First Avenue will start moving ahead with booking talent for a weekend festival to take place at Parade Stadium in Parade Park next summer after the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board gave preliminary approval at last week's board meeting.

Photo by David Joles

Photo by David Joles

“In the spirit of both First Avenue’s and Parade Park’s histories, we look forward to collaborating with the Park Board to bring an outdoor festival or concert series to the heart of Minneapolis,” First Avenue says in its proposal. “With the skyline as our backdrop as national talent is paired with homegrown bands, our shows would be worthy of national attention with a distinctly local feel.”

While the event could just be back-to-back standalone concerts next year, First Avenue has high hopes that it could grow into a new festival to resemble other events around the country such as Pitchfork in Chicago or Summerstage in New York.

“It should be an event that people in Minneapolis can look forward to every year,” said Nate Kranz, First Avenue’s general manager.

The only hints we get about who could potentially be performing is that there are plans for a “major touring act whom First Avenue has built a relationship with throughout the last 40 years,” “one or two local artists with fervid hometown appeal” and some local bands.

Live music is planned to go from the afternoon until 9:30 p.m. Wine, beer and liquor will be sold as well as food. A date hasn’t been established yet.

First Avenue had several meetings with the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, who gave their endorsement for the proposal on the condition that First Avenue will work with a group of community members on some of the planning details. First Avenue plans to contribute a per ticket greening fee to the association and also volunteer some of their time to a neighborhood project.  

Over the next month, a more formal agreement should be ironed out that outlines the requirements for First Avenue. It should be back in front of the board at its Nov. 16th meeting.

First Avenue Proposal