Your kickoff to summer starts with Rock the Garden 2018, the best outdoor music festival of the season! One day, two stages, eight bands. Overlooking the iconic Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and an unbelievable 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. For more details, visit rockthegardenfestival.com.
Gates open at 1 pm. The music starts at 2:30 pm.
Feist | listentofeist.com
We know. We love Feist too. Returning to Minnesota for the first time since 2012, Leslie Feist performs as the sun sets on the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. With Pleasure (2017), the Canadian singer/songwriter’s first album in six years, the four-time Grammy nominee shows once again the extraordinary depth of her artistry. This new work emerges as Feist’s most formally defiant and expansive so far, reflecting on secrets and shame, loneliness and tenderness, care and fatigue. Get ready for “sparks of rock’n’roll … balanced with simmering introspection across a collection of patient, lushly arranged songs” (Pitchfork).
Kamasi Washington | kamasiwashington.com
Summer has arrived when you feel the grass underfoot and the rumble of Kamasi Washington’s saxophone roll through your chest. Combining jazz, hip-hop, classical, and R&B, Washington’s award-winning album The Epic (2015) set him on a path as torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music. With projects spanning collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run the Jewels, and Ibeyi as well as a multimedia installation Harmony of Difference at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Washington refuses to be bound by genre. Taking in his full 10-piece band is a spiritual experience that will get hips moving and arms stretched up to the mid-June sky.
P.O.S | doomtree.net/pos
Ferocious. Vulnerable. Never what you expect. Minneapolis-based rapper, producer, and Doomtree cofounder P.O.S (Stefon Alexander) has a penchant for grinding beats and radical lyrics. Known for welding hip-hop with guitar squalls, screamed vocals, and futuristic beats, P.O.S blurs genres with Chill, dummy (2017), his fifth and most daring album to date. “What sticks with you is a sense of joy that surmounts all the anger and angst” (A.V. Club). Maintaining deep ties to his Minnesota roots, you may have seen his surprise guest appearance at Rock the Garden 2017 with up-and-comer Dwynell Roland. Get ready to shout it out as P.O.S takes center stage in 2018.
Nikki Lane | nikkilane.com
Hot damn. Nikki Lane is one part Loretta Lynn, one part Runways, served neat. She has been called the “First Lady of Outlaw Country,” a term she embraces. Lane’s stunning third album Highway Queen (2017) shows the young Nashville singer emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars, and vintage ’60s country-pop swagger, she crafts new music that will resonate as easily with Lana Del Rey and Jenny Lewis fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty.
U.S. Girls | usgirls.bandcamp.com/
American musician Meghan Remy founded U.S Girls in 2007. Now based in Toronto, the multidisciplinary artist has toured across Europe and North America, performing solo and most recently with a full eight-piece band. Remy’s musical, collage and film work have created consistent themes and sounds of mainstream pop and a mix of R&B and rock, with a heap of American feminism. Her latest album, In a Poem Unlimited, has been described as a “noise dance explosion” which topics explore histories of injustice (Hyperallergic). Known for her “dense, impenetrable music”, her newest album’s experimentation is “catchy as hell” (GQ).
Chastity Brown | chastitybrownmusic.com
Melding folk, pop, soul, country, and gospel, Minneapolis-based Chastity Brown’s sound has been described as “nothing short of a massage therapist for the ears and soul” (Star Tribune). She’s a bright, rising star in the United States and Europe, thanks in part to a strong local following and captivating performances.
Low Cut Connie | lowcutconnie.com
There is nothing better than dancing with 10,000 of your friends on a sunny summer day, and Low Cut Connie’s signature brand of rock & roll chaos will push the party to new heights. It’s an explosive and fearless live show, bringing together rock, blues, and in-your-face piano. Since the band’s beginning in 2010, Low Cut Connie has been widely recognized both for their recordings and for “their ferocious live show … unmatched in all of rock right now” (Los Angeles Weekly).
Father John Misty | fatherjohnmisty.com
In 2017, Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) released Pure Comedy, his third studio album under this moniker. His sardonic wit and unique instrumentation fuel a dark and delightful album topping best-of lists for the year. With lyrics alternately beautiful, disturbing, or confounding, his live shows—where Jim Morrison gyrations meet 21st-century social commentary—are not to be missed! Come kick off the summer under the glow of the Minneapolis skyline with headliner Father John Misty’s clever, existential musings.
General Admission: $74
Access to both stages and food/beverage vendors.
VIP Skybox Level: $300
VIP Skybox offers exclusive access to the view of the stage from Walker’s rooftop terraces and the air-conditioned comfort of the Garden Terrace Room, complimentary eats, three free drink tickets, and complimentary nonalcoholic beverages. In addition, a voucher for a Rock the Garden T-shirt (up to $25 value), free parking for your party in the underground parking garage, entry to the Grove on the ground level, and access to all general admission areas are also included.
Gate and set times may change as we announce additional bands; please check rockthegardenfestival.com for updated info.
To Purchase Tickets
- Purchase tickets online at Etix.com.
- Any unsold tickets will be available at the entrance. 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.
About Rock the Garden
Launched by the Walker Art Center 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 Belle and Sebastian, Bon Iver, David Byrne, Chance the Rapper, De La Soul, Dessa, Doomtree, Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Lizzo, Jeremy Messersmith, Metric, MGMT, Modest Mouse, the Revolution, Sonic Youth, Spoon, Stereolab, Trampled by Turtles, Wilco, and many more.
Walker Art Center
Known for presenting today’s most compelling artists from around the world and organizing traveling exhibitions of its world-renowned collections, the Walker presents a broad array of contemporary music, dance, design, theater, and moving image. Although it was more than 125 years ago when lumber baron Thomas Barlow (T. B.) Walker built a room onto his Minneapolis house, mounted his 20 favorite paintings on the wall, and opened his door to the community, it was in 1940 that the Walker’s contemporary-focused mission to be a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and active engagement of audiences was established. Supported by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Walker became a public art center presenting the work of living artists, forming a collection beyond the 19th-century holdings of its founder to the multidisciplinary works of today’s artists.
89.3 The Current is an all-music, noncommercial, member-supported station from Minnesota Public Radio. Now in its twelfth year, the award-winning station has grown into a far-reaching community, boasting members and online listeners from around the world. From local to legendary, indie to influential, the Current plays the best new music next to the artists you already love. Part of the Current’s mission is to champion emerging artists, support civic and cultural organizations, and give a platform to important voices that shape our community and make the Twin Cities a great place to live.