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Music Festivals in Minnesota

Music Festivals in Minnesota: Music festivals in the Twin Cities and Statewide


Music festivals in Minnesota range from classic rock, country, hip-hop, alternative and indie music. Here's a list of music festivals in Minnesota, including the music festivals in Minneapolis and music festivals in St. Paul.

Midwest Music Fest, Mid-April

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 is April 18-20. The lineup has Astronautalis, The Big Wu, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and about 100 other musicians and bands.

Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, Late April/Early May

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.

Bella Music Festival, Late May

The three day Bella Music Festival gets bigger every year. Rock, folk, rap, electronic and experimental artists, mostly local Minnesota and Wisconsin acts, perform in Harmony Park in Geneva, around two hours south of the Twin Cities.

For 2013 - This year, the festival will be named the Bella Mente Music Festival, and dates are May 24-26. Headliners include Railroad Earth, the The Bella Space Lab: Kraftwerk ReAmped, 4 On The Floor, and Heatbox.

Soundset, Memorial Day Weekend

A one-day hip hop and rap festival with national headliners, and a showcase of artists signed to local record label Rhymesayers. Minnesota's hip hop scene is surprisingly strong and Rhymesayers artists - Atmosphere being the best known - tour nationally and internationally.

For 2013, Soundset is on Sunday May 26. Headliners include Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, P.O.S., Atmosphere and Brother Ali.

Rock the Garden, Mid June

The Current radio station and the Walker Art Center co-produce Rock the Garden. Local and national alternative, dance and indie acts perform in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Minnesota Public Radio members get the first chance to buy tickets and a discount on ticket prices. This event always sells out fast so don't delay once tickets are on sale.

For 2013, Rock the Garden is on Saturday June 15. The lineup has Metric, Silversun Pickups, Bob Mould Band, Low, and Dan Deacon. And it's sold out - tickets were all gone within a couple of hours of going on sale. If you missed getting a ticket, here's some ways you may be able to get a Rock the Garden ticket.

River's Edge Music Festival, Late June

The River's Edge Music Festival bought big-name acts to St. Paul's Harriet Island in June 2012.

For 2013, the organizers say they'll be no festival, but watch this space for 2014.

10 Thousand Sounds Music Festival, Minneapolis, Late June

Local paper City Pages is putting on a festival, and the inaugural 10 Thousand Sounds festival will be held in downtown Minneapolis.

For 2013, 10 Thousand Sounds is on Saturday June 22 Headliners are The Walkmen, Free Energy, Greg Grease, Strange Names, Prissy Clerks and the Chalice.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Late June

The Twin Cities Jazz festival spans several locations - 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, also all in downtown St. Paul. And the best part? All the music is free.

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.

Vans Warped Tour, July

This one-day indie, alternative rock, metal, punk and hip-hop festival is held in the parking lot of Canterbury Park Racetrack in Shakopee sometime during the summer, with over 50 bands.

For 2013, the Vans Warped Tour is on July 21. Headliners include Forever the Sickest Kids, Mac Lethal, and Motion City Soundtrack.

Basilica Block Party, Early July

St. Mary's Basilica and Cities 97 hold the long-running Basilica Block Party to raise money for the upkeep of the church. The music plays on Friday and Saturday evenings, usually on an early July weekend.

The lineup mixes hot local artists with national acts. Some of the latter can be a little past their best, but still, a very popular event that usually sells out soon after tickets go on sale.

For 2013, The Basilica Block Party is Friday July 12 and Saturday July 13. Headliners for Friday are Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Matt Nathanson, and Father John Misty. On Saturday, Matchbox Twenty, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Goo Goo Dolls, and Cloud Cult are among the performers.

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