Already hit with the cancellation of St. Paul’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.
“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 Motörhead gig at his legendary club.
The club confirmed the decision Tuesday after weeks of inquiring tweets 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 — set for July 20 at Parade Athletic Fields near downtown Minneapolis — was stuck in limbo.
Kranz did not name names, but at least one of the pullouts is coming to town for another big summer event. Another legendary act probably isn’t coming here at all. A search for replacements came up short, given the relatively late notice and the inability to shift the date of the event, which was set by a permit from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
“For our inaugural fest we hope to create an event that lives up to the high standards of First Avenue,” said a news release from the club. “If we had moved forward this year that would not have been possible.”
The club originally hoped to stage the festival in 2012, but pulled the plug last March because it got too late a start in booking bands after waiting for approval to use the city park. Kranz said he and the 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,” he said. “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 big outdoor shows that First Ave is promoting at other venues this summer. That includes the already sold-out Alabama Shakes concert July 28 outside the Cabooze in Minneapolis, and a show in Duluth announced Monday — an only-in-Minnesota gig featuring Trampled by Turtles and Atmosphere on June 29 at Bayfront Festival Park.