A music lover’s guide to Fargo-Moorhead

Fargo is a community of artists, by artists, and for artists. Whether you’re a lover of fine jazz, a festival-goer, a vintage vinyl collector, or a lead guitarist looking to peruse new gear, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few places to visit in Fargo-Moorhead from one music-lover to another.


LIVE MUSIC & FESTIVALS 

Looking to listen to some groovy tunes? It just so happens that there are so many places in town that regularly have live music that we had to put together a whole other article to list them all! Check it out to get a comprehensive breakdown of music venues by genre and what kind of atmosphere to expect.

There’s no doubt that you can find live music on any given night in Fargo, but if you’re planning ahead, there are several music festivals that alone are worth a trip:

Fargo Blues Festival 

This two-day blues explosion takes place in late July every summer. The line-up for Fargo Blues Festival consists of 12 bands, including six national headliners, and takes place at Newman Outdoor Field.  Bring your tent and camp a block away from the stadium!

Winter Blues Festival 

Much like the Fargo Blues Festival in July, the Winter Blues Festival moves the music indoors in the month of February.

Harold’s Fest 

A two-day rockin’ block party outside of Harold’s on Main in Moorhead, MN. It was inevitable that Harold’s would bring something amazing to the music community of Fargo-Moorhead, being the establishment is owned by such musicians as Ric Odness (Ageist, Primitive Weapons) and his partners Rob Pope (Spoon, The Get Up Kids), Frank Bevan (Freedom Fighters), Sean Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar), Preston Olson (Dirty Preston), Aaron Hanson, and Tom Kemmer (The Danforths).

Sister Cities Smokeout 

August of 2019 marks the first-ever Sister Cities Smokeout, and we couldn’t be more excited. Two days of live music at the beautiful outdoor Bluestem Amphitheater accompanied by nonstop BBQ and cold beer.  The festival brings in acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Little Big Town, and so much more.

Happy Harry’s Ribfest 

This four-day festival has been nicknamed the “official kick-off to summer”. Happy Harry’s Ribfest hosts rib vendors from around the country as well as musical acts. This rib-centered festival caps each night off with live music from nationally-known acts.

1.21 Gigahops Release Party

Every year on April 20, Fargo Brewing Company hosts a big ol’ party for their 1.21 Gigahops (beloved double IPA) release. It may only be one day, but the outdoor concert featuring national touring acts, food vendors, yard games, and outstanding beer makes this party worthy of a spot under the festival category.

Bluestem Summer Concert Series

Each year locals look forward to the summer line-up to be announced for the concert series at Bluestem Amphitheater. From comedy legends like Steve Martin and Martin Short, to rock n’ roll heroes like Robert Plant and Joan Jett, each summer you can expect a TON of amazing music and entertainment at Bluestem.

 

RECORD STORES

Avid vinyl collector? Check out these record stores in Fargo-Moorhead to find some gems to bring home to your collection.

Orange Records 

Locally owned and locally loved! Orange Records is an independent record store in the heart of Downtown Fargo. Find new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes as well as concert posters, t-shirts, magazines and various other kinds of music paraphernalia.

641 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 478-6240

Mother’s

Fargo-Moorhead’s original record store. Established in 1970, Mother’s sells a huge assortment of vinyl, CDs, clothing, and other goodies.

431 Main Ave, Moorhead | (218) 287-9601

Vinyl Giant 

From new and used records to turntables, speakers, headphones, and cartridges, Vinyl Giant is a one-stop shop for everything vinyl.  Plus, they share a space with Game Giant so you can check out a huge selection of games and puzzles after picking out your records.

626 2nd Ave N, Fargo | (701) 793-9614

Smokin’ Hot Records & Collectibles

Not only does Smokin’ Hot Records & Collectibles have tons of albums to dig through, they also carry various other collectible items like Star Wars memorabilia, Hot Wheels, and antique G.I. Joes.

1304 13th Ave S, Fargo | (701) 412-7802

DTFM Vinyl Distro

Hardcore metal and punk, anyone? DTFM Vinyl Distro caters to the more hardcore styles of music such as metal, Oi, and punk, specializing in limited and rare music and merch. Primarily an online store, DTFM Vinyl Distro does have select business hours.

Other vinyl options

Besides dedicated record shops, most of our antique stores also have hearty record sections!

 

INSTRUMENT SHOPPING

If you’re in the market for an instrument, or heck, just want to take a look or test drive a shiny new guitar, check out these music stores.

Gruber Guitars 

Gruber Guitars is the only exclusive Eastman dealer within 800 miles of Fargo. They specialize in custom builds as well as restoration and repair of fine guitars and ukuleles.

121 Roberts Street, Fargo | (218) 329-0443

Flatland Guitar & Lutherie

Two North Dakota guitar pros opened Flatland Guitar & Lutherie back in 2014 and it’s been a go-to for guitarists ever since. They specialize in acoustics, carrying Taylor, Brunton, Art & Lutherie, and Yamaha, but you’ll also find a good variety of electrics and amps.

1450 S. 25th street, Fargo |  (701) 205-3627

Christian Eggert Violins

From the violin to the bow, Christian Eggert Violins is a must for classical stringed instruments. They sell instruments ranging from $500 to $200,000, for every level of player.

618 Main Ave, Fargo | (701) 280-7017

Schmitt Music 

It’s quite possible you’re already familiar with the Schmitt Music chain. If you’re coming to Fargo in search of woodwind, brass, string, or percussion instruments, Schmitt’s is a fantastic option.

4101 13th Ave SW, Fargo | (701) 281-1828

Eckroth Music 

A Midwest music store staple, Eckroth Music has been serving musicians and music educators since 1972. They sell brass, strings, and woodwind instruments as well as a variety of accessories.

1620 32nd Ave S, Fargo | (701) 476-3408


Whether you’re a musician or simply a lover of all things music, Fargo’s music scene will surprise you. Take it from a fellow music-lover.