First Avenue Eyeing Parade Park for Music Festival

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the October 17, 2011 issue of the Southwest Journal:


First Avenue nightclub is planning a large music festival on the Parade Park grounds next summer.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board gave First Avenue preliminary approval at its Oct. 5 meeting, but the nightclub and the Park Board still need to work out a contract.

First Avenue submitted to the Park Board a framework for what the festival would look like. Organizers say they would plan to get one major touring act and two major local acts to perform, as well as numerous smaller local artists who would get the opportunity to play in front of big crowds.

The festival would likely last two days with acts playing from the afternoon until 9:30 p.m., First Avenue General Manager Nathan Kranz told the Park Board. First Avenue would also bring in local restaurants to be food and beer vendors.

“We look forward to showing off Parade Park as a true gem in the best location in Minneapolis,” organizers wrote in their proposal.

The Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association has already penned a letter of support for the concert.

Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb, who represents the area around Parade Park, said the festival is an exciting proposal, but she expects that once more neighbors find out about it, they’ll want to give more input to make sure the concert operates smoothly.

Park Board staff plans to have a contract drafted in time for the board to vote on it at its Nov. 16 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Don Siggelkow said this would be the first time a music festival was hosted on Park Board property.

“We think it will be a great event that will produce significant income for the Park Board,” he said.

First Avenue identified seven potential weekends for the concert, with possibilities in June, July, August and September.