Local Current Blog

Summer in the Twin Cities: A music lover’s guide to outdoor festivals

The summer festival season is upon us. Though there have been a few sporadic outdoor events already (including the MayDay Hip Hop and Art Festival), this weekend really helps launch the season with events spanning several areas of Minneapolis.

Starting tonight, Art-A-Whirl brings hundreds of artists and bands to Northeast for a sprawling three-day event, and many of the area businesses are jumping in to host their own outdoor concerts. Here’s a quick rundown of those highlights; click the links for more detailed lineups and set times.

  • The 331 Club has the largest musical lineup of Art-A-Whirl and is completely free. Tonight Vicious Vicious headlines the outdoor stage with support from Zoo Animal and Is/Is; tomorrow brings No Bird Sing, Me and My Arrow and many more, and Sunday winds down with a headlining set by Alpha Consumer.
  • Grumpy’s Northeast will once again host bands in its backyard patio tomorrow, including heavy-hitters like Gay Witch Abortion and Seawhores.
  • The Sample Room is opting out of the riverfront series this year, instead showcasing bands in a tent outside the restaurant and hosting a local beer fest. Tonight features the Idle Hands and Blue Sky Blackout, with more bands planned for Saturday afternoon and Sunday brunch.
  • Future Presence Gallary is lining up a few more avant garde acts for Friday and Saturday night parties, including a “what if they were still together?” Beatles-inspired set tonight and Father You See Queen tomorrow. 
  • Psycho Suzi’s is throwing a bash tomorrow night headlined by The 4onthefloor, who just wrapped up a big tour, and the Evening Rig.
  • And the Anchor Fish & Chips will celebrate the launch of its food truck with a huge lineup of bands Saturday and Sunday, both headlined by Kyle brothers (Ben Kyle’s Romantica on Saturday and Robin Kyle’s Valet on Sunday). 

But wait! There’s more. If you still have energy on Sunday afternoon, head to Uptown for the Lyn-Lake Street Festival, which is as close as that area will get to hosting something like the annual Pizza Luce Block Party this summer. This year’s lineup is solid front-to-back and includes Communist Daughter, Night Moves, Bloodnstuff, Mayda, Omaur Bliss, and many more.

Looking ahead, we’ve mapped out some of this weekend’s festivities and the other major festivals happening this summer, and will continue adding to that directory as more shows are announced. See something we missed? Leave the show info in the comments and we’ll add it to our map.