Rock the Garden 2016
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Rock the Garden 2016

Summer starts with a Boom! One day, two stages, eight bands. This year your kickoff to summer heads out of the garden and over to Boom Island Park in Northeast Minneapolis, along the mighty Mississippi with a view of the city skyline. Bounce from stage to stage, hit up the food trucks and beer tent, and soak up some sun while indie icons and buzz-worthy bands soundtrack the perfect summer day.

Gates open at 1 pm; music starts at 2:30 pm.

Rock the Garden 2016 Lineup

Rock the Garden 2016 opens with a blast of LA punk rock abandon when Plague Vendor hits the stage. With a frontman who channels Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Sid Vicious, their no-holds-barred power punk is frenetic, reckless, and super fun.
 GRRRL PRTY brings a celebration of femininity, hip-hop, and unsheathed swagger, featuring the spitfire poetess Sophia Eris, percussive hellion Manchita, DJ Shannon Blowtorch, and Southern-born Northern star Lizzo. Their sound is undeniably unique, gritty, and unapologetic. Rock the Garden 2016 will be GRRRL PRTY’s final performance as a group.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are revered nationally for their raucous hard times/good times live shows. These swaggering soul sensations channel greats like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave and practically explode with deep, primal, and ecstatic soulfulness. Hammond, horns, funk, and vintage R&B add up to amazing live performances for a band best known for their gold record Stax single and viral hit “S.O.B” called “that flawless, once-in-a-blue-moon melding of supercharged summer rave-up, audience singalong” (Los Angeles Times). Next up is Hippo Campus, four young Twin Cities musicians whose bright and jangly rock has catapulted them to the national stage, with stops at Lollapalooza, SXSW, and Conan along the way. “Wildly energetic” (A.V. Club).

The festival continues with the blues-inspired indie folk of Portland’s M. Ward. The singer/guitarist “is the best sort of traditionalist: one that blurs time. The vibe is retro, but the spirit is eternal” (Rolling Stone). Minneapolis’ synthpop heroes Poliça take the stage for their only Twin Cities summer show. A collaboration between producer Ryan Olson (GAYNGS) and chanteuse Channy Leaneagh, the band just released their most ambitious album to date and will head off on a European tour this fall.

At only 23, Chance The Rapper’s fans include Kanye West and Pitchfork, who called his recently released 2016 mixtape album Coloring Book “one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to.” Rolling Stone also celebrated his work as “the richest hip-hop album of 2016 so far.”

Psychedelic art rock surrealists the Flaming Lips headline Rock the Garden’s island party. Catch this must-see spectacle/freak-out, complete with frontman Wayne Coyne’s signature man-sized plastic bubble and beloved songs from a 30-year catalogue of alternative hits. Expect confetti.

Tickets Now on Sale

  • General Admission: $64
    Access to both stages and food/beverage vendors.
  • VIP Level: $150 / SOLD OUT
    VIP tickets offer exclusive access to a private area on the waterfront at Boom Island Park. Includes free parking across the street, a voucher for a Rock the Garden T-Shirt ($25 value), four drink tickets, complimentary VIP-only appetizer stations, and limited seating with a view of both stages. You’ll also enjoy activities such as meet-and-greet opportunities with hosts from 89.3 The Current and other special guests. Access to all general admission areas is also included.

To Purchase Tickets

  • Purchase tickets online at
  • Any unsold tickets will be available at the entrance to Boom Island Park. Reentry is allowed.
  • Children ages 6 and older must have a ticket for entrance. No refunds; all ticket sales are final. Advance tickets are print-at-home and will be received by e-mail. For online issues, call Etix Customer Support: 1.800.514.3849.

Schedule of Bands

Stage 1:

  • GRRRL PRTY, 3 pm
  • Hippo Campus, 4:30 pm
  • Poliça, 6:30 pm
  • The Flaming Lips, 8:45 pm

Stage 2:

  • Plague Vendor, 2:30 pm
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, 3:45 pm
  • M. Ward, 5:30 pm
  • Chance The Rapper, 7:30 pm

Stay Connected

Follow Rock the Garden on Facebook and Twitter for updates and behind-the-scenes photos. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #rockthegarden.


Rock the Garden will be held rain or shine. However, staff reserves the right to cancel the event or part of the event due to severe weather. No umbrellas are allowed into the event.

Getting to Rock the Garden at Boom Island Park: Walk, Bike, or Bus!

If you live in the area, please walk, bike, or take public transportation:

  • Bike racks with parking for 500+ bikes will be available at the south end of Boom Island Park.
  • A Nice Ride bike drop-off station will be located on the corner of Marshall and 8th Avenue NE. Throughout the day from 12:30 to 11 pm, team members will be on-site to ensure a guaranteed dock to return your Nice Ride bike and end your trip. (Note: The Boom Island Nice Ride station will be unavailable during event.)
  • All ticket holders are eligible for a free ride on Metro Transit buses and METRO lines to and from the event on Saturday, June 18, between the hours of 12 noon and 12 midnight. Download your free pass here. Metro Transit bus lines 11 and 14 serve the area.


Paid event parking is available at Hall’s Island, on 8th Avenue NE across the street from Boom Island Park. No parking is allowed in the neighborhood surrounding Boom Island, so please plan accordingly or walk, bike, or bus!


Rock the Garden is accessible to all visitors. For more information, contact us at 612.375.7564 or

Food Vendors at Rock the Garden

There are several great options to satiate your hunger: Anchor Fish & Chips, Best Way Gyros, Cheese Curds, Chef Shack, Chipotle, Foxy Falafel, 4 Bells, Fro Yo Soul, Green + The Grain, Gorkha Palace, Hot Indian Foods, Mid-Nord Empanada, Que Viet, Stanley’s Barroom, Taulelle Fries & Dogs, West Indies Soul Food, Wild Earth Pizza, and Wyn 65. (All vendors accept cash; some will accept cards.)

Free Hydration

Bring your empty water bottle and enjoy refreshing cold water throughout the Rock the Garden concert grounds provided by Tap Minneapolis.

Special Member Benefit

Walker Art Center and Minnesota Public Radio members: Bring your member card to receive a free Rock the Garden 2016 gift for being a supporter!


Gates open at 1 pm; music starts at 2:30 pm. This event will be filmed, photographed, or recorded by the Walker and/or 89.3 The Current. Ticket holders consent to appear in this documentation and its future use by the Walker and 89.3 The Current.

No outside food or beverages allowed in the event. Only empty water bottles will be permitted.
No umbrellas, lawn furniture, coolers, or pets are allowed. Blankets and strollers are allowed.
No professional photography, audio recording equipment, selfie sticks, or GoPro handles are allowed. No outside soliciting. No guns allowed. All bags subject to search.

About Rock the Garden

Launched by the Walker in 1998, Rock the Garden has been cosponsored by 89.3 The Current since 2008. Thirteen concerts have been staged outside the Walker since the inaugural event featuring the Jayhawks. Rock the Garden features national and international artists paired with the best in local music. Past performers have included Stereolab, Sonic Youth, Wilco, David Byrne, Bon Iver, Modest Mouse, Sharon Jones, Belle and Sebastian, Doomtree, Trampled by Turtles, Metric, De La Soul, Spoon, and many more.

Lead sponsors

Media partner

Official beer

Supporting sponsors

  • Etix
  • Phillips Prairie Organic Spirits

VIP sponsor

  • Thomson Reuters

On-site Sponsors

  • Cola 1893
  • Minnesota United FC