Let's Start The Music!

May 26, 2011

Last Sunday evening I stood in front of Coffman and looked across at the mall area leading to the beautiful pillars of the Northrop Plaza. Campus was still. I felt relief as classes were finished and summer was finally setting in. The first question people ask you when you have finally wrapped up spring semester is "Do you have any exciting summer plans?" I think the most popular answer is: "I'm going to WE Fest or Summer Fest" or some other live, outdoor summer music festival. However it can turn into a big hassle between, paying for the camping site and the festival passes, on top of, trying to get a whole weekend off from work it. Lucky for you our beautiful campus is having its own Summer Music Festival at Northrop! And this festival is FREE! And it goes ALL summer long. That's right, June, July and one date in August! And there is going to be FREE FOOD courtesy of Jimmy Johns, Qdoba, and UDS. And, one more thing, PRIZE DRAWINGS. Can I just say who needs an iPod Touch?!

This summer we revamped our festival to bring bigger concerts with more diverse artists that are more relevant to our student body. We have partnered with many organizations, including Student Unions and Activities, Voices Merging, Northern Spark, and more. One of the new programs is Movies and Music, which definitely has its perks. We are co-presenting with Student Unions & Activities, bringing you a free outdoor concert and movie to watch; a perfect place to take out a new date that you don't want to drop fifty bucks on. One of our openers, U of M band Peregrine Perspective introduces a funky, soulful, psychedelic jazz ensemble along with Kill the Vultures, our experimental rap headliner, followed by the film Jurassic Park. At Northrop's Summer Music Festival you won't spend a dime and you'll have a splendid time.   

Even better than being free, you have a great opportunity to experience the diverse music scene that both the Twin Cities has to offer and your fellow talented student musicians. We are specifically having an open mic night for the U of M students spoken word group, Voices Merging! I personally am looking forward to our Friday Night Live headliner Sims. Andrew Sims is one of the voices of Doomtree, the well-known hip-hop collaborative in the Twin Cities. Doomtree strives for originality and has become an influential name in grassroots hip-hop, and Sim's message is one of empowerment, hope, and fearless beats. Along with evening concerts we also have a series of Noontime Concerts that you all can plan your lunch break around. Charanga Tropical is joining us again for this mini-series! Their music is rich in harmony and melody, and, as I found out last year, you can't refrain from dancing. It's just too tempting with their spicy variety of modern son, salsa, cha cha cha, and timba. Lastly, we're bringing First Avenue: TOO MUCH LOVE On Campus for noontime dance parties; thrown by Too Much Love resident DJ Sovietpanda, aka Peter Lansky. His beats are the best in dance music both new and old.

There are also concerts happening in on St. Paul campus presented by Student Unions & Activities. A variety of U of M students will perform over the lunch hour at the St. Paul Student Center Garden Terrace. I can't promise that campus will be quiet like it was on my walk; but, it will be an impressive Summer Music Festival. So what are your summer plans? You have everything you need right on the Northrop Plaza. Life is one grand, sweet song, so let's start the music!

For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit our website.

Image credit: Carla Schleicher

-Elise Whaley, Northrop Marketing Intern

Join the Conversation


In the past, I have attended free concerts during the lunch hour in front of Northup. Has this tradition ended? You mention lunch-time concerts on the St. Paul campus, but I couldn't find any schedules. help!

Yes, we still do have lunchtime concerts on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses! You can find our full schedule of events here. Enjoy the shows!

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