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All along the East and West Branch of the Ausable, music is in the air

Music plays among the valleys of the Whiteface Region during the summer, connecting people to the landscape, to history, and to each other. Against a backdrop of places like the Ausable River, Whiteface Mountain, and the Jay Range, you’ll find folks gathered for lively concerts and jam sessions. From local bluegrass bands to outdoor symphony orchestras, the sounds of summer here are warm and inviting. It’s a time when the community comes together, enjoying simple pleasures, good company, and the kind of music that makes you tap your feet and feel right at home. So, what sorts of music events are happening this summer?

Wilmington Mountain Music Festival

If there’s a singular music event you won’t want to miss this summer season, the Wilmington Mountain Music Festival is it. This small town festival makes everyone feel at home. Local vendors serve coffee, food, wine, and beer, and pop-up tents/umbrellas are welcome so you can hang out all day in comfort. This year's awesome lineup features Completely Unchained and Don Jovi as a one of a kind Legends of Rock Show, as well as Taylor Lavalley, the Midnight Stargazers, and MerleJam for a lineup that spans all genres! For an extra dose of the wow-effect, the Smoke Show dancers will have you breathless with their daring pyrotechnic displays.

A bunch of people at an outdoor concert.

JEM’s Music on the Green

The Jay Entertainment & Music Society is a big part of the community’s identity, helping to showcase many local creatives. On most Saturdays during the summer, artists who play everything from folk and bluegrass to humor and fun will be jamming on the Jay Village Green. Bring a chair or blanket, bring your friends, and work on those dancing legs during a delightful summer’s evening sunset. 

A couple people kick a soccer ball at a village green

Music at 20 Main in Au Sable Forks

For a more intimate, small setting, the outdoor space and garden behind 20 Main has been a local gathering location for decades, particularly for live music. Nearly every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, musicians come perform in the friendly and laid-back atmosphere of this deeply-loved community landmark. Enjoying music here will make you feel like it’s your very own hometown. 

The facade of a local bar

Upper Jay Art Center

The Recovery Lounge, run by the Upper Jay Art Center, is well-known for its January Jams music series and theater performances, but during the summer they all are host to a handful of exciting music happenings. In June, they are hosting an open mic style music event, which is a great opportunity to hear local artists or even get up and perform yourself! Keep up to date on their events calendar for more events, hosted in a former Ford assembly plant and showroom, a building which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

A close-knit indoor music event.

The Twisted Raven

At the foot of the Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway, The Twisted Raven is a conveniently located space for those who’d like to take the drive up Wilmington’s own Whiteface Mountain and pair that adventure with some food, drinks, and music. The Twisted Raven is constantly hosting musicians, and the fact that they also have excellent food (some of the best burgers around!) is a worthy reason to incorporate this local spot into a trip in the Whiteface Region. 

People singing at a restaurant

NewVida Preserve

New to the region, NewVida Preserve is perched at the historic site of Paleface Mountain, and the beautifully restored A-frame building is a perfect setting for live music. This summer, lounge on the lawn or relax at their Craft Bar while musical acts entertain diners and drinkers. Acts are lined up for most weekends this summer, in addition to special music events for particularly important days or celebrations, like PRIDE, IRONMAN, 4th of July, and many more! 

A large wooden A-frame room full of people listening to music

Wilmington Town Beach Summer 

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy music on Everest! Well... the Wilmington Town Beach, aka Lake Everest! This scenic beach, nestled on a widening of the West Branch of the Ausable River, hosts some magical music evenings during the summer every Thursday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Bring camp food to cookout at the grills, your bathing suits to get in the water, and even your kayaks to explore the area while music from the Summer Concert Series washes over the river valley. 

Two people playing music in a pavilian

It’s hard to beat the Whiteface Region’s combination of scenery, community, and music. Choosing to bring that camp chair to the Jay Village Green, or hanging out with the locals at 20 Main, will undoubtedly be a wonderful experience that transcends the music itself, and connects you with this wonderful place. 


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