Summer 2016 starts with a boom! Due to construction at the Walker, this year your kickoff to summer heads out of the garden and over to Boom Island Park in NE Minneapolis along the mighty Mississippi with a view of the city skyline. One day, two stages, eight bands on Saturday, June 18, 2016!
The Flaming Lips
Chance the Rapper
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Tickets are on sale now!
- To purchase tickets, visit Etix.com or the in-person at the Electric Fetus.
- Any unsold tickets will be available at the entrance to Boom Island. 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: (800) 514-3849.
Follow Rock the Garden on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about the lineup. to receive Cross Currents, The Current's weekly newsletter. Use the hashtag #RockTheGarden on Twitter and Instagram to join the conversation and be sure to RSVP on Facebook.
The 2016 Rock the Garden lineup will be revealed on The Current during Oake & Riley in the Morning and online Tuesday, April 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. CT.
Formed in Oklahoma City in 1983, the Flaming Lips have released 16 studio albums. Their sound features lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, while the their lyrics contain elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles. Fronted by the affable Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips are known for their visually enchanting live shows, which often include elaborate light effects, confetti, and Coyne himself appearing within a large plastic bubble.
- Interview: Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips (2015)
- Interview: Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips live at the Minnesota State Fair (2006)
- Musicheads Essentials: The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
Inspired by artists from Prince to James Brown to Kanye West, Chance the Rapper lives up to his name: He takes chances. As a high school senior, Chance found himself at the forefront of a bustling Chicago hip hop scene after spontaneously releasing his debut mixtape that was recorded over 10 days in a public library studio. A year after its release, he was already playing the local but ginormous music festival Lollapalooza, not 10 miles from his South Chicago neighborhood. At 22 years old, Chance's latest project is with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, whose "Sunday Candy" was a favorite of The Current listeners in 2015.
Polica first came through the woodworks in 2011 when producer Ryan Olson assembled some of Minneapolis' finest musicians. Following their distinctive debut Give You the Ghost, Polica garnered well-deserved national attention for their 2013 follow-up, which featured Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on its lead single. Like Shulamith, the title of their latest effort commends the philosophies of a local artist collective admired by lead vocalist Channey Leaneagh. United Crushers is another synth-pop, bass-pounding, drum-heavy delight from a group that has graced major festival stages including Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Coachella and Austin City Limits.
- Polica perform in The Current studio (2016)
- Album of the Week: Polica, United Crushers
- Polica perform an intimate show in MPR's Forum (2013)
- Album Review: Polica, Shulamith
- Polica perform live in The Current studio (2011)
- Album Review: Polica, Give You the Ghost
Portland, Ore., based singer-songwriter and producer M. Ward is known for his folk and blues-inspired tunes, which he faithfully records in analog. Ward has released a number of solo albums over the past several years, along with five LPs as part of She & Him with Zooey Deschanel, as well as a 2009 album with Monsters of Folk, a supergroup that includes Rock the Garden alumni Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Conor Oberst. In March, Ward released his eighth solo album, More Rain, on which he collaborated with luminaries Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and NRBQ's Joey Spampinato.
- M. Ward performs in The Current studios (2012)
- She & Him perform in The Current studio (2010)
- M. Ward performs live in The Current studio (2009)
It's been a wild ride for Hippo Campus, who haves skyrocketed to national prominence since forming after high school graduation in 2013. The quartet of Jake Luppen, Nathan Stockert, Zach Sutton and Whistler Allen have already played Conan and toured with high-profile indie acts like Walk the Moon and My Morning Jacket, all on the strength of their nostalgia-inducing, achy, hamonic guitar-pop and explosive live energy. Their latest EP, South, was released in late 2015 to critical acclaim.
- Hippo Campus perform live in the Current studio (2014)
- Hippo Campus emerge from the bustling underground all-ages scene
- Hippo Campus run a victory lap with First Ave headlining debut
- Album Review: Hippo Campus, Bashful Creatures
Born in Hermann, Mo., Nathaniel Rateliff relocated to Denver, Colo., about 18 years ago, and over time, has built a loyal following in Denver for his pensive, folk-based songs. In 2013, Rateliff expanded to a full band, and two years later, released the self-titled album Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats on the Stax Label. The album has garnered praise from critics and the listening public alike for the soulful sound of songs such as "S.O.B.", "I Need Never Get Old" and "Howling at Nothing."
- Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform in The Current studio (2015)
- Album of the Week: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
- The Current's Guitar Collection: Nathaniel Rateliff, 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string
- Why and when The Current will play the song, "S.O.B."
Few live acts pack the punch of GRRRL PRTY, the explosive rap group led by MCs Lizzo, Sophia Eris, and Manchita. Backed by one of the Twin Cities' most revered DJs, Shannon Blowtorch, the fiery trio spit shrapnel about empowerment, pain, loss, and partying with a purpose, blazing a red-hot trail through the male-dominated hip-hop world. Their latest EP, GRRRL PRTY X BIONIK, was released at the end of 2015.
- GRRRL PRTY perform in the Current studio (2014)
- First Avenue Mainroom reopens with joyous GRRRL PRTY show
- The O.K. Show: Manchita on feminism, rapping, and her relationship with Eyedea
- The O.K. Show: Lizzo on self-acceptance and falling in love with herself
Plague Vendor are a take-no-prisoners rock band from southern California. They call their style "voodoo punk": thrashing guitars and wailing vocals over a hypnotic pulse from the rhythm section. Their recently-released second album "Bloodsweat" takes this signature sound to new heights, and they've built a national buzz around surging songs like their single "Jezebel."
Doors open at 1 p.m.; music starts at 2:30 p.m. 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 or audio recording equipment allowed. No outside soliciting. No guns allowed. All bags subject to search.
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.
If you live in the area, please walk, bike, or take public transportation:
- Bike racks with parking for 500+ bikes will be located 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 Ave. NE.
- A Nice Ride bike drop-off station will be located on the corner of Marshall and 8th Ave. NE. Throughout the day from 12:30 to 11 p.m., team members will be on-site to ensure a guaranteed dock to return your Nice Ride bike and end your trip.
- All ticket holders are eligible for a free ride on buses and light rail to and from the event between the hours of 12 noon and 12 midnight. Visit Metro Transit to fill out a short survey and redeem a free pass. Metro Transit bus lines: 11, 14.
- There will be a tiki tram running all day to and from Psycho Suzi's, the location of the official Rock the Garden pre-party. Tiki tram rides cost a reasonable $5 per person each way.
Paid event parking is available at Hall's Island, on 8th Ave. 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!
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!
Q: When is Rock the Garden?
A: Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 2-10 p.m. CT.
Q: Where is the event taking place?
A: Because of ongoing construction at the Walker Sculpture Garden, this year's Rock the Garden will be held at Boom Island in Northeast Minneapolis.
Q: When will you announce the lineup?
A: Tuesday, April 5 during Oake & Riley in the Morning on The Current. You can also follow The Current on Facebook and Twitter or sign up to receive Cross Currents, The Current's weekly newsletter, for updates.
Q: When do tickets go on sale?
A: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 10 a.m. CT for Minnesota Public Radio and Walker members. Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 10 a.m. for the general public.
Q: How much are tickets? What about the member discount? Will there be a VIP area?
A: Ticket prices and member discount information is available above.
Q: How many bands will perform?
A: We'll have two stages with eight bands throughout the day – a true rock festival experience!
Q: Where will I park? What about transit options? Will there be bike racks?
A: Not to worry! We'll update attendees with specifics on parking, transit options, vendors and a handy site map closer to June.