Vigilante Music Festival

In May 1863, a group of prospectors were headed toward the Yellowstone River and instead came upon a party of the Crow tribe and was forced to return to Bannack. On May 26, 1863, Bill Fairweather and Henry Edgar discovered gold near Alder Creek.

The prospectors could not keep the site a secret and were followed on their return to the gold bearing site. A mining district was set up in order to formulate rules about individual gold claims.

Within weeks Virginia City was a boomtown of thousands of prospectors and fortune seekers in the midst of a gold rush. The remote region of the Idaho Territory was without law enforcement or justice system with the exception of miners’ courts. In late 1863, the great wealth in the region, lack of a justice system and the insecure means of travel gave rise to serious criminal activity, especially robbery and murder along the trails and roads of the region. Road agents as they became known were ultimately responsible for up to 100 deaths in the region in 1863 and 1864. This resulted in the formation of the Vigilance committee of Alder Gulch and the infamous Montana Vigilantes. Up to 15 road agents were hanged by the vigilantes in December 1863 and January 1864, including the sheriff of Bannack, Montana and alleged leader of the road agent gang, Henry Plummer.

The Vigilante Music Festival will be held in Virginia City, Montana on June 11, 2022 at Discovery-Ellingsen Park and will feature some of Montana’s Musical Vigilantes including DeadSky, the Nelson Girls, the Big House Project, Dave Walker, Smith & Mckay All Day, the DeGroot Band, Sam Platts and his Plainsmen, Dammit Lauren!, Ornery Jacks, Matt Wallin & his Nervous Breakdown, a Guitar Pull featuring Stephanie Yeager, Marcedes Carroll & Chandler Huntley.

This is an all ages, family friendly event. The Discovery-Ellingsen Park has room for people to be able to spread out. Low profile lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Feel free to bring yard games. The park also has a nice picnic area to enjoy your meals in. Please leave your pets at home.