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Bozeman musician to take stage in Big Sky 

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Madeline Hawthorne has gone solo since her time with the Hawthorne Roots and has since brought to the stage a combination of grit and charm. She and her band from Denver will be opening for Lukas Nelson & POTR on Aug. 12 for Wildlands Festival. PHOTO COURTESY OF MADELINE HAWTHORNE

Madeline Hawthorne to open for night one of Wildlands Festival


Editor’s note: Wildlands Festival is produced by Outlaw Partners, publisher of Explore Big Sky.

BOZEMAN – Bozeman-based singer/songwriter Madeline Hawthorne understands the importance of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s open spaces. She’s been in Montana for 15 years after growing up in New Hampshire, and finds inspiration for much of her music in the landscape around her.

“As someone who lives here in Montana and has written songs in Montana and has been able to spend time on public land to heal myself and to be inspired, I wouldn’t be here and doing what I do without having access to that kind of land,” Hawthorne said.

In many ways, this makes her the perfect artist to open for Lukas Nelson & POTR on Friday, Aug. 12, the first night of the two-night Wildlands Festival. Wildlands Festival is produced by Outlaw Partners, publisher of Explore Big Sky, and features a Grammy-winning lineup including Nelson, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and Brandi Carlile and Indigo Girls who will headline on the festival’s final day, Aug. 13.

Named the Farm-Aid of the Greater Yellowstone Region, the Wildlands ethos all comes back to the stunning landscape we call home, giving a portion of each ticket sale to Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Gallatin River Task Force and Big Sky Community Organization. It’s the perfect marriage between live music and open space.

“It’s great goal and great purpose and I’m proud to be a part of a festival that makes that priority,” said Hawthorne.

Hawthorne has known music since before she was born. Her mother attended the New England Conservatory of Music and was a classical performer for many years, even performing while pregnant. Her parents bought the budding musician her first guitar when she was 16 when she was already fluent in songwriting, guitar and piano. She names Joni Mitchell and Crosby Stills Nash and Young as some of her inspirations at that time, and still to this day.

Hawthorne moved to Montana to attend Montana State University, achieving a master’s in sustainable food systems. While in school, she founded and toured with her band, the Hawthorne Roots, and made the choice to become a full-time musician after graduating. 

It was during the pandemic that she wrote her first solo album, “Boots.” Co-produced by Brad Parsons and Fruition’s Tyler Thompson, “Boots” is an album of self discovery and reflection, a production Hawthorne calls, “a silver lining” from being forced to take time off of touring.

“I came back from a river trip and was really motivated to start writing after a serious dip spiritually and emotionally,” Hawthorne said of her time writing “Boots.” “I started spending a lot of time reflecting on everything that had happened in the last few years, as well as my lifetime. I wrote a ton and started sifting through with no rhyme or reason but the record kind of formed.”

Hawthorne’s writing is derived from her life experiences, her love for the environment, social justice and the outdoors. She takes pride in being an independent artist, being a woman in the music industry and in managing every aspect of her career, and embraces the hard work that comes from being an artist.

A huge fan of Nelson and Isbell, Hawthorne says opening for Friday’s Wildlands show is, “a dream come true.”

“I’m so thrilled,” she said. “I love their style, records; I look up to them. The band that I’m bringing to Denver is also very excited to get a chance to stretch out a little on a bigger stage, rock out and get to do what we do best for a big crowd of people.”

Hawthorne and her band will be taking the stage at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at Visit Hawthorne’s website,, to learn more about her and to follow her on social media.

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