An outdoor concert series born under the desperation of COVID and shadow of the Lake Street riots, the Hook & Ladder's Under the Canopy concerts will return for a second year with more audience capacity and hopefully less drama.

Organizers offered up an initial list of 2022 performers Thursday along with word that their audience capacity — outside their historic firehouse-turned-venue at 3010 Minnehaha Av. in south Minneapolis — will significantly increase in size with the removal of the pod seating created last year for social-distancing.

Highlights on the May-October schedule include: punky veterans the Toasters, Agent Orange and Lee Rocker (of the Stray Cats); Louisiana groovers the Iguanas and New Orleans Suspects; another multi-stage installment of the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival; and special-occasion-style gigs by local mainstays such as the Belfast Cowboys, Davina & the Vagabonds, International Reggae All-Stars, Matt Wilson & His Orchestra, Malamanya, All the Pretty Horses and Cornbread Harris.

Harris's 95th birthday bash on May 6 is part of an opening-weekend lineup that will also include a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. More names will be added in the coming weeks and months.

Tickets go on sale starting next Wednesday, March 16, to members of the Hook Patreon Club (proceeds from which benefit the nonprofit venue), followed by the venue's e-mail list pre-sale March 17 and then the general sale March 18 — all via

"It turned into such a community-oriented event last year, we're embracing that this year," the Hook & Ladder's talent buyer Jesse Brodd said.

Indicators of that local and communal spirit, Brodd cited new sponsorship from media organizations, continuing support from Summit Brewery, and partnerships with neighboring businesses in the Hook's rebounding Longfellow area neighborhood — where the Third Precinct police headquarters and other buildings were torched and damaged following George Floyd's murder in May 2020. For example: Look for pre-show discounts at nearby Arbeiter Brewery and ticket discounts for bikers via the Hub Bike Co-op.

The fact that the series — originally designed for COVID safety — is returning at all is a sign of how well-received it was in 2021, what with COVID protocols being far less of a concern now for venues. And since more people can be accommodated without the social-distancing pods, Brodd said, ticket prices will be even lower than the reasonable range they were last year (almost all under $50, and many $25 or under).

Here's the full schedule so far confirmed for Under the Canopy 2022:

5/05 - Cinco De Mayo Celebration

5/06 - Cornbread's 95th Birthday with special guests

5/20 - Davina & the Vagabonds

5/21 - The Belfast Cowboys' 20th Anniversary Show

5/27 - Summer Breeze Yacht Rock Party with Lonesome Losers and Private Oates

5/28 - Reggae Summer Splash with Socaholix, Innocent & International Reggae All-Stars

6/03 - ELnO with DJ Time Machine

6/04 - The Record Show

6/04 - Annual Morel Feast Fundraiser

6/09 - Jeff Ray & the Stakes album release

6/11 - Venus DeMars & All the Pretty Horses with Big Salt

6/19 - Juneteenth Celebration

6/30 - Eilen Jewell

7/08 - Matt Wilson & His Orchestra

7/14 - Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Kick-off

7/15 - Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Showcase

7/16 - Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival

7/23 - Malamanya

7/29 - 90s Dance Night with You Oughta Know

7/31 - Iguanas with Curt Obeda (the Butanes) & Camile Baudoin (the Radiators)

8/06 - The Record Show

8/18 - The Toasters' 4 Decades in Ska Tour with the Von Tramps & Space Monkey Mafia

8/19 - King Pari

8/20 - New Orleans Suspects and Joslyn & the Sweet Compression with Kung Fu Hippies

9/09 - Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats

9/16 - The Hook and Ladder's 6th Anniversary Bash

9/17 - Autism Recovery Foundation Fundraiser

10/1 - Agent Orange with the Toxenes & Low Rats