Boundary Waters Blues Festival

Boundary Waters Blues Festival promises endless family fun with the best of blues for RV campers with lakeside camping amidst pristine wilderness.

Event information

The Boundary Waters Blues Festival is held in the beautiful mining community of Winton (Ely) in Minnesota. The festival offers a laid-back setting to revel in the endless fun of the best blues music in a picturesque setting. The area offers views of Fall Lake in the charming wilderness of the Superior National Forest. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate taking an RV trip with the bonus of adding the festival to the agenda.

The festival is held between late August and early September on or before the Labor Day weekend. Cloudy skies may make your festival experience even more enjoyable offering respite from the scorching summer heat, and you can usually expect a shower or two this time of year in Minnesota.

The festival has been organized since 2001 and is one of the most popular 'blues parties' in the region. One of the best things about the festival is the eclectic atmosphere it creates with vibes full of the spirit of pure blues. The event is family-friendly, which adds to the fun. It's an exciting opportunity to celebrate blues with old friends and a good camping fire by your side. Not to forget that you get to enjoy everything amidst the exotic charms of the pristine wilderness.


The ticket sales for Boundary Waters Blues Festival go live about mid-winter every year. Ticket prices are known to increase as the event date draws closer. Guests who choose to camp are required to wear their festival wristbands throughout the event. The festival offers one-day tickets which are priced between $30 and $50 while three-day passes cost between $100 to $150. Camping passes must be separately purchased. VIP camping passes vary in price between $200 and $300. RV camping passes cost anywhere between $150 and $200. Children aged 12 years and below are free but must have their wristbands on at all times. Please visit the official fest website to see the current pricing.

Explore Boundary Waters Blues Festival RV Rentals



Boundary Waters Blues Festival is held in the town of Winton situated close to the City of Ely, Minnesota. The city is located about 115 miles away from Duluth and 250 miles away from Minneapolis. Motorists coming in from Kansas City or Chicago may spend 10 hours on the road.

The roads are generally accessible throughout the year, but it would be wise to check with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and follow the latest updates. You can check out their website or call them. In this small-town community, it is better to get in touch with the festival staff for the best routes rather than choosing GPS recommended routes.

Parking areas

The event is held close to the fringes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness region. As the festival has shifted venues a couple of times in recent years, guests should check with the festival administration to know about the current parking status and availability.

Public Transportation

Guests can shuttle to and from Ely with ease. The city is located just five miles away from the concert venue. You will find that public transportation options, in general, are limited in this region. Car rental services may be the best option for those who aren't arriving in an RV.

Where to stay


Boundary Waters Blues Festival provides amazing RV camping opportunities by the lakeside. You will get to enjoy wonderful blues music, serene natural surroundings, and of course, the comfortable interiors of your RV home all in one expedition. The festival does not provide any RV hookups so you must arrive with your water tank full. There are dedicated spaces for RV campers and VIP campers by the lakeside. Guests should possess a camping pass in addition to the festival admission pass.


While you certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on staying close to Fall Lake, there might be times where you’d prefer staying in a nearby campground. You will find several beautiful campgrounds in Ely. There are a lot of options available from basic campsites to full-service campgrounds for your RV of choice. State forest areas nearby may also be good options for travelers looking to enjoy the woods.

Getting around

You may find yourself getting around on foot most of the time, but your likely to enjoy every bit of it. You can take in the fresh air from the pristine natural wilderness all around, thanks to the exotic location of the venue on the shores of the lake. Guests are advised to carry a comfortable pair of shoes in this terrain.

What to pack


Blues fans will want to pack summer clothing for this time of the year, with some warmer items for when the sun goes behind the trees. Do not forget to pack in your umbrella and other rain gear since showers are pretty frequent in early fall. You may notice the sun in a mood to play hide and seek with the clouds. You can join in the game with a scarf and shades.


Most bands do not permit audio recording during the festival, but you can consider speaking with a band representative in this regard. The use of generators is allowed but only during certain hours as designated for the campground. Prepare your campsite for possible creature visits, especially overnight. Do not leave food and scented items out when you are away or overnight.

Health & Safety

Remember to carry sunscreen and insect repellant with you. Guests should also carry a bottle of water with them at all times and stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget drinking enough water with endless music and beautiful lake water to distract you and your crew. Bring a first-aid kit complete with all essential medications with you to avoid having to find essentials in quick fashion.

Where to eat


Boundary Waters Blues Festival is known for its amazing family atmosphere with guests relishing good food by late-night campfires. Ensure that the campfire is away from flammable materials and do not leave it unattended. The festival does not allow carrying beer kegs into the camping area. It is also recommended to clean up the campsite every day after cooking since the area might attract wildlife.

There are a few minimal opportunities for shopping in the area if last-minute items are needed. Guests should drink plenty of water and ensure that they bring in enough water with them to make the most of their RV camping experience since no hookups are available.


Guests can expect to revel in endless food fun in Ely and Winton. Travelers will find delightful restaurants in the region that serve local cuisine. Consider visiting the region’s cafes and creative cheese options as well. Most of the eateries are located close to East Sheridan Street in Ely.


The Boundary Waters Blues Festival features a number of food, art, and merchandise stalls for guests to peruse. From food trucks to ice cream vendors, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from when it comes to meals. The festival also has a craft beer sampling tent where guests can enjoy a variety of craft beers from the region with live music.



Boundary Waters Blues Festival has a dedicated security team. Since this is a family-friendly event, adults are advised to stay close to their kids at all times. The festival administration also advises mentioning your contact number somewhere on your child’s pass so the security team could get in touch with you just in case your child gets separated from you for any reason.


Temperatures often remain pretty moderate in Winton and Ely at this time of the year. Campers and attendees will want to be prepared with some rain gear as the festival will continue rain or shine.


Guests can bring medications prescribed by their doctors, but having documentation for these is advisable. The City of Ely, which is merely five miles away, has a few medical amenities with a community hospital and clinics. People with medical requirements may want to contact the festival staff directly before they attend the festival to ensure the availability of the desired facilities.