Rock the Garden 2016: Essential Info

Rock the Garden 2015
Rock the Garden 2015 (MPR Photo / Nate Ryan)

Because there is so much excitement and information for this year's Rock the Garden, we've compiled a practical guide to resources needed for Saturday's event at Boom Island. If you can't find it here, check out our comprehensive Rock the Garden page.


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.

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful sunny day, bring ample sunscreen and an empty water bottle for hydration.


• Port-o-Potties, including ADA accessible units are located behind the two vendor locations and behind the larger stage.
• VIP area has dedicated restrooms.

Getting There

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!

Parking is limited, please walk, bike, carpool, 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. Note: the Nice Ride Boom Island Station will be unavailable during Rock the Garden.

  • 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.


Tickets are SOLD OUT.

  • 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.

Set Times

1:00 p.m. - gates open

2:30 p.m. - Plague Vendor (Stage 2)

3:00 p.m. - GRRRL PRTY (Stage 1)

3:45 p.m. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (Stage 2)

4:30 p.m. - Hippo Campus (Stage 1)

5:30 p.m. - M. Ward (Stage 2)

6:30 p.m. - Polica (Stage 1)

7:30 p.m. - Chance the Rapper (Stage 2)

8:45 p.m. - The Flaming Lips (Stage 1)

Find more information about all Rock the Garden artists at our exhaustive Rock the Garden page.


Food and Beverages

A listing of food and beverage providers on-site at Rock the Garden. Note, no food or drinks are allowed into the event. You may bring empty water bottles, which can be filled with water provided by TapMpls.

Beer and Vodka Tickets are $7, available at the Beer/Vodka tents. Two types of Summit beer, Special vodka cocktail by D'Amico/ Phillips Vodka, & food from:

• Anchor Fish & Chips

• Best Way Gyros

• Cheese Curds

• Chef Shack

• Chipotle

• Foxy Falafel

• 4 Bells

• Fro Yo Soul

• Green & Grain

• Gorkha Place

• Hot Indian Foods

• Mid-Nord Empanada

• Que Viet

• Stanley's Barroom

• Taulelle Fries & Dogs

• West Indies Soul Food

• Wild Earth Pizza

• WYN 65


The hashtag on all social media sites is #RockTheGarden.

Follow @TheCurrent, @LocalCurrent, @RockTheGarden and @WalkerArtCenter for lots of #RockTheGarden updates!

Give the bands a shout-out on Twitter:

Plague Vendor: @plaguevendor

GRRRL PRTY: @grrrlprty

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats: @nrateliff

Hippo Campus: @thehalocline

M. Ward: @mwardtweeting

Poliça: @thisispolica

Chance the Rapper: @chancetherapper

The Flaming Lips: @theflaminglips

You can also add TheCurrentSnaps on Snapchat; look for the Rock the Garden filter.

Merch & Swag

The official Rock the Garden merchandise tent is located right beside The Current tent. Work began in late November to create a wide-ranging mix of designs. Three different organizations came up with the designs that were incorporated into the Rock the Garden merchandise lineup.

It all started with the identity shirt which highlights the location change from the Walker to Boom Island, and is quite prevalent throughout the grounds. That design is featured on both men's and women's shirts, a hoodie, the waterbottle and a hat.

Prohibited Items

• No weapons (guns, knives, etc.) allowed.

• No outside soliciting.

• No video or audio recording.

• No lawn furniture, coolers, umbrellas or pets.

• No illegal drugs of any kind.

• No items brought in can be left at the site, e.g. if you bring it, take it!

• All bags subject to search.

VIP Information

• Hours: 1:00pm-10pm.

• VIP wristband required for entry.

• Food trucks will be serving snacks, cash bar, each patron will get 4 free drink tickets when they check in.

• VIP Parking at Hall's Island, enter at 11th Ave and Marshall.

• All VIPs must wear wristbands at all times- including wristbands indicating 21+.

• Event food and beverages may be brought into VIP areas.

• Security and police will be nearby VIP area and all perimeters.

Medical & Police Assistance

• FIRST AID is located in a tent near the North Entry.

• EMTs will be on hand during the event.

• Locate staff with radios to access emergency assistance.

• Missing persons location is the Information Booth nearest the North entry.


There will be a raised platform just off the path located between the two stages that is our designated ADA area. People are also welcome to email with any additional questions.


A few helpful tips from several years of experience:

  • Sunblock. Always sunblock.

  • Blankets are welcome at the event, but unlike previous years, there's not a hill from which to watch all the action, and there are two stages, so you might park your blanket on the perimeter of the grounds.

  • It may rain during the festival. Pack a poncho; they're small and they cost $2 in the camping section at any major retailer (we'll be selling them at The Current tent, too). No umbrellas are allowed at Rock the Garden.

  • Put your fully charged smartphone in a ziplock baggie. You'll still be able to use it (maybe not the camera), and it'll stay dry.

  • Bring earplugs! This is a music festival and it will be loud.

  • Text "garden" (without quotes) to 677677 to receive official Rock the Garden event information like set times and weather updates.

  • This is a zero-waste event. If you bring it in with you, take it out with you.

  • Take time to soak in the festival — the headliner is wrapping up before you know it. There is a 10 p.m. hard stop. Be kind to the neighbors; we are in a residential setting.


Lead Sponsors

Chipotle   Polaroid   University of Minnesota

Media Partner


Official Beer

Summit Brewing Co.

Supporting Sponsors

Etix   Prairie Organic Spirits

VIP Sponsor

Thomson Reuters

On-Site Sponsors

1893 from the makers of Pepsi Cola   Minnesota United FC