Jason Isbell, considered one of the most respected and celebrated songwriters of his generation, is the latest addition to the Wildlands Festival Aug. 12-13 in Big Sky, which also includes Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls and Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real. The two-day festival is held at the Big Sky Events Arena, an iconic outdoor venue that sits beneath the famed backdrop of 11,166-foot Lone Mountain.
The event aims to bring people together who have a mutual love for music, wild and scenic lands, outdoor recreation, parks, trails and the qualities that make this part of the world special.
The first Wildlands Festival took place in 2018 at Montana State University and the lineup featured Robert Earl Keen and Lukas Nelson. Nelson, and his band, Promise of the Real, will return to the Wildlands Festival to co-headline Friday’s show, marking his fourth performance in Big Sky. In 2018, Nelson won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for his work in “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga.
Isbell and the 400 Unit are touring in support of their most recent full-length album, Reunions (2020), is a critically-acclaimed collection of 10 new songs that showcase the talents of an artist at the height of his powers and a band fully charged with creativity and confidence. The North Alabama native sings of the everyday human condition with thoughtful, heartfelt, and sometimes brutal honesty. Isbell broke through in 2013 with the release of Southeastern. His albums, Something More Than Free (2015) and The Nashville Sound (2017), won Grammy Awards for Best Americana Album & Best American Roots Song. Isbell’s song “Maybe It’s Time” was featured in the 2019 reboot of A Star Is Born.
Six-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, performer, producer and New York Times best-selling author Brandi Carlile will headline the Wildlands Festival on Saturday night. The singer recently announced that Big Sky will be an official stop on her Beyond These Silent Days headline tour, inspired by her pandemic album, conceived while Carlile was quarantined at home with longtime collaborators and bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth.
The 10 songs chronicle acceptance, faith, loss and love and channel icons like David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Joni Mitchell—the latter two who, by some sort of cosmic alignment of the stars, have turned out to be close friends in addition to being her biggest heroes and inspirations. This will be Carlile’s second performance at the Big Sky Events Arena, where she originally played in July 2019 as part of the Peak to Sky music festival.
Grammy-winning duo, The Indigo Girls, also take the stage on Saturday to perform songs from their new album Look Long, along with classics from their catalogue such as “Closer to Fine.” The Wildlands Festival will be an official stop on their Look Long 2022 tour. Additional big-name music acts will be announced later this month.
“This is an all-star lineup, one for the record books,” said Eric Ladd, co-founder of Outlaw Partners. “We’re honored to bring this many Grammy-winning and award-wielding artists all to one stage, in an intimate and picturesque venue in Big Sky.”
A percentage of all Wildlands Festival ticket sales will be directly donated to area non-profits that share the same ethos as the Wildlands Festival and its goal to bring attention and stewardship to the wild and open spaces that surround the community in Southwest Montana.
“Our goal is to not only curate an amazing night of music in an incredible venue, but to raise money for some very worthy charities that work hard to protect our beautiful landscape,” said Ladd.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18 (MST) at wildlandsfestival.com.