LIVE on the Northside: A summer of music and community

Folks enjoying the June LIVE on the Northside music. Photo by Marie LePage.

Written by Rachel Bundy

This summer, Camden will be filled with live music through the exciting “LIVE on the Northside” series. On June 13 the Victory Neighborhood Association (ViNA), in collaboration with the Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Park program, hosted two local bands—The RLB Band and Nunnabove. These talented artists brought vibrant performances to Victory Park, drawing a crowd of over 500 attendees from surrounding neighborhoods. The evening was filled with joy as residents of all ages enjoyed the music and danced the night away.

The success of this event was made possible through remarkable community partnerships. Local food trucks provided delicious options, and Dancing Bear Chocolate extended their hours to offer a special picnic menu. Kemps Ice Cream generously donated frozen treats, and Faith Baptist organized engaging lawn games. Corner Church helped spread the word in event promotion by covering some of the printing expenses. Marie LePage took incredible photos of the event. The dedicated efforts of the ViNA board were instrumental in bringing together these community groups and talents creating a memorable night for all.

LIVE on the Northside features two more concerts on the second Thursday of July and August, with the potential for additional events thanks to a generous grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Coming up: On Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. you can enjoy soul, rock and r&b at Webber Park featuring Dr. Mambo’s Combo and DJ Curry FX Productions. After that, at dusk, relax in the park and watch the movie The Color Purple. On August 8, 6 p.m., at Victory Park, enjoy classic southern soul and funk from Papa Roof and the Soul Villains. Then at dusk lay back and watch the movie A Wrinkle in Time.

Historically, the Northside has had fewer music-in-the-park events compared to other parts of the city. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the community enjoyed the “Live on the Drive” series on the second Thursday of each month. Last year, ViNA introduced the “Music in Victory” program featuring local bands that volunteered their time and efforts to bring music to the Northside. Artists like Joe Fohey, Pine + Fire, Kati Ray, and Papa Roof and the Soul Villains. Live on the Drive also hosted music on the parkway in August. This year, we are merging these two initiatives to rejuvenate and expand our musical offerings, potentially bringing more music-in-the-park events to the Northside.

We look forward to a summer filled with music, community and shared experiences.