A regular camp-out site for K102 and 93X listeners, Somerset, Wis., will try to woo the 89.3 Current crowd out to its Apple River shores this summer with a new fest headed up by the Flaming Lips Aug. 19-20. Dubbed Sound Town, the two-day event will also feature the New Pornographers, DeVotchka, Delta Spirit, Ghostland Observatory, old-school rappers Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, plus a farm team of local favorites including Solid Gold, Heiruspecs, Roma di Luna, Pink Mink, White Iron Band, White Light Riot and about a dozen more.
The bash is taking place at the revamped Float-Rite Park, now called the Somerset Ampitheater and featuring permanent seats (read: no mud-pit down front like at the old X Fests and Ozzfests). There are also new campgrounds adjacent to the concert area, where the bands will be stretched out over three stages. For those who don't know, Somerset is just across the St. Croix River from Stillwater, about 45 minutes from the center of the Cities. Tickets go on sale Friday at 9 a.m. at prices TBA.
Not exactly a local answer to Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza -- even Rock the Garden and Des Moines' 80/35 Fest have more impressive lineups -- Sound Town at least sounds promising. The Lips were as thrilling and freaky as ever at Roy Wilkins last fall, but they drew a meager 2,300 fans compared to the 8,000 they drew at the State Fair in 2006 (perhaps a fault of the venue). The rest of the bands are barely big enough to fill First Ave. Still, music fans of all types in the Twin Cities are incredibly eager to enjoy outdoor music this year.
What do you think? Is it an event you'd like to attend? Or should Somerset stick to the headbanger and boot-scootin' parties?