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First broadcast in 1994, Tent Show Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program showcasing the best live recordings from acclaimed music acts and entertainers who grace the Big Top Chautauqua stage each summer in beautiful Bayfield, WI. In the program's nearly 30 year history it has featured artists like Johnny Cash, B.B King, Brandi Carlile, Willie Nelson, Don McLean, and many more. Hosted by celebrated New York Times best-selling author Michael Perry-who weaves stories and humor throughout each episode - Tent Show Radio features performances from renowned national & regional artists, with regular appearances featuring Big Top’s own unique brand of shows that feature songs and stories performed by its acclaimed house band, The Blue Canvas Orchestra.


Tent Show Radio is independently produced by Big Top Chautauqua, a non-profit performing arts organization, with a mission to present performances and events that celebrate history and the environment - along with their annual summer concert series - nestled in the woods on the shores of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Apr 12, 2024

On this episode of Tent Show Radio, enjoy masterful musicianship and quick-witted humor from Grammy Award winners Riders In The Sky!

Regarded as one of the “most historically significant acts in the history of American music” by Billboard magazine, the GRAMMY award-winning quartet of Ranger Doug, Woody Paul, Too...

Apr 10, 2024

On this episode of Tent Show Radio, enjoy a thrilling hour of music from South Africa’s Five Time Grammy Award winning singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Called South Africa’s Cultural Ambassadors to the World by Nelson Mandela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then...

Mar 29, 2024

On this episode of Tent Show Radio, experience a high voltage hour of countrified rock & roll as Wisconsin bred band Them Coulee Boys play tunes from their album Namesake.

Them Coulee Boys craft a brand of Americana that blends folk, punk, bluegrass, and rock & roll. They sing their conversational songs in 4-part...

Mar 21, 2024

On this poignant episode of Tent Show Radio, celebrate the rich culture, history, and spirit of the Anishinaabe people in a musical theatre experience that honors the indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes region. The acclaimed original show “Anishinaabe Dibaajimowin: An Ojibwe Story,” which debuted in 2021, features...

Mar 15, 2024

On this special throwback episode of Tent Show Radio, Different Drums of Ireland take the stage for a celebratory performance showcasing Irelands unique indigenous sounds and rich cultural diversity.

Different Drums of Ireland was created in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1991 as an exercise to use art and music as a...