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Basilica Block Party canceled again in 2023

Organizers say the once-popular summer music festival is on a "planned hiatus" and "will be reconsidered in the future."

MINNEAPOLIS — Officials with the Basilica Block Party, a popular and annual Minneapolis music festival, are taking another year off in 2023.

In 2022, organizers said they canceled to rethink its future.

The festival was also canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic but was held again in Sept. of 2021.

This year officials released just a brief statement: "The Basilica Block Party will not be held in 2023. The event is on a planned hiatus this year and will be reconsidered in the future."

The music festival raises money for the upkeep of the Basilica of St. Mary, a longtime pillar of downtown Minneapolis. 

The Basilica Block Party started in 1995 and the bands play on the grounds of the church.

According to the 2022 news release, it is the largest music festival held in Minneapolis.

The Basilica isn't alone in calling off its festival. Back in September, the Walker and 89.3 the Current said it was simply time to end their Rock the Garden festival and focus on new initiatives, even though the festival was often sold out. Meanwhile, Twin Cities Summer Jam organizers announced their festival wouldn't return in 2023 or beyond because the festival grounds were sold to make way for an amphitheater.

While the Basilica isn't commenting further on the reason for this year's "planned hiatus," the Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider points out there's more competition for festivals these days. He's covered the music scene since 2001.

"We've had two new amphitheaters built," Riemenschneider said. "First Avenue's putting concerts on outside Surly Brewing. Those are big, really fun concerts. So there's more stuff going on that isn't festivals but is outdoor concerts. Also the outdoor stadiums. Pink's playing Target Field this summer and Beyoncé at Huntington."

Riemenschneider says inflation is another reason for the lack of music festivals this year.

"It's harder than ever to crunch the numbers for these festivals," he said. "Everything in the concert industry, I mean everything period, is more expensive right now."

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