Arts and Culture

52 things to do in Madison this July

Our arts and entertainment guide to the city

Music
Touring in support of their 17th stuido album "Age of Unreason," Los Angeles-based punk rockers Bad Religion bring their politically-minded message to The Sylvee. With years of experience under their belts, Bad Religion are sure to bring a show loaded with personal expression and passion. July 1

Music
Madison-based band Johnny Likes Noize likes to play every kind of rock music imaginable. Catch the all-purpose rockers at the High Noon Saloon with support from Mickey Magnum and 01 Bullet Left. July 2

Music
What do you get when you mix the over-the-top theatrics of Sean Tillmann (aka Har Mar Superstar) with the smooth vocals of Sabrina Ellis (of A Giant Dog/Sweet Spirit)? The answer is Heart Bones, a new duo that channels the energy of some of the greatest musical duos in history. The new pop pairing plays at the High Noon Saloon soon. July 3

Music
The Fourth of July is a day meant to be spent outside. Luckily, the Memorial Union Terrace has plenty of music to keep you entertained. Kickoff the evening with music from The Cork 'n Bottle String Band, a six-piece bluegrass band from Madison named after the liquor store on East Johnson Street. July 4

Music
Stay late at the Terrace to see Jaedyn James and The Hunger conjure Etta James and Lucille Ball on stage. Backed by an eight piece soul band, James' voice is the perfect soundtrack for a night spent overlooking the lake. July 4

Music
"The Crossing," the newest album from Alejandro Escovedo, is a conceptual story about two boys on an American rock and roll journey similar to the one Escovedo has been on since the start of his career. Touring in support of his latest release, Escovedo comes to the High Noon Saloon with his frequent collaborator Don Antonio. July 5

Music
Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Singers are here to make you get out of your seats and feel the groove. Their infectious live energy is sure to play well on the Memorial Union Terrace. July 5

Comedy
The Farley family is local comedy royalty. Though he now lives in Los Angeles, Kevin Farley returns to his hometown for two nights at Comedy on State. You don't want to miss this comedy writer/actor/director/producer doing standup in his old stomping grounds. July 5-6

Music
Milwaukee-based band Dead Horses play well crafted indie folk and Americana music. Swing by the Memorial Union Terrace to see the talented duo play some of their best songs from their years of collaboration. July 6

Music
All ages shows can be hard to come by. Luckily, the Madison Children's Museum is constantly supplying great entertainment for the young folk. David Landau puts on this mid-morning, family-friendly show on the rooftop of the museum. July 6

Special Event
Few actors are as prolific as Jane Fonda. Join her at the Overture Center for the Arts for "An Evening with Jane Fonda," where the superstar will share stories and clips from her career followed by a Q&A session with the audience. July 7

Music
The first Sunday of each month means Sunday Afternoon Live at the Chazen. This month's installment is a free concert by pianist Ariel Bohrod. If you're interested, get there early because the few seats fill fast. July 7

Music
The mystical folklore of their Columbian ancestors takes center stage in Combo Chimbita's music. Tropical percussion, synthesizers and bewitching vocals take center stage. Hear this world music live on the Memorial Union Terrace. July 9 

Comedy
Whether you know him from his roles in the films "Ratatouille" or "Observe and Report," from his work on television shows including "Archer" and "Veep" or from his standup comedy, odds are you've heard Patton Oswalt's voice somewhere. Don't miss his solo set at the Orpheum. July 10

Music
Alice Cooper has cemented himself as one of the most iconic rockstars of all time. His signature blend of horror aesthetics and rock and roll remain prominent at his shows even after decades of touring. He performs with help from Ol' Black Eyes Is Back. July 10

Music
For the Mallet Brothers Band, country and Americana music are a way of life. Hailing from Maine, the band is constantly pulling influences from country, folk, hard rock and even psychedelic music. Don't miss their show at the High Noon Saloon. July 10

Music
Fresh off their first album "Standards/Non Standards," the jazz trio Stomata is bringing a new approach to the most popular music of the jazz era. The Milwaukee-based band is set to take the stage at the Memorial Union Terrace. July 11

Music
Blending psychedelia, Americana and rock is The Go Rounds' specialty. Their music takes twists and turns in exciting ways. Head over to High Noon Saloon to see them and Sleepy Gaucho. July 11

Music
To celebrate the nationwide launch of their music streaming platform, local startup LÜM is co-hosting a show with Frank Productions at the Majestic Theatre featuring artists from throughout the Midwest. Don't miss out on a night filled with a variety of promising musicians whose music encompasses hip-hop, pop and electronic music. July 11

Comedy
You might know him from his voice acting roles in "Bob's Burgers" and "Adventure Time" or from his acting on the TV shows "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Black-ish," but Ron Funches is also a tremendous standup comedian. He performs at Comedy on State for three nights. July 11-13

Art
Sharon Kerry-Harlan's work focuses on the patterns of the human form in situations both expected and unexpected. Until recently, she expressed herself with mostly drab colors, but her latest collage and quilt work is more vivid. Meet the artist at the opening reception for her exhibit at the James Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center for the Arts. July 12

Music
An extension of the ninth annual Musique Èlectronique' at La Fête de Marquette electronic music festival in Madison, Musique After Dark rounds out both nights of the festival with DJ sets at the High Noon Saloon. Omar S headlines on Friday night, and Stacey Pullen headlines Saturday night. July 12-13

Music
Swing by the Majestic Theatre in the middle of the month to catch the two-for-one concert featuring Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker — the two bands founded by vocalist David Lowery. July 13

Special Event
For the past 61 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art has put on the annual Art Fair on the Square around the Capitol Square. An amalgamation of music, food and nearly 500 artists sharing their latest works (many of which are for sale) makes Art Fair on the Square a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and the arts simultaneously. July 13-14

Music
Highly regarded for their freeform and energetic live shows, Dustbowl Revival are coming to the High Noon Saloon. With a new album on the horizon, the California-based band is mixing things up. Check out their more modern, soulful approach. July 14

Art
A collaboration between the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Pulitzer-winning photographer Gary Porter, award-winning journalist Bill Berry and Centro Hispano of Dane County, "Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border ¡Mi travesía hasta Wisconsin!" recounts the stories of eight immigrants living in Wisconsin. Told in their own words, their stories bring their humanity to the forefront of the current political debate. The exhibit is held in The Playhouse Gallery at Overture Center. July 14 

Music
Spawned by the 1970s punk scene in England, Mekons had humble beginnings. Over the years the band has ventured into a slew of different scenes — high art, and folk to name a couple. Catch them live at the High Noon Saloon. July 15

Music
Hailing from Columbia, Missouri, The Hooten Hailers are bringing their high-energy live show straight to the High Noon Saloon. Their ravenous blend of country and blues music makes them an absolute force on stage. July 17

Music
For years, Chicago-based musician Tasha has been on the frontlines fighting for racial justice. While music may not fix the problems of the world, Tasha realized it can nevertheless help people cope. Don't miss her live performance on the Memorial Union Terrace. July 18

Music
The 11th Annual Summerjam series held at the Majestic Theatre is well underway. Make sure to swing by the venue for a free show from Snafu and Ghostland Radio. July 18

Music
Live on King Street is back with another thrilling show. Here Come the Mummies is a funk band based in Nashville. Don't bother looking up the band's members because, as the name suggests, the group keeps their identities literally under wraps. July 19

Music
Gritty vocals and soulful harmonies have come to define the music of Madison-based R&B band Kinfolk. Catch their whirlwind live performance at the High Noon Saloon. July 19  

Music
Normally shoe gaze and punk music would be an unlikely combo, but Washington D.C. trio Flasher mixes the genres to create music that is simultaneously dreamy and riotous. Their show at the Memorial Union Terrace is sure to be an exciting one. July 19

Comedy
Since bursting onto the UK comedy scene when he was still a teenager, Daniel Sloss has built a dedicated fan base on both sides of the pond. See him perform his latest live show at the Barrymore Theatre. July 19 

Music
Latin Night at the High Noon Saloon means one thing: Everyone in attendance will be dancing like their lives depend on it. Featuring Orquestra Salsoul Del Mad, a group comprised of some of Madison's most talented musicians, will have you on your feet within moments. July 20 

Music

Swing down to Garner Park with your friends and family to catch this year's rendition of Opera in the Park — an annual event put on by Madison Opera. The park opens early in the morning, so if you're looking for a great seat, bring your blankets and chairs as early as you can. July 20

Special Event
The 32nd annual American Girl Benefit Sale is a great way to get your hands on unique, limited and discontinued American Girl items. The best part? All of the proceeds go to benefit the work of the Madison Children's Museum and the American Girl Fund for Children. July 20

Special Event
Comedy and activism have long been tied together. With the goal of de-stigmatizing abortion and fighting for abortion access, "Abortion AF: The Tour" brings comedians and activism together at the High Noon Saloon. July 20

Music
After a viral video brought attention to the UK band Black Midi, a hopeful fanbase grew nearly overnight. Fresh off of their debut album Schlagenheim, Black Midi come to the Memorial Union Terrace for a night of wild electronic-tinged rock music. July 23

Music
Touring in support of their third album, Metawar, industrial metal band 3Teeth is visiting the High Noon Saloon. With music that explores the dualities and differences across the political spectrum, 3Teeth manages to make music that at times is extremely infectious. July 23  

Music
For the fifth installment of Majestic Theatre's Summerjam series, swing by the venue to see Spare Change Trio and Earth to Clark perform for free. These two groups know how to have a good time with their fusion of funk, reggae and jazz. July 25

Music
Based in Milwaukee, singer-songwriter Trapper Schoepp brings his talents to the Memorial Union Terrace. The Wisconsinite adores the state like no other, and it often comes through in his folk-inspired music. July 25

Comedy
With appearances on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" and "Chelsea Lately," James Davis has made the rounds in the comedy circuit. He's set to perform live at Comedy on State for three consecutive nights. July 25-27

Music
Without a doubt, Tony Bennett is one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century. Now 92 years old, the legendary singer brings his talents to the Overture Center for the Arts on his "I Left My Heart" tour. July 26

Music
The lineup of performers for the Madison Hip-Hop Showcase — hosted by the Urban Community Arts Network and the Madison Area Music Association — includes Willie Wright, Bang, Chris Jewson, Bob Da Hippie, Ms Lector and TG. Catch them all at the High Noon Saloon. ​​​​​​July 26

Music
Coinciding with the Dane County Farmer's Market and presented by the Madison Symphony Orchestra, organist Bruce Bengtson will perform a free show at Overture Center. July 27

Music
Grammy award-winning country star Travis Tritt has continued to make compelling country music for the past 30 years. See him bring his talents to The Sylvee. July 27

Music
Focusing on jam-based improvisation during their live shows, Wisconsin band The Accords put on an exciting live show. They're bringing their southern California rock stylings to the Memorial Union Terrace. July 27

Special Event
The annual AttwoodFest returns to host "2 Days of Peace, Music & Community." Stretching from Monty's Blue Plate Diner to Tex Tubb's Taco Palace, the street will be filled with food and craft vendors, kids' areas and two music stages. July 27-28

Music
Josie Dunne takes pop music in a new direction by incorporating a love of Motown. Hear her unique take on fun-loving pop for yourself at the High Noon Saloon. July 28

Music
Raised along the US-Mexico border, E.N Young grew up around music from a young age. Eventually he took up reggae, a genre he calls home. See him perform at High Noon. July 29

Music
Dale Watson has cemented himself as a bastion of Texas-grown country music. He brings his signature take on country music to the High Noon Saloon at the end of the month. July 30

Theater
Starting on July 30 and running through the week, "Anastasia" is great for the whole family. Inspired by the films, this musical tells stories of love and family. This show plays for six nights at Overture Center. July 30 - August 4

Logan Rude is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.


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