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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 23, 2022

This week on Tent Show Radio, we celebrate Earth Day, with performances from the Big Top Chautauqua original show Dear Earth: A Love Song - Letter of Hope. This episode features our very own Blue Canvas Orchestra musicians and singers as they perform original songs and sentiments that celebrate the planet we all call home. 

Created by Ed Willet & Betty Ferris, Dear Earth: A Love Song-Letter of Hope pulls original music from the deep, creative well of BCO songwriters and ignites the Blue Canvas Orchestra in song stories of inspiration, courage, and perseverance. This original program, which debuted in 2021, celebrates the fascinating and unexpected tales of some of the game changing thinkers, authors, and conservationists from Wisconsin and beyond who gave their hearts, minds, and sweat to keeping our Earth beautiful.. Among the many stories contained in this multimedia concert experience, a well deserved spotlight is shown on Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson, the "happy boy" from Clear Lake who grew up to birth the grand idea of a nationwide Environmental Teach-In, a day still celebrated each April 22 around the world as 'Earth Day’.

See Dear Earth: A Love Song - Letter of Hope live at Big Top Chautauqua July 8, 2022! Tickets are $26 for Adults and ½ Price for Youth 17 & Under. Head over to for tickets.