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Best Free Summer Concerts In Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the most densely populated musical havens in the country.  Shake a tree, and a musician is bound to fall out of it. Logic dictates that there should be plenty of free music year round.  Here are a few of the best this summer.

Red Hot Art Festival
Stevens Square Park
1801 Stevens Ave.
Minneapolis, MN  55403

Dates:  July 25, 2015, 11a.m.-7 p.m. and July 26, 2015, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Red Hot Art Festival has been improving year after year, especially with the quality of its diverse musical offerings. More than 200 local artists and 20 bands are featured over this two-day event, and fest-goers will also find local food trucks, interactive games and hands-on demonstrations. The Stevens Square Community Organization presents the public with emerging acts and strives to make the event accessible and affordable to all. Past performers have included, Dem Atlas and Black Market Brass Band. Continue to check the website as updates on the 14th Annual Red Hot Art Festival are revealed.

MN Lake Harriet Bandshell
(credit: Lake Harriet)

Music And Movies In The Park
Lake Harriet Refectory
4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 230-6400

Dates: May 25, 2015 to Sept. 7, 2015

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board promotes more than 200 free concerts and 60 movies throughout the summer. The venues for Music and Movies in the parks include:  Lake Harriet Park, Nicollet Island Park, Father Hennipen Bluff Park, Minnehaha Regional Park, and Theodore Wirth Regional Park.  An eclectic mix of music and films follow the themes of action hero, family fun, Minnesota connection, movies with meaning, new releases and classic favorites.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival
Mears Park
221 E. 5th St.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 221-0488

Dates: June 26-28, 2015

In its 17th year, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is a "...not to be missed" tradition for Minnesota Jazz enthusiasts. For anyone trying to introduce the layperson to jazz, this is the event to indoctrinate the unconverted. More than 30,000 people are expected to gather in and around Mears Park for the joyoys festival. Open to the public and free to all, this festival assures that jazz is alive and well in Minnesota.

Related:  Best Cheap Live Music Venues In Minnesota.

St. Anthony Main Theatre

Stone Arch Bridge Festival
St. Anthony Main Theatre
115 S.E. Main St.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 331-4724

Dates: Father's Day Weekend, June 17-20, 2015

What are Dad's favorite words on Father's Day weekend? "Free music," of course!  The concerts on Water Power Park have included the likes of Sean Anonymous, The Cactus Blossoms, and Dan Israel. The family activities area is a welcome pit stop in-between music sets.

Summer Music And Movies @ The Walker
Loring Park (across the bridge from the Walker)
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN  55403
(612) 375-7500

Dates: Mondays, July 27, 2015 to August 17, 2015 at 7 p.m.

The Walker's summer music and movies program has evolved into a cross pollination event for esoteric film and music junkies. While a unique experience of music, film, and people watching is sure to be had, the essential nigh to attend is August 17. The collaboration of Mark McGee and his new Walker commissioned soundtrack for "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" promises an "I was there when...," type of event.  Music at 7 p.m., movies start at dusk.

Related:  Best Music Venues in Minnesota

Erik Ritter has a masters of fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute and regularly shows his assemblage artwork throughout the Midwest. The South Dakota Art Museum purchased his piece "Bird of Time" for their permanent collection. He facilitates "DeJunked Art" workshops at various locations. He lives in Osseo, Minnesota.

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