Minneapolis, April 24, 2017— This year Rock the Garden returns to the Walker on Saturday, July 22 headlined by Bon Iver, aka Justin Vernon. Don’t miss the festival of the summer at the newly renovated Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The concert features two stages for a non-stop musical experience. Kicking off the day is Twin Cities rap artist Dwynell Roland. Born and raised in North Minneapolis, he emerged as a rapper at the age of 13 in a collective called Twin City Boyz. His project “The Popular Nobody” defines him as a standout in the strong Minnesota hip hop scene. Be sure to check out this up-and-comer as he kicks off our new Garden Stage.
Taking their name from a Babes in Toyland song, Bruise Violet embrace many of the aesthetic contradictions of early 90’s grunge and alt rock. Describing themselves as ”sugar, spice, and a kick in the teeth” and “Broadway meets Bikini Kill,” the trio has rapidly ascended to one of the area’s “must-see” bands since meeting only a few years ago at St. Paul’s School of Rock.
The main stage kicks off with Margaret Glaspy, one of the strongest female debuts in the last year. Her rising star is hitched on personal lyrics, rough and catchy guitar, and a vocal quality that keeps your interest piqued. Pitchfork said of Glaspy’s latest release, “At their best, these songs share the self-scrutinizing intimacy of Elliot Smith and the imaginative melodic intonations of Joni Mitchell.”
Next up it’s Dead Man Winter, a new folk-rock group, fronted by Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, that takes the toughest lessons in life and turns them into a reflective album reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. The debut album Furnace charts the pain of Simonett’s recent divorce and was recorded at the legendary Pachyderm Studio.
Led by Will Toledo, the young but prolific songwriter from Portland, Car Seat Headrest is one of the breakout acts from the past year. This artist-to-watch found his voice and audience via Bandcamp and has been swiftly embraced by indie-music fans. Two tracks from his first proper studio album, Teens of Denial landed high in The Current’s Top 89 Songs of 2016. The band received recent praise from The New Yorker: “When you think you’ve heard it all before, you hear a melody that bends just the right way. He moves without the anxiety that it’s all been done before. Rather, there’s a confidence that it can be done again—better, catchier, more perfect, more honest.”
Los Angeles singer/songwriter/guitarist Benjamin Booker is aptly described by The Independent as “frenzied guitar-strumming and raw, soulful vocals that are hair-raising in intensity.” On his latest release, Witness, Booker has created his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues – drawing on everything from William Onyeabor’s 70s African psych-rock to Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough.
Rock the Garden is turning purple this year with a legacy performance by The Revolution. Be ready to dance to some of the biggest hits and essential b-sides played by original members and some very special friends. From When Doves Cry to Purple Rain to Kiss to Let’s Go Crazy, The Revolution shaped an essential musical period for The Purple One. They share a musicianship and style that only he could assemble. This dance party will be one for the record books.
Performing in the Twin Cities for the first time since 22, A Million was released, Bon Iver will return to the Rock the Garden stage as the 2017 headliner. The Grammy award-winning group had one of the most critically celebrated albums in the last year. With controlled experimentation, front man Justin Vernon traverses an electronic landscape of compressed vocals and glitches while staying true to a soulful sound. Watching Bon Iver against the backdrop of the new sculpture garden and the twinkling downtown skyline will be one of the best moments of the summer.
Rock the Garden 2017 Tickets will go on sale to Walker Art Center and The Current/Minnesota Public Radio members at 10am, Wednesday, April 26. Member ID numbers will be required for all pre-sale purchases. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 am, Friday, April 28.
To purchase tickets visit www.rockthegardenfestival.com. Please have your member number ready to participate in the member presale. Limit of 8 tickets per member ID. Children over five years old must have a ticket for entrance. No refunds; all ticket sales are final. All ticket orders must be made online. All tickets are print-at-home and will be received by e-mail. For online issues please call Etix customer support: 1.800.514.3849
Member presale (April 26, 10 am—April 28, 10 am)
General Public (April 28, 10 am—July 22)
Access to hillside, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and street vendors.
VIP Skybox-Sold Out
Rock the Garden 2017 Schedule
Saturday, July 22
1:00 pm – Gates open
2:30 pm – Margaret Glaspy
3:45 pm – Car Seat Headrest
5:15 pm – Ben Booker
7:00 pm –The Revolution
8:45 pm – Bon Iver
4:40 pm – Dwynell Roland
6:20 pm – Bruise Violet
8:05 pm – Dead Man Winter
10:00 pm – Gates close
Getting to Rock the Garden:
Walk, Bike, Bus!
If you live in the area, please walk, bike, or take public transportation:
Bike racks bike with parking for 500+ bikes and a Nice Ride bike sharing station will be located on Hennepin Avenue and Groveland Place.
Metro Transit bus lines: 4, 6, 12, and 25
Parking and Directions
Paid event parking is available in the Dunwoody Institute lot. The Vineland Place underground ramp is reserved for VIP ticket holders and is closed to the general public.
Bring your empty water bottle and enjoy free, cold, refreshing water throughout the Rock the Garden concert grounds provided by Tap Minneapolis.
Food and beverages
Food and beverages will be on sale from 1-10 pm. ID required to purchase alcohol.
Walker/Esker Grove Hours on Saturday, July 22
The Walker galleries will be closed. Esker Grove will be open from 1-10pm for Rock the Garden attendees only.
During the concert, stop by the merchandise tent for all the Rock the Garden and band merchandise.
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.
This event will be filmed, photographed, or recorded by the Walker and/or The Current. Ticket holders consent to appear in this documentation and its future use by the Walker and The Current.
No outside food or beverages allowed in the event. No lawn furniture, coolers, or pets. No professional photography, selfie sticks, or audio recording equipment 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 The Current since 2008. Twelve consecutive concerts were staged outside the Walker since the inaugural event featuring the Jayhawks. Due to construction in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Rock the Garden 2016 was held at Boom Island. Rock the Garden features national and international artists paired with the best in local music. Past performers have included Stereolab, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Antibalas, David Byrne, the Decemberists, Modest Mouse, Sharon Jones, Doomtree, Bob Mould, Trampled by Turtles, Metric, Chance the Rapper, De La Soul, and many more.
Walker Art Center
Walker Art Center One of the most internationally celebrated art museums and multidisciplinary art centers, the Walker Art Center is known for presenting today’s most compelling artists from around the world. In addition to organizing traveling exhibitions and presentations of its world-renowned collections, the Walker presents a broad array of contemporary music, dance, design, theater, and moving image. In 2015, the Walker celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding as a public art center dedicated to presenting and collecting the art of our time with a series of institutional initiatives, exhibitions, and events that spanned more than a year. 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 born. 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.
The Current® from Minnesota Public Radio® brings listeners the best authentic new music alongside the music that inspired it, from local to legendary, indie to influential, new to nostalgic. A non-commercial, listener-supported radio station, The Current® has helped launch and support more than 600 Minnesota artists during its eleven-year history. The Current Sessions®, live performances of emerging and well-established artists recorded in MPR’s Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio, have garnered national attention from music lovers, industry leaders and media outlets like Pitchfork Media, Stereogum and Prefix Magazine. One of the country’s leading authorities in presenting contemporary music to audiences, The Current® has received numerous accolades, including FMQB Triple A Conference Non-Comm Station of the Year, Program Director of the Year (Jim McGuinn), and Music Director of the Year (David Safar). City Pages readers have named the Current® “Best Radio Station” in its annual “Best of the Twin Cities” awards every year since the station’s existence. In 2015, the station’s online music coverage earned two Page One Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Current® can be heard at 89.3 in the Twin Cities, 88.7 in Rochester, 90.9 in Duluth and across Minnesota—check thecurrent.org for a complete list of stations. The Current® is available for streaming at thecurrent.org, along with other streams: Local Current (all-Minnesota music); Radio Heartland (acoustic, Americana and roots music) and Rock the Cradle (music for kids and their grownups).