Rock the Garden is a music festival that takes place every year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is organized by the Walker Art Center and Minnesota Public Radio. This one-day music event features two different stages where several national and local bands perform.
The festival was first launched in 1998. The inaugural event was staged outside the Walker Art Center and featured just two bands. In 2008, 89.3 The Current, a radio station owned by Minnesota Public Radio came on board as co-sponsor. Over the years it has evolved into more of an indie rock festival.
The Walker Art Center remains as the venue for the festival. It is well known for showcasing incredible artists from around the world and organizing traveling exhibitions of its collections. The Center offers an incredible view of the city skyline and overlooks the iconic Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The festival aims to showcase world-renowned national bands as well as a diverse range of local performers. Artists who have performed at Rock The Garden in the past include The Jayhawks, Sonic Youth, Medeski Martin & Wood, Wilco, David Byrne, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, MGMT, Neko Case, Lizzo, Babes in Toyland, Chance the Rapper, and many more. Camp at one of the lakes nearby or along the Mississippi River and combine your outdoor adventures with music favorites in Minneapolis.
There are general admission and VIP tickets on offer for Rock the Garden. They range in price from $80 for general admission tickets to $300 for VIP tickets. VIP passes come with exclusive perks like a view of the stage from the Walker Art Center's rooftop terraces, free non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary eats, free parking, and many other perks.
Children older than the age of six must have a ticket for entry. All ticket sales are final, and no refunds will be given. Check out the official festival website for updated information on tickets and pricing.
The Walker Art Center is located centrally in Minneapolis where Lyndale and Hennepin avenues merge. Motorists can expect added traffic on the days of the festival, and parking can be limited. If you do decide to drive all the way to Rock the Garden, make sure you get there ahead of time and keep a full tank.
Paid parking is available at the underground parking ramp. The surrounding streets have limited free parking. But these fill up fast, particularly on days when events are held. There is also accessible parking located via the underground parking ramp. Spots near the entrance and elevator are designated for patrons with disabilities. Remember to check clearance needs for the height of your rig before traveling.
Guests can get to the Walker Art Center by Bus or Light Rail. There are several Metro Transit Bus Lines that serve the venue. If you hold a GA or VIP ticket, you're eligible for a free ride on Metro lines and Metro Transit buses to and from the event. All you need to do is download the free pass that is usually available on the website.
Since the festival takes place at an art center, camping on site is not an option. You'll need to book a spot at a campsite or RV park nearby.
The Minneapolis area has an abundance of RV resorts and campgrounds to meet every budget and need. These are well-maintained and come with useful facilities like full hookups, showers, hot tubs, and free WiFi. You can choose a campsite that's away from the center to get away from the hustle and bustle or pick an RV park that's close to the venue.
Bikes, skateboards, scooters, and other motorized vehicles will not be allowed inside the venue. The best way to get around is on foot. Every attempt has been made to make the venue easy to navigate for patrons with disabilities. There will be accessible viewing platforms near both stages. These areas have seats and are wheelchair accessible as well. Much of Rock the Garden takes place outdoors among large sculptures that welcome attendees.
Most Rock the Garden attendees choose to dress in stylish summer attire for the festival. Artsy folk love to show their personal style through clothing, too. So, bring out your favorite crop tops, funky t-shirts, shorts, flowy skirts, and summer dresses. Wear a pair of quirky shades and a hat to complete your look. Don't forget to put on shoes you'll be comfortable in all day.
It's a good idea to pack lightly for the day. Make sure you're carrying your ticket, sunscreen, a portable charger, and your cash or cards. Take an empty water bottle and refill it at one of the complimentary filtered water stations. You will need a valid photo ID to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated at all times. There will be a variety of food and beverage options available to help you stay refreshed and recharged. Portable restrooms will be present at different spots on the venue. Dedicated VIP restrooms will be on site as well.
Campsites and RV parks in the area allow cooking as long as it is contained within your RV. You may also be permitted to use an outdoor grill or barbecue at some local campgrounds. Remember to check what your campsite allows before arrival. Fill your RV pantry before coming to the area to avoid leaving your campsite, or load up on supplies in the area the day before or after the festival to maximize your time. Guests will not be allowed to cook at the venue, and outside food or beverages are restricted.
The Walker Art Center is situated in a part of town where there are some truly great eateries. You'll find plenty of pubs and restaurants along with some outstanding fine dining restaurants. You can also indulge in different cuisines like Chinese, Mexican, and Brazilian or round off your meal with some delicious baked goods.
A range of food and beverage delights will be on sale at the venue throughout the day and into the night. You'll also have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to choose from at Rock the Garden. Food and beverage vendors accept cash, but not all of them accept cards. So, you may want to go prepared with a bit of extra cash to avoid ATM lines.
Security personnel will be present in and around the venue. They will be making rounds so you can flag them down if you require assistance while at Rock the Garden. In case you need to store any valuables or medical equipment, you will have access to a locker. Bags will be checked before entry, and any prohibited items will be confiscated.
Rock the Garden is a rain or shine event, and no refunds will be given if adverse weather occurs. Umbrellas will not be allowed, but it's a good idea to carry a rain poncho and wear sturdy shoes. In the rare event of extreme weather, the festival may be canceled. Updates will be posted on the official website and social media pages.
A medical tent will be located near the main lobby. Trained festival staff and EMTs will be on site to assist anyone in need. Accessible portable toilets and water-filling stations will be present throughout the venue. Certain medications will be allowed in as long as they are cleared by security. Emergency care and pharmacy services sit within 20 minutes of Walker Art Center.