These Are Not the Venues You’re Looking For

Alternative ways to hear live music this summer

There are more ways to find live music than going to the typical bars and expected venues because it crops up around the peninsula even when it isn’t featured at center stage. 

Ever since Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours started its sunset tours, for example, they’ve always had music, owner Cody Bolton said. The cruises, which run every night from mid-May to mid-October, have easygoing acoustic guitar and singing accompanying guests along the bay. 

“It fits the mood and vibe of the cruise, especially if you get a good sunset,” he said. “It plays into the whole atmosphere.”

Though there are guest artists throughout the season, Bolton said the performers are usually Ben Larsen or Allen Coté. The benefit of having them along, he said, is that they know the area and can add narration as the tours reach notable places such as Eagle Tower. 

The tours of approximately an hour and 45 minutes allow people to enjoy their own drinks and food aboard, but local wineries also provide offerings. And four in the area – Door 44 Winery, von Stiehl Winery, Simon Creek, and Harbor Ridge Winery – also have live music on Fridays and weekends throughout the summer.

Some of the county’s farmers markets provide opportunities to hear local musicians as well. Every Tuesday this summer, Karen Mal and violinist Lynn Gundmundsen will perform in Jacksonport, taking a break only for two weeks when the Birch Creek Ambassadors will entertain visitors. 

The Settlement Shops at Fish Creek often have live music and invite everyone to enjoy the outdoor ambience. And Dale Graf, a local accordion player, will swing by mid-morning on Saturdays for the Corner of the Past farmers market in Sister Bay when those start up June 25.

“It just adds to the atmosphere,” said Roberta Kutlik, manager of the Corner of the Past farmers market. “It makes people feel good while they’re shopping.”

Even when music isn’t the main event, both Kutlik and Bolton said that visitors enjoy hearing it and musicians enjoy making it – weather permitting, all summer long, all around Door County.