Return of the Whitaker Music Festival

The summer of 2022 will culminate at the Garden with the opening of the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, the most transformative project in the Garden’s 163-year history, but we’re kicking off the celebration early with the return of the Whitaker Music Festival, presented by the Whitaker Foundation.

“The Whitaker Music Festival is one of the Whitaker Foundation’s favorite annual experiences. We’re so excited to welcome the St. Louis community back to the Garden this summer.”

Christy Gray, Executive Director, Whitaker Foundation

Sidelined for two seasons in the interest of public health, the festival returns this year with all of the elements that have made it an annual tradition for St. Louis residents—free Wednesday evening admission beginning at 5 p.m., picnicking in Cohen Amphitheater and throughout the Garden grounds, and live music at Cohen Amphitheater beginning at 7 p.m.

The Garden is pleased to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for each performance in the 2022 season via The Fusion Hub.

Reservations Required

New this year, free advance reservations are required to attend Whitaker Music Festival performances. Tickets for the first performance of the season, taking place on June 1, were made available on May 11 and have since sold out. Tickets for all remaining performances will be available one week in advance of each show on the preceding Thursday, with Garden members receiving access at 10 a.m. CST followed by access to the general public at noon. Reservations will remain available until the concert start time or until capacity is reached. Reserve your tickets well in advance; visit for full details and this year’s schedule.

A Summer Tradition

Since 1994, the Whitaker Foundation has made it possible for the Garden to welcome more than one million visitors from across the St. Louis region and beyond for free Wednesday evening concerts featuring some of the most dynamic local artists and a diverse spectrum of music.

Performers at the 1997 festival play under a temporary tent prior to the construction of a permanent shell over the Cohen Amphitheater stage.
The legendary Johnnie Johnson performs at the 2002 festival. | Photo by Tim Parker
Lawn chairs vastly outnumber picnic blankets at the 2001 festival. | Photo by Tim Parker
Christy Gray, Whitaker Foundation Executive Director (left) presents a commemorative plaque and T-shirt to the one million Whitaker Music Festival visitor (June 20, 2018). | Photo by Asueleni Deloney
The festival has welcomed six-time Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard twice; most recently in 2019.

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