Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer Justin Vernon is best known as founder and frontman of Grammy-winning indie folk band Bon Iver. His frequent collaborations include artists such as Bruce Hornsby and Kanye West (who has called Justin his “favorite living artist”). Last fall, after a five-year hiatus, Bon Iver released 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar), described as “a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence.”
Rock the Garden is turning purple this year with a legacy performance by The Revolution. Be ready to dance to some of the biggest hits and essential b-sides played by original members and some very special friends. From When Doves Cry to Purple Rain to Kiss to Let’s Go Crazy, The Revolution shaped an essential musical period for The Purple One. They share a musicianship and style that only he could assemble. This dance party will be one for the record books.
Los Angeles singer/songwriter/guitarist Benjamin Booker is aptly described by The Independent as “frenzied guitar-strumming and raw, soulful vocals that are hair-raising in intensity.” On his latest release, Witness, Booker has created his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues – drawing on everything from William Onyeabor’s 70s African psych-rock to Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough.
Car Seat Headrest
Led by Will Toledo, the young but prolific songwriter from Portland, Car Seat Headrest is one of the breakout acts from the past year. This artist-to-watch found his voice and audience via Bandcamp and has been swiftly embraced by indie-music fans. Two tracks from his first proper studio album, Teens of Denial landed high in The Current’s Top 89 Songs of 2016. The band received recent praise from The New Yorker: “When you think you’ve heard it all before, you hear a melody that bends just the right way. He moves without the anxiety that it’s all been done before. Rather, there’s a confidence that it can be done again—better, catchier, more perfect, more honest.”
Dead Man Winter
This new folk-rock group, fronted by Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, takes the toughest lessons in life and turns them into a reflective album reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. The debut album Furnace charts the pain of Simonett’s recent divorce and was recorded at the legendary Pachyderm Studio.
Margaret Glaspy is one of the strongest female debuts in the last year. Her rising star is hitched on personal lyrics, rough and catchy guitar, and a vocal quality that keeps your interest piqued. “At their best, these songs share the self-scrutinizing intimacy of Elliot Smith and the imaginative melodic intonations of Joni Mitchell” – Pitchfork
Taking their name from a Babes in Toyland song, Bruise Violet embrace many of the aesthetic contradictions of early 90’s grunge and alt rock. Describing themselves as “sugar, spice, and a kick in the teeth” and “Broadway meets Bikini Kill,” the trio has rapidly ascended to one of the area’s “must-see” bands since meeting only a few years ago at St. Paul’s School of Rock.
Born and raised in North Minneapolis, Dwynell Roland emerged as a rapper at the age of 13 in a collective called Twin City Boyz. His project “The Popular Nobody” defines him as a standout in the strong Minnesota hip hop scene. Be sure to check out this up-and-comer as he kicks off Rock the Garden’s new Garden Stage.
Access to both stages as well as food and beverage vendors.
VIP Skybox offers an exclusive view of the stage from Walker’s rooftop terraces, access to air-conditioned comfort of the Garden Terrace Room, complimentary eats, three drink tickets, and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. A voucher for a Rock the Garden T-shirt (up to $25 value); free parking for your party in the underground parking garage; entry to the Grove on the ground level, and all general admission areas are also included.
Check out our event guide for important details to help make the most of your day at the festival.View Guide
The Walker Art Center and 89.3 The Current® present Rock the Garden 2017.
VIP Spybox Sponsor
Walker Art Center Campus Opening sponsor
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
Rock the Garden is proud to be a zero-waste event in partnership with Eureka Recycling.