Call it a refresh, or a reboot. Whatever you call it, there's a new strategy for the concert series this summer at Canterbury Park in Shakopee — concerts only on Fridays and mostly rock or country acts.
This week, the horse racing track announced its first four shows:
- Night Ranger, '80s rockers known for "Sister Christian," on June 2.
- Killer Queen, a Queen tribute band from England, on July 21.
- '90s MTV favorites Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors on Aug. 11.
- "How Country Feels" hitmaker Randy Houser on Sept. 8.
"We experimented with Tuesday concerts last year, and they didn't sell," said Canterbury media relations manager Jeff Maday. "Our marketing and entertainment people want to do Friday only."
The track offers racing on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Maday said Canterbury hopes to present 10 concerts this summer, sticking to rock and country acts because they consistently sell tickets.
Last year, the track hosted 11 concerts, including Gov't Mule, Martina McBride and Trombone Shorty. The shows were booked in conjunction with Sue McLean & Associates, veteran Twin Cities promoters best known for its long-running series at the Minnesota Zoo.
This year, Canterbury is working with a different booker, Variety Attractions, an Ohio-based company that also buys bands for the annual Lakefront Music Fest in Prior Lake.
These Canterbury concerts are presented in front of the racetrack's grandstand, with a capacity of about 2,500, as opposed to in the infield where the Twin Cities Summer Jam and other festivals have been held.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at tickets.canterburypark.com. Parking is free.
A permanent 19,000-capacity amphitheater is being developed adjacent to Canterbury Park. It is not expected to open this year.