Concerts, tasting nights and more
By Abigail Thorpe
When it comes to live music and unique events, Sandpoint might be small—but it is mighty. Our lakeside town is home to a number of incredible restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries that play host to a wide variety of events, inviting residents and visitors alike to get out and explore the vibrant culture and warm hospitality the community has to offer.
From concerts on the lawn to cornhole tournaments, live music throughout the week and paint-and-sip nights, there’s something for everyone, and then some. While you’re soaking up the last weeks of the summer sun, here are some top spots to take in an upcoming event throughout August and September.
Jump on a bike and take a weekend cruise from one spot to the next to catch a sampling of it all, or liven up your calendar with the events you don’t want to miss. Whether you just pop in for a few minutes, or enjoy the fun from start to finish, taking a tour of our town’s music and outdoor (and indoor) event scene is a fun-packed time!
“Lettuce Turnip the Beet” is the witty theme of the 2021 Bonner County Fair—and turn up the beat you can on Thursday, August 19, when Copper Mountain Band will be performing an outdoor concert at the fair. Enjoy walking through the fair for free (you’ll just pay parking) August 19 through 22, and grab your boots and cowboy hats for the Challenge of Champions Bullriding on Friday and the Sandpoint Smash Demolition Derby on Saturday (tickets are required for both).
There’s always some delicious barbecue and food trucks to quench your hunger and thirst, and don’t forget to come early and take the opportunity to wander some of the barns and exhibitions and see what’s happening. From pigs and cows to chickens, artwork and more, there’s something for everyone. It’s an end-of-summer tradition at Sandpoint that never disappoints, and there’s fun the entire family can enjoy while taking in the sun and some good old-fashioned fun.
Just down the street … in an old warehouse in Sandpoint’s historic Granary Arts District you can find live music and a cold craft brew at Matchwood Brewing—nestled along a selection of other local favorites like Evans Brothers Coffee. Head out and grab a beer and some bites, and settle onto the large outdoor patio for the Sounds Under the Silo: Summer Music Series, featuring local artists from the Sandpoint community on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout August.
Catch SongFest on August 5, Birds of Play on August 6, Truck Mills August 19, Jackson Roltgen on August 20, Bright Moments August 21 and BareGrass Friday, August 27. As the days start to get darker and colder, head indoors for some ongoing weekend live music and a warm, inviting space to connect with friends and sample a variety of delicious English, German and American ales crafted right here in Sandpoint.
Keep the craft brew train going … and head downtown to MickDuff’s Brewing Co. Catch some live music at the Beer Hall on Cedar Street Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights while you sample some brews. When the weather’s nice, you’ll find bands playing outside by the grassy biergarten while cornhole players toss in the background. When you’re hungry, grab a bite from the local food truck, or head over to MickDuff’s second location in the old Sandpoint Post Office on 2nd Avenue for some delicious grub to go with your beers.
Mark your calendars for September 9 through 11, when The Sandbagger Open cornhole tournament will take over the beer hall. For two days you can test your cornhole abilities against some of the best in the area. What’s better than a little competition with a beer in hand and the crowd cheering you on? In addition to live music and some friendly cornhole competition, keep an eye out for special tasting events and beer festivals throughout the year.
With names like Tipsy Toe Head Blonde, Lake Paddler Pale and Duffleupagus Triple IPA, who can go wrong? If beer is not your go-to, they’ve got a variety of wines, ciders and canned cocktails to keep you happy.
For the wine-lovers out there … head across the street to Pend d’Oreille Winery. You’ll find some of the best wines in the area (with several gold medal winners in the lot), and several nights of the week there are plenty of events to entertain. Live music indoors on Friday and Saturday nights always draws a crowd, but with the large windows and open space of the restored historic Belwood Building, you’ll feel right at home.
Grab a glass (or tasting when live music isn’t happening), and pull up a chair to make a new friend. Drop in on Sundays for Bingo and occasional piano! And every third Tuesday of the month it’s time to bring your creative skills to the table. Sign up for Paint n’ Sip and enjoy a glass (or two) while you paint with a professional—whose art is probably hanging on the large brick walls surrounding the tasting room.
For an experience … head into Eichardt’s Pub and Grill on Cedar Street, where it seems there’s something happening most nights of the week. A fantastic menu, unique interior and variety of great beers, wine and canned cocktails aren’t the only draw. Sit outside and take in the street activity, or if you’re ready for a fun time head inside for some live music. Monday Night Blues Jam will help prevent those workweek “blues,” and on Thursday nights you can even catch dollar beer night—when one random beer is only $1 a pint until the keg is empty.
Jake Robin & Special Guest will be playing August 4 and September 1, and keep your eyes open for a collection of other local artists on the weekends and even throughout the week. As you enjoy the music, take a look around—you never know what new little knickknack you’ll find adorning the walls, rafters and beams.
When it’s time to close out the night … make your way down to Sandpoint’s oldest bar, where a full bar awaits you, along with a friendly staff. The large outdoor patio offers fire pits, along with murals from local artists. Throughout August and September, come in and enjoy live music at the 219 Lounge on Saturdays.
“As far as music in general, we were very careful about spacing music out and focused on when we could use the patio,” says 219 Manager Mark Terry. “Giving people room to spread out, enjoy the space and music is important to us. Even though we’re only focusing on Saturday music, we are so pumped that people choose to spend their time with us.”
The big “farewell to the summer” event will feature a concert from Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs indoors on Sunday, September 5. “We’re fortunate that even though they are blowing up, they are still making a point to drop into North Idaho,” says Terry.
Keep your eyes open for some fun ski/snowboard video premieres and other events at the 219 through the winter season.
Whatever your style or pace may be, there are plenty of spaces to experience live music, fun outdoor events and indoor activities around Sandpoint. You’re guaranteed to have a fun time, and you’ll be supporting the businesses that make our town so special. What are you waiting for? Get out, have fun and head somewhere new!
*Events may change; make sure to check venue websites before visiting.