Mackinac Island Entertainment
Mackinac Island boasts some of the best entertainment in the North Country. Accomplished musicians performing styles from classical, big band, folk, rock, country and blues to club DJ’s abound. Bring on the night, click here for Mackinac Island’s entertainment listings.
The Mackinac Island Music Festival was created to celebrate the musicians living and working on Mackinac Island as well as to support regional and national touring musicians. Genres have included folk, country, rock, blues, bluegrass, classical, jazz and country. What started as a one day event began has now expanded to a three-day festival and has become one of Mackinac Island’s most exciting festivals of the season. Most of the musicians are recipients of mulitiple Detroit Music Awards.
Grand Hotel offers nightly entertainment for their guests and non-guests alike. All guests, however, must be dressed properly after 6 pm, meaning that men must wear proper jackets and ties and women must wear their finest couture. The Terrace Room is home to Alex Graham and the Grand Hotel Orchestra where ballroom dancing is the rage, while the Cupola Bar features solo guitarists and pianists nightly as guests enjoy a drink overlooking the Mackinac Bridge, the Straits of Mackinac’s twentieth century engineering wonder. Grand Hotel’s other restaurants, the Jockey Club and Woods feature some of the best jazz piano players around.
The Hotel Iroquois’ piano bar in their Carriage House Dining Room is a popular spot to listen music, watch the sunset and view the boats entering the harbor. Each evening Hotel Iroquois features contemporary jazz instrumental works by Grammy Award winning pianist Darryl Dybka throughout the season.
Mackinac Island’s own New Age/Classical Pianist John Kissane performs in the 1852 Grill Room nightly all summer. Located in the The Island House Hotel overlooking the straits of Mackinac, this is a lovely place to unwind, enjoy a great meal and watch the comings and goings in the harbor.
Sunsets at Stonecliffe features music and art in the beautiful setting of the Inn at Stonecliffe, once Mackinac Island’s largest summer home, now a beautiful resort. Great food, great fun, great art and great music.
Tuesday night is wine and jazz night with the Alex Graham Quartet at the foothills of Grand Hotel in the new Grand Gate House, formerly the French Outpost. The room is excellent for live jazz. The interior was renovated by legendary interior designer Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper Company, America’s oldest established interior design firm. Not only is the music fantastic, the food great, the design elements tip their hat to Carleton’s whimsical side.
In the center of Mackinac downtown nightlife, Island pubs offer opportunities to drink the night away with contemporary acoustic musicians and bands ranging from classic rock to college rock. Midweek, the tables are pushed away and the dance floor gets sizzling when the Island’s international workforce shakes off the weekend at the legendary Booty Night at Horn’s Gaslight Bar featuring DJ Brevin.
The famous Pink Pony Bar & Grill, known simply as the “Pony” to locals, the stage is up high behind the bar, which means that musicians and customers can’t help but intermingle. Well-known Michigan acoustic artists perform here nightly and involve the crowd with requests as much as possible. The Pony even boasts a live CD featuring veteran Pony musicians.
Mission Point Resort offers acoustic music in the Round Island Bar and Grill, one of its many restaurants. Weather permitting, acoustic musicians perform on the deck of Mission Point’s Bistro on the Green most afternoons and evenings outside overlooking the Greens of Mackinac, the Resort’s 18-hole executive putting course Greens of Mackinac.
Up to date information on who’s playing where can be obtained from the events calendar on this site, front desk personnel, websites of the Island watering holes and in the entertainment section of the Town Crier.
Its a hard line of work and its rare when comedian comes along that really hits home–and lucky for us, Stu Stuart is right at home on Mackinac Island. Stu’s shows have become an Island tradition illustrating Mackinac’s funny side and Stu’s experiences from his days as a dockporter, interactions with tourists and horses to his travels on and off this rock. For a good laugh and a schedule of performances, check out Stu’s website.