Community Alert

Local bands will again have the chance to shine in an outdoor event scheduled for later this month north of Nerstrand.

This year’s Backyard Bash will feature 17 acts ranging from acoustic to rock music. Organizers are requesting a $5 donation at the door but do not require payment for entrance. That money is used to pay the bands.

The event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. July 27 and lasts until about 9:30 p.m., consists of bands from across the state. The music festival will be on 25 acres of land at 15374 Latopp Court, 5 to 8 minutes north of Nerstrand.

Supervisor and Event Coordinator PJ Medin, guitar and bass player of the Nerstrand-based band Breakthrough, said he wants the festival to be a family-friendly event.

“We are doing our best to support the local arts and music scene,” Medin said.

The first couple years of the event have been successful. Approximately 200 to 250 people have attended both years.

Backyard Bash is described as a family-friendly outdoor music festival.

“We created it with the intent of offering another avenue of exposure to local bands, artists and businesses,” Medin said. “Bash bands are handpicked to provide an enjoyable day of music for music lovers of all ages.”

Medin noted the festival is meant to cater to the bands who play just as much as it for attendees. He said the high cost for little-known bands with minimal financial resources to attend music festivals makes the proposition financially difficult.

“It’s not uncommon for festivals to charge bands to play,” he said. “Festivals tend to see it as an exchange of services. The festivals are offering a stage and exposure and the bands are offering music and festival attendees. It’s a great business plan for festivals, but not so great for bands. Especially if the band is a local-level group.”

Breakthrough, a five-member band consisting of five relatives, has traveled and performed for nearly two decades, releasing five albums.

“We’ve had a lot of good and bad experiences along the way,” Medin said. “During our early planning sessions, we put together a list of things we’ve liked and disliked about the festivals and venues we’ve performed at. The number of stages available, back lighting, staff and band behavior, wait time between bands, the availability of greenroom space, etc. We implemented the things we liked and fixed the things we didn’t.”

Some of the examples Medin shared were Backyard Bash having two stages, allowing them to only need five- to 10-minute breaks between artists. The festival also uses local vendors and does not charge them to set up tables.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115.

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