After commencing the somber Lenten season Wednesday, the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis jump-started plans Thursday for a big party come summer.

Basilica Block Party organizers announced that their popular music bash will return in 2024 after a two-year hiatus — but it won't take place over its usual weekend or on its namesake church grounds.

The two-day fundraiser festival is relocating to Boom Island Park along the Mississippi riverfront near downtown Minneapolis. It's moving on the calendar, too, from its usual weekend after the Fourth of July to Aug. 2-3.

Organizers said the party is staying on mission, though, raising the basilica's profile in the community and raising money for good causes. All profits will go toward structural preservation of the historically designated basilica and to the church's St. Vincent de Paul ministry for needy residents.

"We like the idea of the basilica being on the move and reaching other parts of the city, instead of always asking everyone to come to us," said the Rev. Daniel Griffith, pastor and rector of the Basilica of St. Mary, who believes "there's new energy for the event and for our community coming out of COVID."

The block party's relocation was mandated by Xcel Energy. The power company owns the big parking lot near the basilica that provided the party's largest stage, and it needs the lot for a construction project this summer (and probably for several more years).

An artist lineup for the 2024 Basilica Block Party — which would have been its 30th year had COVID not sidelined it — will be unveiled in March. Organizers said to "expect some Basilica Block Party favorites from the past."

The artists are being booked by a new promoter, Jerry Braam, who previously oversaw the multi-genre Twin Cities Summer Jam festivals at Canterbury Park and last year's TC Summer Fest with the Killers and Imagine Dragons at Target Field. Live Nation booked the basilica party in recent years, after decades of partnership with homegrown promoter Sue McLean & Associates.

Basilica staff tried to revive the event after COVID-19 lockdown in 2021, but they likely did so too soon. As COVID fears lingered, the event got moved to September, added a proof-of-vaccination requirement, and then suffered a last-minute cancellation by one of its headliners, the Avett Brothers. Attendance, not surprisingly, dwindled.

Boom Island might qualify as a headlining act in the lineup this year. The park — at 724 NE. Sibley St., near the Plymouth Avenue bridge and across from the North Loop — proved a workable and popular concert site in 2016, when construction outside Walker Art Center forced Rock the Garden organizers to move the event to the riverside park with a lineup including Chance the Rapper and Nathaniel Rateliff.

For the Basilica Block Party, Boom Island could be a clear blessing on one front: They say it will hold more than 30,000 fans, when attendance was typically capped at around 16,000 people in its usual location around the church grounds.

While there will be room for more people, there will be one less stage at the block party this year, going from three to two. One stage will host the national headliners, and the other will be an all-local stage.

"We think it could have more of a festival atmosphere on Boom Island and really be a fun setting," said Molly Cashman, the special event coordinator at the Basilica of St. Mary who's in charge of the party.

Another difference in 2024: Longtime partner Cities 97 will not be the sole radio sponsor for the party, and multiple stations will be involved.

Also new: The party will have to compete with the newly announced Minnesota Yacht Club Festival, happening on Harriet Island in St. Paul two weekends before the basilica's party, with performers including Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alanis Morissette. However, other local festivals including Rock the Garden and the Summer Jam have been canceled in the two years since the last basilica party.

The basilica's bash has long been the largest nonprofit music festival in the Twin Cities. The first one was held in 1995 when the basilica desperately needed funds for building restoration.

With a wide range of performers since then — including Brandi Carlile, Weezer, Train, the Goo Goo Dolls and then-up-and-comers such as Imagine Dragons and Zach Bryan — the event has raised more than $5 million over the years.

Citing current structural needs at the basilica as well as poverty and homelessness issues in the Twin Cities, Cashman said: "The needs the party serves are still very much out there. That's another reason we believe it will be welcomed back."

Stay tuned for lineup and ticket info in the coming weeks via Tickets to the party in 2021 cost $80/day or $140 for both days.