Madison’s rich music scene adds two extra-special venues during the summer: Lakes Mendota and Monona. Each offers amazing views while highlighting a diverse and eclectic lineup that’s sure to get your toes tapping. All you have to do is pick your lake!


Lake Mendota

Memorial Union Terrace

One of Madison's favorite places to gather gets even better with live music. You can find live music on the Terrace weekly throughout the summer, including open mic nights on Wednesdays. So grab a brat or some ice cream, find an iconic sunburst chair and take in the tunes with Lake Mendota as your backdrop.

The vibe: Laid-back and casual
When: Now–September 
Time: Varies
Cost: Free 


The historic Edgewater Hotel is celebrating 75 years this summer and you can get in on the fun with live music from local artists and national acts during the Brewgrass Fridays concert series and other special events. All take place on the expansive (almost an acre!) plaza with a panoramic view of Lake Mendota.

The vibe: Upscale, yet relaxed
When: Now–September
Times: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Lake Monona

Monona Terrace

The iconic building designed by Wisconsin’s own Frank Lloyd Wright overlooks Lake Monona and hosts rooftop music in the summer. Concerts on the Rooftop takes place Thursdays in June and July, and features a variety of local bands. Dane Dances! occur every Friday night in August and feature everything from salsa to classic rock plus a DJ between sets. Seating is limited on the rooftop, so if you don’t plan to dance, feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

The vibe: Diverse and casual
When: Concerts on the Rooftop - Thursdays in June and July, Dane Dances! - Fridays in August
Time: Varies
Cost: Free, but free ticket is required for Concerts on the Rooftop


Live music at the East Side Club takes place on the lawn with a gorgeous view of Madison’s skyline. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the casual, backyard setting. The lineup features national touring acts paired with some of Madison’s best local bands. You’ll also find different food carts each week and libations at the Tiki bar, making it a perfect way to spend an evening!

The vibe: Easygoing and family-friendly
When: Thursdays and Sundays from June through September
Time: Varies
Cost: Free


Can't get enough live music?

Whether it's near the water, on the big stage or in a dive bar, there's live music playing in Madison every night. Check out our events calendar for a full lineup.