Soundset cancelled… where can we get some good outdoor music in its place?

For the past 12 years Minnesota’s own Rhymesayers has hosted the Soundset Music Festival; a one day outdoor hip-hop music festival that showcased hundreds of artists from the local to the national level. Past acts have included local artists like Greg Grease, Prof, The Lioness, and Sophia Eris, and national artists such as Da Baby, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott. There were multiple stages that hosted different talent such as musicians, DJs, B-Girls/Boys, and other art installations like artists creating graffiti live. The festival was originally hosted in the Metrodome parking lot, then moved to Canterbury Park, and was finally held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to keep up with its large number of attendees. This year on January 24 on their official website, Rhymesayers posted a letter to their fans announcing the show would be cancelled this year to “assess what Soundset will become in the new decade.”

Rhymesayers’ Official Statement:

The abrupt cancellation of Soundset left many of us to wonder what outdoor concerts do we have to look forward to this summer? Our weather in the summer is usually filled with sunny, warm, and humid days and cooler nights. The perfect setting for live music. After checking around online I found a few music festivals that might fill the void of a large outdoor venue and live music in the Twin Cities. Here are a few local shows that may be of interest to you:

Twin Cities Summer Jam

            Twin Cities Summer Jam is being held July 23rd through the 25th at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN. The festival is hosted by Minneapolis’ local  radio station KFAN and country recording artist Chris Hawkey, and is nominated for USA Today’s Best Emerging Festival. Performances this year range from Carrie Underwood, the Zac Brown Band, Ptibull, Nelly, and of course Chris Hawkey. Tickets for the festival start at $99 for one day or $199 for all three, with package specials and VIP tickets also available. There are campgrounds where you can reserve a camping space, or you can pay to park on the grounds for $20 per day. For more info visit their website at

The Basilica Block Party

            This year will be the Basilica’s 25th year throwing the Basilica Block Party, hosted by Cities 97.1. This outdoor concert is held at The Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis. Although hosted by a church to raise money for its yearly restorations, this festival is not religious and the agenda of the church is not imposed upon its participants. This is a two day festival, July 10th and 11th. This year’s performers include Sylvan Esso, Dermot Kennedy, Hippo Campus, Mister Wives, and Bora York, just to name a few. Tickets start at $60 for a one day pass or $110 for the two day pass. There are also four additional packages like the Fan Zone package that allows you specific stage viewing spaces, and the Hall of Fame package which offers you all of the VIP perks of the other three packages plus free parking and a commemorative t-shirt. There are also opportunities to volunteer to work the festival. Visit for more information on how to volunteer, buy tickets, or read more about the performers.

MPRB Music in the Park

            Minneapolis parks and rec centers host a slew of programs and activities over the summer. Some of these opportunities include summer sports for youth and adults, and fitness classes like yoga or pilates. One of my favorite things to do in the parks over the summer is Music in the Parks. Music in the Parks is a weekly concert series hosted at five parks throughout Minneapolis from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The concerts are held at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minnehaha Falls Park, Father Hennepin Park, the Nicollet Island Pavilion, and Bryant Square Park. The shows usually start between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm, and include performances from different Swing, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, and Classical artists. All of the concerts are free to enter and most times there are food trucks and other local vendors there as well. Go to for more information and to find schedules, closer to summer.

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