Local Current Blog

What’s the Downtown Festival?

Stu Larsen. Photo courtesy Downtown Festival.

Downtown RecordsDowntown Festival will bring a promising lineup to the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis on September 26 and 27. The festival will include Future Islands, Deafheaven, Nosaj Thing, and Minneapolis’s own summer sensations Hippo Campus, among others.

The event’s schedule spreads its lineup into several separate bills in each room of the Skyway Theatre: performances will take place in the Skyway Theatre’s Mainroom, Studio B, and Loft. Tickets can be purchased either for the full two-day event, or for separate individual bills. These separate billings include the ethereal black metal of Deafheaven paired with Russian Circles’ heavy instrumental post-rock in the Mainroom on September 26; and an evening of indie rock and pop with Future Islands, Bear Hands, and Hippo Campus—all in the Mainroom the following night.

Hippo Campus are the only local band on the festival’s roster; the festival should be one of the biggest shows yet for the rapidly rising band of Woodbury teens. The festival is also apt to raise the profile of the venue itself, which isn’t as well-known as many of its downtown neighbors. According to a press release announcing the event, the multi-room configuration offers “the curation of a large festival at the cost of a club show.”

The Downtown Festival began as a five-year anniversary celebration for Downtown Records, a New-York-based label whose roster includes Santigold, Cold War Kids, Duck Sauce, and Cyndi Lauper. The first Downtown Festival was held in New York City in 2011. By 2013 the festival had expanded to a two-day event across eight venues on the Lower East Side.

This year the festival has expanded again to encompass events in five cities across the country, including Minneapolis. The other cities hosting festivals are Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. Lineups for New York, L.A., and Houston have yet to be announced; the Cleveland incarnation (September 19-20) will be headlined by the War on Drugs and Justin Townes Earle.

A two-day pass to all events at Downtown Festival MSP costs $59 ($76 for a VIP pass). Prices to individual events vary between $16 and $25. Tickets for some events are already available, with more going on sale Friday.

Downtown MSP’s current lineup is:

September 26

Deafheaven with Russian Circles at Skyway Mainroom

Nosaj Thing and Stu Larsen at the Loft

Turquoise Jeep and Cakes Da Killa at Studio B

September 27

Future Islands, Bear Hands, and Hippo Campus at Skyway Mainroom

Moon Boots at the Loft

Nosaj Thing and Stu Larsen at Studio B

Austin Gerth is a member of the class of 2016 at Concordia College. He also writes for Concordia’s student blog, The COBBlog; and Concordia’s student newspaper, The Concordian.