The Vikings won’t be the only purple institution to take over U.S. Bank Stadium this fall. Prince’s family has penciled in an Oct. 13 date for a tribute concert in Minneapolis’ new stadium, but further details — including who will perform and ticket info — have yet to be announced.
“We are excited for the opportunity to bring everyone together for the official family celebration of Prince’s life, music and legacy, and there is no better place to do it than his hometown of Minneapolis,” his sisters and brothers said in a statement to the Associated Press, which pointed to tickets going on sale next month.
Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, hinted at the announcement last weekend on her Facebook page, where she called the concert “a day when we can grieve, share stories and dance together for a man who touched our lives, in so many different ways.” She added, “I regret not being able to give [you] this opportunity sooner.”
Stadium officials could not confirm the date, however, and only said they are “in discussions with Prince’s estate regarding a tribute concert.” Oct. 13 is a Thursday night during a bye week in the Vikings’ schedule.
Several of Prince’s former bandmates in the Twin Cities — who would likely be in line to perform at the event — also said Thursday that the date was news to them. In previous exchanges, however, they all seemed eager to participate.
Prince’s ’80s bandmate and protégé Sheila E. first brought the idea of a stadium tribute to light in the days after her friend’s death April 21 from an accidental drug overdose. “He’d want us to celebrate,” Sheila told the Star Tribune at the time.
Based on conversations with other prospective participants in recent months, the prevalent idea seems to be for Prince’s different band lineups to perform individual sets — from his Revolution group of the early ’80s to the NPG (New Power Generation) crew of the early ’90s on up to 3rdEyeGirl, the female trio that backed him the past few years.
Members of the Revolution, who played with him during the “Purple Rain” and “1999” years, are staging their own tribute Sept. 1-3 at First Avenue in Minneapolis. All three concerts sold out in an instant. Several of the NPG members played three tribute shows in June at the Parkway Theater in south Minneapolis. Those also sold out.
Filling a stadium is a whole other challenge. Word is that all-star guest singers would be invited to join Prince’s old bandmates. Many of his other close associates might also perform, including Morris Day and the Time and his recent protégé Judith Hill.
In the three months since Prince’s death, artists ranging from Beyoncé to the Dixie Chicks to Paul McCartney have sung his songs at their concerts to pay tribute to him. Stevie Wonder and Madonna both covered his tunes at the Billboard Music Awards in May, and last month’s BET Awards featured tributes with Sheila E., the Roots, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Maxwell, Tori Kelly, Wonder and Prince’s ex-wife, Mayte Garcia.
With enough big names, the stadium concert could attract big money for TV broadcast rights.
But it’s all still speculation for now. If Prince’s family operates as he did, they might keep fans in the dark until the big day arrives.