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Basilica Block Party Preview

Basilica Block Party
Basilica Block Party (credit: Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission)

Basilica Block Party
16th Street and Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 317-3457

Dates: Friday, July 6th and Saturday 7th, 2012
Price: Single-night Pass: $45, Two-night Pass: $80

Summer music festivals are popular events in the Twin Cities, attracting diverse crowds of all ages. The annual Basilica Block Party, now in its 18th year, is a two-day music festival scheduled to kick off on Friday, July 6 and wrap up on Saturday, July 7. The origins of the Basilica Block Party date back to 1995 when the event was started as a way to raise money for the $9.5 million structural restoration of the historic Basilica of Saint Mary. Because the renovations are ongoing, every year, proceeds from the Basilica Block Party contribute to the funding of this effort. Additionally, concert proceeds also benefit the St. Vincent de Paul outreach program, an organization that provides food and shelter to nearly 3,500 people in need each month.

The primary goal of the Basilica Block Party is to promote the spirit of volunteerism and community as evidenced by the destination of the concert proceeds. Children are welcome to attend the music festival, making the Basilica Block Party a great family-friendly event. In recent years, the two-day music festival has attracted over 25,000 attendees. Combine the spirit of philanthropy with amazing food, a family-friendly atmosphere and two days of rockin' good tunes in the heart of Minneapolis and you get one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year. So mark your calendar for the 2012 Basilica Block Party where good music translates into the support of an admirable cause.

The Basilica Block Party will feature three stages set up near the Basilica of Saint Mary and surrounding blocks. Each stage will host live acts throughout the evening, with gates opening at 5 p.m. Here are some not-to-miss acts that will be gracing one of the festival's three stages this year.

Train singer Pat Monahan
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


Headlining the Basilica Block Party this year is Train, the San Francisco pop band that lays claim to a multitude of hit singles, including "Meet Virginia," "Drops of Jupiter," "Calling All Angels," and "Hey, Soul Sister." The band is sure to perform a nice mix of both new tracks and old hits for a perfect kick-off to the festival this year. Catch them on the Sun Country Stage on Friday.

Imagine Dragons

This indie pop group will be travelling to Minneapolis from their base in the City of Sin this summer to perform on the Basilica Block Party's Walser Stage on Friday, July 6. Newer to the popular music scene than some if their festival performer counterparts, the band hit the big time earlier this year when their single, "It's Time," started getting playtime on MTV and major radio stations. An interesting tidbit: the meaning of band's name is only known by its members, and they're keeping the true story behind the anagram "Imagine Dragons" under wraps.

The Avett Brothers
(Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Avett Brothers

Train will be headlining the 2012 Basilica Block Party alongside the Avett Brothers, who are well known for their hit albums Emotionalism and I and Love and You. This North Carolina-grown indie band combines folk, punk and rock and roll with their home state's bluegrass and country roots to form an invigorating blend of sounds. The band recently made an appearance at the 2011 Grammy's where they performed with Bob Dylan and emerging British folk/rock band, Mumford & Sons, in an amazing rendition of Dylan's "Maggie's Farm." The Avett Brothers will be appearing on the Sun Country Stage on Saturday.

The Lumineers

Also making an appearance on the Sun Country Stage on Saturday, The Lumineers are another relatively new group making bleeps on the nation's musical radar. The Colorado band's most recent single, "Ho Hey," is actually responsible for their increasing fame and even led to the band's very first music video earlier this year.

Benj Gershman, Marc Roberge and Richard On of O.A.R
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For Rock The Kasbah)


Of A Revolution, or OAR, as the band has been come to be known, has been around since 1996 and their albums are sure to be heard on any given visit to an American college campus. Some of the rock group's most popular hits, including "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker," "City on Down" and "3am" attained musical notoriety without the aid of any advertising of their album. Instead, the band's songs gained popularity by being passed around college dorms, making OAR's success story a truly unique one. Watch them perform live on Saturday from the Walser Stage.

Also catch The Head and the Heart, Mat Kearney, Cake, Tyrone Wells, Phantom Tails, Prissy Clerks, A. Wolf & Her Claws, Fitz and the Tantrums, Graffiti6, Stuart D'Rozario, Luct Michelle & The Velvet Lapelles, Farewell Milwaukee and The Boys N' The Barrels at this year's shows. See the lineup here.

A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at

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