Although well-known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, Wisconsin is also home to a nationally-renowned and vibrant arts scene. International students looking for things to do in Wisconsin will be thrilled to indulge in the many museums, concerts, and other performances that thrive in her urban centers. Their state being home to a burgeoning film industry and more music festivals than any other state, the citizens of Wisconsin are thorough patrons of the arts—regularly supporting their local artists, musicians, and performers through an impressive number of prominently advertised and heavily-attended venues. These venues wherein the arts find their outlets are in places ranging from bazaar-like downtown markets chock full of street performances, to elegant museums, to days-long outdoor festivals with music of all types.
As for live music in Wisconsin, some of the top-billed music festivals in the state are listed below:
- Summerfest, officially advertised as “The World’s Largest Music Festival and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration”, the concert is one of the premier things to do in Wisconsin. The festival is host to a number of bands performing throughout the day on 13 stages from June 29 to July 3, and July 5 to 10. Tickets range from $8-$33.
- The Birch Creek Music Performance Center is a music school that hosts a summer concert series with an itinerary and calendar that changes every year.
- The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra has a series of performances (their, “Concerts on the Square” installment is particularly popular) many being free.
- The Great River Jazz Fest is held by the La Crosse Area Jazz Society in an effort to keep alive the tradition of live music in Wisconsin. The event is held in southern Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. Dates run from August 4th-7th and tickets begin at $19.
- Both Country Fest and Hodag Country Music Festival are two of the premier country music festivals in the nation, drawing visitors from all over to the northern Wisconsin countryside.
Many of the arts festivals (which often feature live music) in Wisconsin are free. Below is a list of top-billed arts festivals that require no fee, so even an international student on a budget can check out these amazing culturally-rich things to do in Wisconsin.
- Art Fair on the Square, Madison, July 10-11
- Artarama’s Riverwalk Art Show, Eagle River, July 18
- Bayfield Festival of Arts, Bayfield, July 31-Aug. 1
- Venetian Festival Arts & Crafts Fair, Lake Geneva, Aug. 21-22
Aside from this already impressive list of things to do in Wisconsin, there are dozens of museums throughout the state. Milwaukee is home to the famous Milwaukee Museum of Art, but there are also 26 other popular museums between that city, Madison and Oshkosh for international students in Wisconsin to enjoy.