Rochester Local

The Rochester Thaw | Rochester MN’s Multi-Stage Music Festival

photo by Kate Klaus Photography


Feeling ready for winter to end? Wondering if maybe it already has?

You’re in luck because The Rochester Thaw Music Festival returns on Saturday, March 23rd!

The brainchild of festival creator Nick Novotny and local promotion group My Town My Music, The Thaw transforms downtown Rochester into a walkable, six-venue music festival!

rochester thaw music festival
Amateur performing at Art Heads Emporium in 2023 | photo by Kate Klaus Photography


This year’s Thaw lineup features favorites from the Twin Cities, local gems, music from all genres, and even a queer burlesque showcase! Camp out at one venue for the whole evening or plan to hoof (or bike!) your way from stage to stage. Either way, you’re guaranteed to see and hear some great music!

“What I am most excited about for this year is for the event to grow and continue to showcase what Rochester’s music scene has to offer. We have some familiar faces as well as some brand new acts coming to town for the event, and being able to showcase the incredible fans, supporting businesses, and the city itself in their support of live, local music in town is always so exciting.”

-nick novotny, Rochester Thaw Creator


rochester thaw music festival
Hiali performing at Tree Dome in 2023 | photo by Kate Klaus Photography


Tickets are on sale now for $55, but act fast – the fest sold out well ahead of time last year.

The music starts at 3 pm on Saturday, March 23rd, and finishes late with an afterparty at LC’s Venue. Make sure to hit up the food trucks in the alleyway by Bleu Duck Kitchen, or visit some of Rochester’s awesome downtown restaurants if you need something more substantial. You’ll even be able to sip on local brews from Little Thistle and Thesis Beer Project while you enjoy the music – both are festival partners.

rochester thaw music festival
Clay Fulton and the Lost Forty performing at Historic Chateau Theatre in 2023 | photo by Kate Klaus Photography

To Prepare:

  • Check out all of the festival details at mytownmymusic.com
  • Check out the bands on your favorite streaming app! Music festivals are more fun when you have an idea of what to expect and who you might like. Listen to an official Spotify playlist of this year’s bands!
  • Invite your friends and grab your tickets before the fest sells out!
  • Check out several suggested itineraries below to get the best out of your Rochester Thaw experience!


rochester thaw music festival
rochester thaw music festival
rochester thaw music festival
rochester thaw music festival


rochester thaw music festival
rochester thaw music festival

To Bring:

  • Layers and comfy shoes – you’ll be walking between venues and standing at most!
  • Extra cash for tipping bartenders and buying band merch – leaving with unique souvenirs from your favorite performers is always fun!
  • Your phone and a loose schedule for who you’d like to see – but know that you’ll likely end up getting drawn off course, and happily so!
  • A smile and an open mind – music fests are all about exploring new sounds, enjoying the unexpected, and meeting your friends and neighbors!

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