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First Avenue calls off its summer rock fest in Minneapolis

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Clubs, Concert news Updated: April 23, 2013 - 1:06 PM

First Avenue will keep its bands indoors this summer. / Star Tribune file

First Avenue will keep its bands indoors this summer. / Star Tribune file

 

Already hit with the cancellation of this summer’s River’s Edge Fest, Twin Cities music lovers were hit with more bummer summer concert news Tuesday: First Avenue called off its inaugural festival.

The landmark Minneapolis club confirmed the postponement in a press release after weeks of inquiring tweets and much speculation about one of the most anticipated concerts of the outdoor season. Most of the summer’s other big music bashes have already announced their lineups, but First Ave’s fest – scheduled July 20 at Parade Athletic Fields near downtown – was stuck in limbo.

Parade Fields

Parade Fields

“We had a lineup in place ready to go, and then over the course of three days our two biggest acts dropped out,” said First Ave general manager Nate Kranz, whose disappointment was as audible as a Motorhead gig at his club.

Here’s some of what the press release says from the club: “For our inaugural fest we hope to create an event that lives up to the high standards of First Avenue. If we had moved forward this year that would not have been possible.”

Kranz did not name names, but at least one of the pull-outs is coming to town for another big outdoor event. Another legendary act probably isn’t coming here at all.

A search for replacements came up short given the relatively late notice and an inability to shift the date of the event, which was set by a permit from the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board. First Ave’s fest will have its day, though. Kranz said he and his staff will circle the wagons and lock in bands even earlier for next year. They might even make it a two-day event.

“We had plenty of bands that are interested, but they just weren’t available that exact day this year,” Kranz explained. “We can’t offer them another date like we can at the club.”

On the upside, all those calls looking for acts did lead to some of the other big outdoor shows First Ave is promoting elsewhere this summer. That includes the already sold-out Alabama Shakes concert at Cabooze Plaza a week later, July 28, and the cool, only-in-Minnesota gig announced yesterday with Trampled by Turtles and Atmosphere at Bayfront Festival Park on June 29.

There’s one more silver lining, too: The postponement frees up fans to attend the Grumpy’s Bash 13, also booked July 20 (by pure coincidence) in the parking lot party behind the downtown bar and featuring old-school First Ave regulars Mudhoney, the Melvins, Die Kreuzen and Negative Approach.

“Mudhoney is one of my favorite bands,” Kranz said, “so I know where I’m going to be that day instead of our fest.”

Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes will perform a week later for the club at Cabooze Plaza. / Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes will perform a week later for the club at Cabooze Plaza. / Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

 

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