A&E’s guide to summer events

This summer, there will be block parties and concerts galore.

Illustration by Harry Steffenhagen

Harry Steffenhagen

Illustration by Harry Steffenhagen

by Maddy Folstein

Don’t let the grind of finals get you down — the season of outdoor concerts, street festivals and farmers markets is just around the corner.

Here is A&E’s rundown of just some of the offerings in the Twin Cities over the next few months, so grab your iced coffees and rejoice. 

Mill City Farmers Market

Located in the shadow of the Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Farmers Market is accessible from campus by light rail, bus and walking (just follow the Stone Arch Bridge to the Guthrie Theater). The market opens this Saturday and will continue through October. Pick up your weekly produce, a cup of coffee or new cooking tricks, thanks to the Mill City Cooks series, which teaches shoppers a new recipe based on in-season produce offerings. 

When: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays, May through October (market opens at 9 a.m. in October)

Where: 704 S 2nd St., Minneapolis


Ever wanted to look inside the countless art studios and galleries across Northeast Minneapolis? The 23rd Annual Art-A-Whirl is your chance — the weekend-long studio tour connects art fans with artists themselves. Over 650 artists will participate at over 50 locations throughout the neighborhood, and each tour stop will involve a different activity, from workshops to conversations with the artist. 

When: May 18th (5-10 p.m.), May 19th (12-8 p.m.), May 20 (12-5 p.m.)

Where: visit nemaa.org/art-a-whirl for specific tour locations 

Lake Street Dumpling Tour

On June 2, the Midtown Farmers Market will focus on a widely loved food: dumplings. Starting with the Midtown Farmers Market, the tour will work its way through Lake Street and its wide variety of sambusas, momos and empanadas. Dumpling fans can walk the tour on foot or by bike, or travel between stops on the 21 bus. 

When: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., June 2 

Where: check in at Midtown Farmers Market, 2225 E Lake Street, Minneapolis

Cost: $5 (includes 2 free samples, with more available for purchase throughout the tour)

Rock the Garden

Held at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the day-long outdoor music festival is co-hosted by 89.3 The Current and the Walker Art Center. Father John Misty headlines the festival, with Kamasi Washington, Feist and others performing throughout the day. 

When: June 16, 1-10 p.m. 

Where: Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 726 Vineland Place, Minneapolis

Cost: $74 general admission tickets

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

Everyone’s favorite Instagram location isn’t for pictures only — it’s also the central location for this annual festival, now in its 24th year. The Stone Arch Bridge Festival is held over Father’s Day weekend and takes over the streets and park next to the bridge itself. Enjoy food, music and some of the best views of the Minneapolis skyline. 

When: June 15 (kick off concert from 5-10 p.m.), June 16 (10 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and June 17 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Where: Stone Arch Bridge (100 Portland Ave., Minneapolis) and Historic Main Street

Surly Brewing Co. Summer Concerts

Co-hosted by First Avenue, this summer concert series is held at the Surly Brewing Festival Field. The brewery is accessible from campus by light rail — less than a half a mile from the Prospect Park light rail stop. This year’s summer lineup? Spoon, Grizzly Bear, Sylvan Esso, Courtney Barnett and Gary Clark Jr. 

When: June 30 at 6 p.m. (Spoon and Grizzly Bear), July 20 at 7 p.m. (Sylvan Esso), July 21 at 6 p.m. (Courtney Barnett), September 8 at 7 p.m. (Gary Clark Jr.)

Where: Surly Brewing Co Festival Field, 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis

Cost: $35-45, depending on the show

Basilica Block Party

Originally started as a fundraiser to restore The Basilica of Saint Mary, the Basilica Block Party still supports The Basilica Landmark and its St. Vincent de Paul program. Held the weekend after the Fourth of July, this year’s concerts include Fitz and the Tantrums, the Revolution, BØRNS, Early Eyes and more. 

When: July 6 and 7

Where: The Basilica of Saint Mary, 88 N 17th St., Minneapolis

Cost: one-day tickets start at $60

Minnesota Fringe Festival

The Twin Cities are known for their thriving theater community, and the annual Fringe Festival is no exception — 2017’s festival hosted 870 performances in total. From August 2-12, theaters across Northeast Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods will be dedicated to fringe shows, all of which are less than 60 minutes long. 

When: August 2-12

Where: theaters across Northeast Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside

Cost: tickets and passes available in July

Open Streets Minneapolis

Open Streets events celebrate various neighborhoods across Minneapolis. Each event takes over a portion of a street, closing it to car traffic and allowing walking and biking throughout. The University of Minnesota’s event isn’t until September 30, but take the opportunity to travel to the Lyndale, Lake + Minnehaha, Northeast and Franklin neighborhoods throughout the summer months. 

When: throughout the summer

Where: across Minneapolis