Treasure Island Casino is answering the call for a sizable amphitheater for the greater metro area.
In the most ambitious endeavor to offer outdoor concerts for an arena-size crowd, Treasure Island is planning at least nine shows on its property this summer in Welch, Minn., right outside Red Wing. Six concerts have been announced, including headliners Willie Nelson, Journey, Brad Paisley and Weezer.
Sure sounds like a State Fair grandstand lineup. In fact, Paisley, a grandstand veteran, will entertain on the island on Aug. 26, the first Saturday of this year’s fair.
Treasure Island’s temporary set-up will include about 9,000 seats with potential for 7,000 more people on a grassy berm where they can sit on blankets or lawn chairs. A stage will be built for the season. Portable toilets, a box office and concession stands will be set up, too.
“We learned a lot from the Toby Keith concert last August,” Cindy Taube, Treasure Island’s public relations manager, said of the outdoor concert that drew about 5,000 people.
“Our response from our guests was extremely positive,” Taube said. “This is a 2017 initiative. This set up will allow us to bring in bigger names and keep prices reasonable.”
Treasure Island has drawn more than 10,000 for its annual July 3 fireworks events and Taube said the casino was able to accommodate all the guests' vehicles, using an overflow parking area in an adjacent field.
Meanwhile, Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake is also planning an outdoor concert series this year. The only announced show thus far is Santana on July 13.
The Treasure Island outdoor series will kick off June 9 with Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels Band and Bruce Hornsby. Other announced shows are Journey and Asia on July 1; Weezer and Cold War Kids on July 14; Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton July 23; Brad Paisley (right, Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace) and Dustin Lynch Aug. 26, and Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows Sept. 16.
Three other concerts are booked but not announced, Taube said. Other outdoor shows may be added, as well, she said.
Treasure Island also will have indoor performances at it 3,000-capacity event center, including Loretta Lynn on July 22 and Everclear on May 26.