In the Twin Cities, we’ve hit that special time of year: the spring-summer overlap when outdoor music line-ups go public and people finally start leaving coats at home. Block party announcements started the buzz earlier this year, and Art-A-Whirl’s many outdoor and indoor concerts will take place this weekend. But it’s hard not to anticipate the warmest midsummer days—when the best time to be outside is after sunset, and Minnesotans spread out blankets on the grass.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board have released their schedule of outdoor music and movies, and there’s plenty to look forward to. First, dozens of parks around the city are slotted to screen films such as Finding Nemo (which we know Prince was a fan of), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Back To The Future, and Inside Out.
Additionally, six parks (Lake Harriet Park, Nicollet Island Park, Lake Hennepin Bluff Park, Minnehaha Regional Park, Bryant Square Park, and Theodore Wirth Regional Park) will host live music from local artists of several genres and provenances. The full music line-up is available on the park board’s website, but here are a few shows that stand out.
First, pop fans should check out Christine Hoberg (June 3 and August 11; of massive Flight Facilities hit “Clair de Lune”) and OSO (July 19). Indie pop band Joey Ryan & The Inks, who are coming straight off the release of their new LP, Young Afternoon, play on August 4.
Several singer/songwriters, including Jourdan Myers (June 25), Vicky Emerson (July 18), and Rob Meany (August 29), will charm outdoor audiences. Dan Israel plays a rare afternoon Music in the Park show (2:00 p.m. at the Lake Harriet bandshell) on July 24. Folk/country fans can look forward to seeing alt-country band the Federales (June 27), vocalist/violinist Jillian Rae (July 29), and folk group the Paper Days (August 23).
Ironically, John Louis and Brianna Lane, singer-songwriters and co-founders of new venue The Warming House, play different parks this year—on June 7, the same night. Louis starts at 6:30 p.m. in Bryant Square Park, while Lane plays Father Hennepin Bluff Park, at 7:00 p.m. However, there is a work-around for those who would like to hear both artists; later in the summer, Louis hits Minnehaha Park at 7:00 p.m. on August 4.
In addition to local, original music, the line-up does include a few tribute and cover bands. On June 21, Sabby White will play music from artists as disparate as Beyoncé and the Beatles, although their main selections lie more in Stevie Wonder territory. Sound of Simon perform their Simon & Garfunkel repertoire on August 2, and Free Fallin wrap up the year with a Tom Petty tribute on September 5.
For exact locations and times, check the full music schedule (listings are chronological). Stay tuned for more news on summer block parties, outdoor music, and similar events.