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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.

Nov 12, 2022

This week on Tent Show Radio, enjoy the distinctive artistry of Minnesota songwriters and musicians Cloud Cult and Charlie Parr. 

Known for incorporating live painting into their performances, Cloud Cult’s experimental style, philosophical lyrics, and alternative-orchestral-folk-rock sound has been lauded by critics...

Nov 5, 2022

This week on Tent Show Radio, enjoy an electric episode from the archives featuring multi-national Celtic juggernaut Gaelic Storm.

Since forming in 1997, Gaelic Storm has risen from hometown pub performers to a world-famous touring and recording act that continues to grow stronger with each live performance. The...

Oct 29, 2022

This week on Tent Show Radio, enjoy a high-voltage hour featuring the rough-neck poetics of troubadour Steve Earle and The Dukes. 

He has run a lot of roads and run ragged, but the singer-songwriter has never run out of things to say or songs to sing. Over the course of twenty studio albums, Earle has distinguished...

Oct 22, 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...

Oct 15, 2022

This week on Tent Show Radio, enjoy a very special two-part episode from the archives. Enjoy electric folk-rock from the powerful, unyielding, and ultimately uplifting Buffy Sainte-Marie, as she performs tunes from across her career. 

Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter...