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Grand Rapids Riverfest headliner is ... Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit!

Jason Isbell and four band members pose for a photo
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Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will headline the 2023 Grand Rapids Riverfest in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The festival is Sept. 9, 2023.

Also set to perform at the Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, are Amanda Shires, Shemekia Copeland and Dessa.

The moment we've all been waiting for is here — the Grand Rapids Riverfest 2023 lineup has been revealed!

Coming to the banks of the Mississippi River on Saturday, Sept. 9, is Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Amanda Shires,Shemekia Copeland and Dessa!

Tickets for Grand Rapids Riverfest go on sale 8 a.m. Friday, April 28. Booking your room is highly recommended. Find room blocks for Riverfest here.

Follow along the Grand Rapids Riverfest socials for all the latest news! Instagram / Facebook

Wilco performs on stage with blue lighting and large red "Wilco" letters behind them
Wilco performs during the 2nd Annual Grand Rapids Riverfest in 2022.

Following the 2022 lineup of Wilco, Shovels & Rope, Chastity Brown and Wild Horses, we knew the stakes were high and worked hard to create something that represents KAXE and the Northern Minnesota community.

Riverfest is the signature event for the station and the City of Grand Rapids, sponsored by Grand Rapids State Bank. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 28. Mark your calendars and book your hotels!

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires perform onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards.
Erika Goldring
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Getty Images for Americana Music Association
Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires perform onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Northern Minnesota is capturing Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at one of their peaks in music. Releasing a highly anticipated new album in June, Weathervanes, Isbell is also the subject of a new HBO documentary Running With Our Eyes Closed, diving deep into his personal life with his wife (and fellow Riverfest performer) Amanda Shires. 

Based in Nashville, Isbell is known as one of today’s best songwriters. The former member of Drive-By Truckers connects with his fans through authentic writing, often touching on anxieties, sobriety, relationships and love.

Amanda Shires wears a light colored dress with beaded details and appears to have wings
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Amanda Shires
Amanda Shires.

Amanda Shires

Rising in the ranks of Americana artists of today, Shires has been a key member the 400 Unit before embarking more heavily on her solo career. She founded the massively popular all-female Americana supergroup, The Highwomen alongside Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby. She contributed to projects with artists like Beck, John Prine, Blackberry Smoke, Justin Townes Earle, Wanda Jackson, Todd Snider and others.

Shires’ new album, Take It Like a Man, continues the honesty in looking at relationships, covering a tough spot in her marriage to Isbell. Shires is one of the strongest and most distinct voices in Americana today.

Shemekia Copeland is stnading in the middlie of a windy road with trees on either side, looking back at the camera. It is the photo for her album cover.
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Shemekia Copeland
Shemekia Copeland's album cover for "Done Come Too Far."

Shemekia Copeland

From Harlem, New, York, is award-winning blues, soul and Americana singer Shemekia Copeland!

Her latest album, Done Come Too Far, features guests like Sonny Landreth and Cedric Burnside and received a Grammy nomination.

With songwriting that always has a pulse on the environment surrounding us, Shemekia has one of the most deeply soulful voices of our time.

Dessa
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Dessa
Dessa.

Dessa

Singer, rapper, speaker and writer, Dessa is truly one of Minnesota’s treasures.

She has mastered music through her solo work and involvement in Doomtree and performed around the world. She is an accomplished author of books of essays and poetry that give a deeper lens in to the music she creates.

She’s collaborated with the Minnesota Orchestra, written songs for NPR, contributed to the No. 1 album The Hamilton Mixtape, published in The New York Times, and given a TED Talk about her science experiment on how to fall out of love.

Kicking off Grand Rapids Riverfest 2023 with a Minnesota musician like Dessa is sure to make this event something incredible.

The music director at KAXE since 2014, Kari (pronounced Car-ee) Hedlund reviews music on the daily. She also hosts New Music every Wednesday (2 and 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon), along with the KAXE Morning Show on Thursdays.