Rocking the River

Live Nation’s River’s Edge Music Festival is the first step in a five-year effort to give the Twin Cities its own Lollapalooza.

Live Nation’s River’s Edge Music Festival

St. Paul’s Harriet Island has been the site of many music festivals over the years, but when Taste of Minnesota went bankrupt in 2010, it seemed as if the logistics of creating a successful summer concert event there were almost insurmountable. Fortunately, that hasn’t deterred Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the world, from taking the challenge head- on. On June 23–24, the newly minted River’s Edge Music Festival will come to Harriet Island, boasting Dave Matthews Band and Tool as the big headliners, with The Flaming Lips, Scissor Sisters, and 25 other bands rocking the riverbed all weekend long.

This is a big deal. Live Nation has signed a five-year contract to produce the event until at least 2016, and the company’s goal is nothing less than creating a sustainable, epic summer music festival in the Twin Cities—similar to Riverfest, which ended in 1990, only much bigger and better. The Dave Matthews show will be his first-ever outdoor concert in the Twin Cities, and the Tool show is that band’s only concert in North America this year.

Massive music festivals have become a staple of summer in many states—Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee), Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois), Sasquatch (George, Washington) Summerfest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)—but except for the country-centered WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota hasn’t had much luck sustaining a major festival, though many have tried.

Here’s hoping that Live Nation and River’s Edge put an end to that.

June 23–24
$110 for a weekend pass; if weekend passes don’t sell out, there could be some single-day tickets for $75.
Harriet Island
St. Paul