Once again, Under The Big Sky Festival outside of Whitefish, Montana has wowed us all with their lineup announcement, and it underscores once again why this is arguably the premier event in independent country and Americana. With two stages, some 20,000 fans, and a curiously excellent curation of headliners, mid-day draws, and up-and-comers, it’s a festival that is hard to beat, and illustrates just how far independent country has come.
Headlining in 2023 with be Country Music Hall of Famer Hank Williams Jr., whose ties to Montana are as significant as anyone’s, including using the state as a retreat throughout his career, taking a 500-foot dive off of Ajax Mountain and landing on his face in 1975, and recording the underrated album cut called “Twodot Montana” off his 1983 album Strong Stuff.
Zach Bryan is getting a deserved do-over from Under The Big Sky. Last year the festival booked him in an early day slot when he probably should have been headlining the whole damn thing. Well in 2023, he will be, and the field will be packed for him for sure. Joining Hank Jr. and Zach will be the massive indie folk band CAAMP in a headliner spot.
Also on the lineup in major spots are Whiskey Myers, Colter Wall, Ryan Bingham, and Charley Crockett. But it’s the undercard that will get you salivating as much as anything. The addition of 49 Winchester, Vincent Neil Emerson, Kat Hasty, Molly Tuttle, Bella White, Drayton Farley, The Red Clay Strays, and Christina Vane shows just how much the promoters are paying attention to who is cool in country and roots and the moment. Someone has Saving Country Music bookmarked, that’s for sure.
Under The Big Sky Fest 2023 will occur July 14th, 15th, and 16th. Tickets will go on sale December 9th at 12 pm Mountain, and they will sell out with the fest limited capacity policy. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to underthebigskyfest.com .