In its 26th year, the Basilica Block Party appears to be taking a new approach by aiming for a younger, indie-oriented crowd this summer. That’s what this year’s headliners – Sylvan Esso on July 10 and Hippo Campus on July 11 — suggest.
Sylvan Esso is an emo electro-pop husband-and-wife duo from North Carolina with only two albums to its name but plenty of upcoming festival dates, including Bonnaroo and Lightning in a Bottle. No stranger to fests in the Twin Cities area, Sylvan Esso -- featuring former Wisconsinites Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn -- has performed at Surly Brewing Field and Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires.
Twin Cities pop experimenters Hippo Campus have been a local mainstay since their days at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in 2013. When the group released its second album, “Bambi,” in 2018, they played two nights at the Palace Theatre. Last year, Hippo Campus dropped two volumes of demos.
The Basilica Block Party lineup was announced Wednesday morning on Cities 97, the longtime radio sponsor of this fundraiser for the Basilica of St. Mary and its outreach programs.
The Basilica Block Party has usually featured a Gen X-friendly mixture of established stars (Train, Brandi Carlile), local veterans (Semisonic, the Jayhawks) and newer names (Andra Day, Rachel Platten). This year’s millennial-loved lineup sounds more Spotify-curated than Cities 97-endorsed.
Joining Sylvan Esso on July 10 will be Dermot Kennedy, Weyes Blood, Courtney Marie Andrews and three indie-pop favorites of 89.3 the Current -- Jade Bird, Tash Sultana and Sharon Van Etten. The local stage will feature Koo Koo Kanga Roo, 26 Bats and Bora York.
The lineup for July 11 will showcase Hippo Campus and Iceland’s Kaleo, the Band Camino, Ripe, Misterwives, Halfalive and Shaed, who actually gets airplay on Cities 97 with “Trampoline.” The local stage will feature Nur-D, Mae Simpson Music and the Stress of Her Regard.
Tickets, priced at $60 for one day, $110 for two days, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at basilicablockparty.org.