the study and appreciation of the guitar. Through the foundation’s scholarship program, up-and-coming artists are awarded the opportunity to attend workshops with top musicians during the week-long event.

Tickets are on sale at crownguitarfest.org.

5th Annual Flathead Lake Blues Festival

When: Aug. 14-15

Where: Salish Point, Polson Bay

With the sprawling waters of Flathead Lake in the backdrop, this blues festival is a favorite summertime gathering. This year’s event is welcoming another impressive lineup of musical acts, including two-time International Blues Challenge winner Lionel Young and his band, as well as the Kenny James Miller Band, Robbie Laws Band, Gladys Friday Band, Levee Town and Kevin Selfie and the Tornadoes.

This two-day event takes place along the shores of the lake in Polson between Sacajawea Park and KwaTaqnuk Resort. The Flathead Lake Festival of Art will take place in Sacajawea Park at the same time.

Tickets are available at www.flatheadlakebluesfestival.com.

Flathead Celtic Festival

When: Sept. 19

Where: Herron Park near Kalispell

An upstart event devoted to celebrating Celtic heritage, this music festival is slated to feature performances from musicians local and abroad, dancing and, of course, bag piping. Vendors will be present with Celtic goods and foods, and clan tents from all families in the region are encouraged to set up on site. The mission of the Flathead Celtic Festival is to educate those with a Celtic heritage in their culture or to educate those interested in learning about other cultures, regardless of their background.  This event will showcase music, athletics, wares and Flathead Valley history.

For more information visit flatheadcelticfestival.com.