Love music, can't afford the price of a wristband? Never fear: there is a whole summer of free music festivals, block parties with local and national bands, spanning jazz, hip-hop, alternative, rock, pop, and country music.
Here's a list of free music festivals and block parties in Minneapolis and music festivals in St. Paul, and the Twin Cities Metro area in 2013. Lineups and dates are often TBA until nearer the date, and are always subject to change - always confirm details with the festival organizers.
Midwest Music Fest, April 18-20
Winona is a college town about two hours southeast of the Twin Cities. The three-day Midwest Music Fest attracts bands to play in small venues all over town. Most of the music is free. For 2013
, The Midwest Music Fest's lineup has Astronautalis, The Big Wu, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and about 100 other musicians and bands.
Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, April 28-May 5
Duluth is home to a surprisingly strong local music scene. Trampled by Turtles are probably the most famous act to have come out of Duluth (after Bob Dylan) but there are many, many other excellent bands from the Duluth area that you may have never heard of. Fix that at the annual Homegrown music festival. For 2013
, The Homegrown Music Festival is April 28 - May 5. The lineup has Trampled by Turtles, Charlie Parr, Actual Wolf, and nearly 200 other acts.
After a successful 2011 and 2012, the organizers have decided not to hold the Lyn-Lake Street festival in 2013 For 2013
, Not this year - hopefully they'll be back for 2014.
The Twin Cities Jazz festival spans several locations in downtown St. Paul. The main stage is outside in Mears Park in downtown St. Paul, and several more acts play at inside venues like the Hat Trick, Black Dog, and Amsterdam Bar. For 2013
, The Twin Cities Jazz Festival will be held on June 27-29. Headliners include Kenny Werner, Cyrus Chestnut, Walter Smith III, and Matt Slocum.
The annual Aquatennial summer festival has traditionally kicked off with a block party on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, usually featuring Cities 97-type artists. Sadly, cancelled in 2012, For 2013
, details are to be announced, but don't hold your breath for a block party this year either.
Details and acts to be announced, but you can expect fabulous food, popular local alternative, rock, and hip-hop acts and entertainers at this popular event. For 2012
, acts to be announced.
The Red Stag Supper Club hosts an annual block party, with a fine lineup of local alternative, hip-hop and rock acts.
Rock music, motorbikes and tattoos make up this all-day block party at the 331 Club in Northeast Minneapolis.
Concrete and Grass defies the traditional view that a festival should be one genre or another, with a diverse lineup which usually encompasses alternative, jazz, classical, and hip-hop acts. Concrere and Grass is held in Mears Park in downtown St. Paul.
A long-running event orchestrated by the Golden Thyme Coffee Shop at Selby and Milton Avenues in St. Paul, with acts ranging from neighborhood to nationally recognized.
A raucously fun all-day event at the Bryant Lake Bowl, with entertainers, rollergirls, live music and food.
This long-running community-style festival welcomes Jazz artists to Minnehaha Park for a free festival.
The Pizza Luce block party is a August staple at their Uptown restaurant, but the festival's ever growing popularity has forced the organizers to cancel for 2012, with the plan of returning at a new location for 2013.