Local Current Blog

Your Twin Cities guide to summer block parties and festivals 2019

Rock the Garden 2018 attendees rocking rainbow flags. (Lacey Young/MPR)

With a rain-drenched but spirited Art-a-Whirl already receding in the rear view, it’s time to start planning for the vast array of block parties and festivals already announced for summer 2019. Kicking off with the Memory Lanes Block Party over Memorial Day weekend, here is a list of events around the Twin Cities area. At least a couple of big annual parties have yet to officially announce for 2019, so we’ll keep this post updated as details emerge.

May 25-26: Memory Lanes Block Party, Minneapolis

Hosting their 11th annual block party, Memory Lanes bowling alley has rolled out a lineup of artists that you won’t want to miss as block party season kicks off. Gates are open daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. for all ages with a five-dollar price tag for admission. The music continues beyond 10 p.m., but you must be 21 to enter the indoor venue.

Saturday, May 25

Outdoor Stage
3 p.m.  DJ Kingorilla & DJ Manny Duke

4:45 p.m. – Sister Species

6 p.m.  Malamanya

7:20 p.m. – Lady Midnight

8 p.m. – Nazeem & Spencer Joles

8:40 p.m Manchita

9:20 p.m.  Mixed Blood Majority

Indoor Stage

9:30 p.m. – DJ Shannon Blowtorch, DJ Fundo, Michel.Be, Nick Jordan

Sunday, May 26

Outdoor Stage
3:30 p.m. – Gully Boys

4:15 p.m. – Motorgirl

4:55 p.m. – The Short Fuses

5:45 p.m. – The 5,6,7,8’s

6:50 p.m. – The Turbo A.C.’s

8 p.m. – Guitar Wolf

9:15 p.m. – Nashville Pussy

Indoor Stage
9:30 p.m. – Trim Reaper, the Toxenes, DJ Rock the Monkey

12 a.m. – Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band (live karaoke)

Undisclosed time & location – Mojo Spleens

More information here.

May 26: Soundset 2019, Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Experience independent hip hop performances by over 40 artists on five stages at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend. The lineup includes Atmosphere, Lil Wayne, SZA, Cashinova, DJ Abilities, Deity, DMX, Heavy Metal Gang, and many others. Additional activities include a Familia Skateboard Showdown, Soundset Custom Car Show, live painting, carnival rides and more.

Schedule and ticket information here.

May 31-June 1: Flint Hills Family Festival, St. Paul

Enjoy music and family-filled activities at this indoor and outdoor festival that features performances from world-wide artists. Featured shows include puppetry, acrobats, opera, and hip-hop.

Tickets and more information here.

June 1: The North Minneapolis Children’s Day Block Party, Minneapolis

Hosted by Hopewell Music Cooperative-North and Webber Park Library, join the Northside community for a day of activities, crafts, and music while supporting local youth.

More information here.

June 2: Grand Old Day, St. Paul

We can all take a deep breath now that we know that Grand Old Day is back on the docket. Celebrating 46 years, the family-friendly day will consist of music, activities, and food vendors.

More information here.

June 2: Funk Fest, Sociable Cider Werks

Hosted by The Current’s own Sean McPherson, enjoy an afternoon of music, games, food and local craft vendors. Please note that this is a cash-only event, but ATMs will be on-site. Enjoy a casual admission with a five-dollar wristband, or treat yourself to a VIP experience that includes drinks, food, and a private space to socialize.

More information here.

June 15: Juneteenth, Minneapolis

Taking place at the first Freedom Day celebration site in Minneapolis, this annual event includes a parade, music performances, local food, historical reenactments, and more. Led by Michael Chaney and Spike Moss, you won’t want to miss this rain or shine event. Music TBA.

More information here.

June 15: Kid Fest, Lake Harriet Bandshell

This interactive, family-focused event features kid music favorites The Teddy Bear Band, Wendy’s Wiggle, Jiggle and Jam, Davey Doodle, and The Bazillions. Sponsored by Minnesota Parent, this event will also feature ample activities for the kids, prize wheels, balloon giveaways, and craft projects.

More information here.

June 14-16: Stone Arch Bridge Festival, Minneapolis

Take in the Minneapolis waterfront while enjoying local art and music during the 25th year of this summer festival. This event kicks off with live music at 6 p.m. at Father Hennepin Park on Friday, 6/14.

More information here.

June 20: Kingfield Porchfest, Minneapolis

Take a stroll through the Kingfield neighborhood in Minneapolis and discover new, local music as you listen to performances on different “stages” (people’s front porches). During its inaugural year in 2018, Porchfest brought 40 different groups of neighborhood talent to the “stage.”

More information here.

June 20-22: Summer SKOLstice at TCO Stadium, Eagan

Spend some off-season time congregating with fellow Minnesota Vikings fans at the first Summer SKOLstice. Incorporating food, music, and a Nordic flare, this festival has a schedule of musicians that includes Rick Springfield, Shelia E., Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone, the Family Stone, Elle King, Joss Stone, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Judith Hill, and the Minneapolis Funk All-Stars. Admission options include regular admission or VIP pricing.

Tickets and more information here.

June 20-22: Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Lowertown, St. Paul

With nine headliners this year, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival once again will host the largest, free jazz event in the midwest during its 21st year. Musicians will play at 21 venues around the Lowertown area for the festival. Help inspire new generations of youth in jazz and come together with the jazz community at this three-day event. Although performance schedules can be found on the Twin Cities Jazz Fest’s website, here is a sneak peak of the musicians playing the main stages at the festival.

Thursday, June 20

Partnership with Lowertown Sounds (Mears Park)

6:00 p.m. – Miyato Rivera with Charanga Tropical

8:00 p.m. – Jorge Luis Pacheco

Friday, June 21

Hiway Federal Credit Union MainStage (Mears Park)

4:00 p.m. – Roy Hargrove Tribute

6:00 p.m. – Grace Kelly

8:30 p.m. – Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

Saturday, June 22

Hiway Federal Credit Union MainStage

2:00 p.m. – New Sound Underground

4:00 p.m. – Yogev Shetrit

6:00 p.m. – James Carter Organ Trio

8:30 p.m. – Nnenna Freelon

Tickets and more information here.

June 23: Uptown Food Truck Festival, Minneapolis

Enjoy food from over 65 different food trucks while enjoying local brews, family activities and live music in a casual outdoor atmosphere. Live music schedule is listed below.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Blu Print

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Sunshine Committee

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Night Lights

All day – A variety of DJs will keep music going all day long in the Bridgewater Bank parking lot.

More information here.

June 22-23: Twin Cities Pride Festival, Minneapolis 

Celebrate the LGBTQ community at this year’s Pride event in Loring Park. Showcasing 400 exhibitor booths, 40 food vendors, and four music stages, this all-ages event promotes love, equality and collaboration between communities. This year’s music headliner: TLC. Enough said; you don’t want to miss it.

More information about pride activities and tickets for the TLC show here.

June 29: Somali Independence Day Festival

This annual family-friendly street festival includes ample activities, live music, food, and games. Learn more about the Twin Cities’ Somali culture while celebrating Somali Independence Day.

More information here.

June 29: Rock the Garden, Minneapolis

Overlooking the Minneapolis skyline, listen to eight bands play on two stages at this outdoor concert sponsored by The Current. This year’s lineup includes Courtney Barnett, X, Heart Bones, Bad Bad Hats, deM atlaS, Adia Victoria, the Beths, and headliners The National.

Tickets and more information here.

June 30: Common Sound Festival, St. Louis Park

Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Beth El Synagogue are partnering again this year to bring Doomtree, Jeremy Messersmith, Stereo Kitchen, the New Grey, and Koo Koo Kangaroo to the stage for their second annual music festival. The event is family-friendly and includes several food and drink choices.

More information here.

July 12-13: Roots, Rock and Deep Blues, Minneapolis (Longfellow)

Artist driven and volunteer run, this environmentally-friendly festival is back for its ninth year. In the heart of the Longfellow neighborhood, watch live music on three stages at the Hook and Ladder Theater. Featuring music by local artists, this year’s line-up includes Kind Country; Erik Koskinen; Middle Western; Mae Simpson Music; Kent Burnside and the New Generation and many more.

Tickets and more information here.

July 12-13: Basilica Block Party, Minneapolis

With an extensive lineup of musicians performing on three stages, this block party features two days of live music and activities. A variety of ticket options include single admission tickets or a VIP experience.

Friday, July 12

Great Clips Stage

5:15 p.m. – Ruston Kelly

6:25 p.m. – Anderson East

7:40 p.m. – Dawes

9:00 p.m. – Kacey Musgraves

PreferredOne Stage

5:45 p.m. – Yam Haus

7:15 p.m. – The Jayhawks

8:35 p.m. – Semisonic

Star Tribune Stage

5:10 p.m. – McNasty Brass Band

6:15 p.m. – Annie Mack

7:20 p.m. – Kiss the Tiger

Saturday, July 13

Great Clips Stage

5:15 p.m. – Lissie

6:25 p.m. – JOHNNYSWIM

7:40 p.m. – Hanson

9:00 p.m. – Jason Mraz

PreferredOne Stage

5:45 p.m. – Flora Cash

7:15 p.m. – Metric

8:35 p.m. – CHVRCHES

Star Tribune Stage

5:10 p.m. – Michael Shynes

6:15 p.m. – The Bad Man

7:20 p.m. – Static Panic

Ticket options and more information here.

July 19: Bastille Day-Barbette, Minneapolis

Featuring MC Foxy Tann, DJ Sean McPherson, Tacky Annie, Scrunchies, Mark Mallman, Circus Juventas, and many more, join Barbette in celebrating their 16th Bastille Day celebration. Rain or shine, this event will feature picnic food, MN Nice Cream and a variety of cocktails thanks to some of our local distilleries.

More information here.

July 19-20: Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival, St. Paul

The largest free Blues festival in the Twin Cities, the Lowertown Blues and Funk festival will entertain on two stages in the Mears Park area. The two-day event has regular and VIP admission options.

Friday, July 19

Spire Credit Union Main Stage

4:30 p.m. – Sumo Seven

6:15 p.m. – Boogie Wonderland

8p.m. – Thomas McClary

Saturday, July 20

Spire Credit Union Main Stage

12 p.m. – Craig Clark Band

1:30 p.m. – Bridget Kelly Band

3 p.m. – Joyann Parker

4:45 p.m. – Carolyn Wonderland

6:30 p.m. – Popa Chubby

8:30 p.m. – Jon Cleary

Tickets and more information here.

July 20: Rondo Days Festival, St. Paul (Rondo neighborhood)

Celebrate the 36th year of this celebration that encourages reunification, mindful thinking and embracing new neighbors. Start the day with the annual parade followed by entertainment, food, and other vendors as you celebrate this community’s history. Featuring CeeLo Green, Goodie Mob, Destiny Roberts, Why Khaliq, and many others, dance the afternoon away at this free event.

More information here.

July 24-27: Aquatennial, Minneapolis

This year’s annual celebration will keep the family busy with a variety of events which includes music, a blood drive, the Torchlight 5K, Torchlight parade, canoeing in Loring Park, an art festival, Carifest, and the culminating fireworks show on Saturday, 7/27.

More information about individual events here.

July 27: Carifest, Minneapolis

Organized by a grassroots group, Carifest recognizes Caribbean culture in Minnesota. The event, which showcases Caribbean musicians, food and performances, is celebrating its 26th year with a wide-range of family-friendly events. Join Patrice Roberts, Yankeyboy, Hunter, Irie Sol, Triniflex Sounds, DJ Diamond and many more as you dance the day away.

Tickets for performances and more information here.

August 4: In Cahoots Block Party: A Collaboration of Craft

Join the Red Stag and The Growler for a collaborative block party that will showcase different Minnesota Breweries that work together to create new beers you can only experience while attending this party. Each team supports a local charity and all proceeds will benefit the winner of the voted best brew. Stage line up includes Foxy Tann, DJ Astronaultalis + Minnie Blanco, Black Widows, The Lonesome Losers: A Tribute to Yacht Rock, Kiss the Tiger, Nooky Jones, and The Bad Man.

More information here.

August 9-11: Twin Cities Polish Festival, Minneapolis

Dance some polka while immersing yourself in the Polish culture at this family-friendly event. The event showcases Polish vendors, food and music. Music lineup TBA.

More information here.

August 10: Pizza Luce Block Party, Minneapolis

The Pizza Luce Block Party lineup has been revealed and it will most definitely pair well with pizza and local craft beer. Beginning at 1 p.m., the party will showcase eight acts including a “mystery” act to be released on 7/20. Headlined by Owatonna native Har Mar Superstar, this block party will not disappoint.

1 p.m.: Green/Blue

2 p.m.: Supportive Parents

3 p.m.: Erik Koskinen

4 p.m.: Chastity Anne Brown

5:15 p.m.: The Lioness

6 p.m.: Dimitry Killstorm & Sean Anonymous

7 p.m.: TBA on July 20

8:45 p.m.: Har Mar Superstar

More information here.

August 17: St. Paul Food Truck Festival, St. Paul

Enjoy food, music, and a beverage at this outdoor event in the heart of St. Paul. With over 40 different food truck options, this event is free to attend. Live music schedule TBA.

More information here.

August 18: Freak Fest, Minneapolis

Presented by The Current and Sociable Cider Werks, indulge in unique entertainment, games, food, drinks, and aerial performances as you enjoy everything this day party has to offer. Music by Greg Grease, Monica LaPlante, and a headliner that will soon be announced.

More information and tickets here.

September 14: 2019 Selby Ave Jazz Fest, St. Paul

Enjoy a full, free day of jazz music at this annual event as you munch on great food, experience local art and vendors, and indulge the kiddos at the Family Fun Zone. Performances include Patricia Lacy, Bossa Soul, Brio Bass, The Jazz Standards, Selby Avenue Brass Band, and headliner Goapele.

More information here.

Marla Khan-Schwartz is a writer who is mostly inspired by music, deep conversation, and a bold glass of red wine.