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Sounds of Summer

A&E gets the lowdown on the Twin Cities’ ever-growing outdoor concert circuit.

The cliché that’s been formed about the Twin Cities’ outdoor block party/festival circuit is that there are too many of them.

There’s some merit to the argument. But for a city bereft of all the summer debauchery our country’s coasts enjoy every year (Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, beaches, beaches — oh, and more beaches), the excess only seems like a necessary coping mechanism.

Also, for a city that’s simultaneously celebrated and criticized for its over-saturated music scene, the festival/block party format is an ideal way of getting a little taste of everything.

This summer, it’s business as usual for the most part. There are the day-long soirees, like the Red Stag and Bastille Day block parties, featuring some of our finest local outfits. Then there are the big-ticket events like the Basilica Block Party and the newly-added Live Nation-sponsored River’s Edge Music Festival in St. Paul, boasting a grab bag of both Twin Cities darlings and international headliners. More so than previous years, this summer’s festival circuit has something for each and every city dweller baking under the sun.

Of course, there’s a lot to choose from. Good thing A&E is here to break it down for you.

Bastille Day Block Party

When Sunday, July 15

Where Barbette – 1600 W. Lake St.

Lineup Peter Wolf Crier, A. Wolf & Her Claws, Prissy Clerks, Sleep Study

Cost Free

Perks Affordable, local


Red Stag Block Party

When Sunday, Aug. 5

Where Red Stag Supperclub, 509 First Ave. NE

Lineup Rogue Valley, Mayda, the Honeydogs, Chasity Brown, Kill the Vultures

Cost Free

Perks Affordable, local, location, food trucks


Stone Arch Bridge Music Festival

When Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17

Where Historic Main Street and Father Hennepin Park

Lineup Romantica, Heiruspecs, A. Wolf & Her Claws, Joey Ryan & the Inks, Hunting Club

Cost Free

Perks Affordable, local, location, food trucks, family friendly


Basilica Block Party

When Friday July 6 – Saturday July 7

Where Basilica of Saint Mary – 88 N. 17th St.

Lineup Train, Cake, Phantom Tails, Prissy Clerks, the Avett Brothers, Fitz and the Tantrums, OAR, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles

Cost Single-night pass for $40 before June 25; $45 June 25 and later, two-night pass for $70 before June 25; $80 June 25 and later

Perks Local, food trucks, family friendly


Rock The Garden

When Saturday, June 16

Where The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – 1750 Hennepin Ave.

Lineup tUnE-yArDs, The Hold Steady, Doomtree, Howler, Trampled by Turtles

Cost Sold out. Try Craigslist if you’re willing to give up a small fortune.

Perks Local, food trucks, family friendly


Rivers Edge Festival

When Saturday, June 23 – Sunday June 24

Where Harriet Island, Mississippi National River and Recreational Area, St. Paul

Lineup Tool, Motion City Soundtrack, Brand New, the Rope, Quietdrive, Scissor Sisters, Coheed and Cambria, Polica, Dave Matthews Band, the Flaming Lips

Cost Single-day ticket for $65, two-day ticket for $110 (prices to increase as festival nears)

Perks Local, family friendly

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