With the estate-sanctioned four-day Celebration series at Paisley Park nearly sold out -- and too pricey for many local Prince fans anyway -- First Avenue has announced its own series of events in conjunction with 89.3 the Current to mark the anniversary of his death next week.
Foremost among the tributes will be another street party outside the club on Saturday, April 22, from 5-10 p.m., tickets for which will be free but are limited in quantity (about 2,500) starting Wednesday. The venue – which served as Prince’s co-star in “Purple Rain” and recording studio for some of the movie’s music -- will also host two late-night dance parties that weekend, and it will even throw out the ID checkers for one day to host an all-ages daytime dance party for families. See full details on the events below.
First Ave and the Current teamed up with the city to host the unforgettable street party the night of Prince’s passing last year (April 21), which produced stirring images shown by news organizations around the world. The club's general manager Nate Kranz said the staff there has been receiving tons of calls and emails from fans all over asking about their tribute plans this year.
"Honestly, people were getting antsy and really wanted us to do something," Kranz said. "We always knew we were going to host the dance parties that weekend. When we started thinking about what else we could do, we thought, 'How about a more controlled version of the street party we had last year?'"
First Ave's partner, the Current -- which went all-Prince on its airwaves (and internet stream) this time last year -- will offer more intense Prince programming next week, including a 24-hour marathon on April 21 as well as a “Top 89 Prince Songs” countdown on April 22.
These are just a few of many Prince-related events now popping up for next week besides the Celebration. Other highlights include: an all-night dance party thrown by Prince siblings at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley on April 22 with participants including Dez Dickerson and Apollonia; a three-night stand by the Time’s ex-guitarist Jesse Johnson at Bunker’s in Minneapolis April 20-22; various gigs at the Dakota with Prince associates Shelby J, LP Music (with Eric Leeds and Paul Peterson) and Lizz Wright April 19-20; a live tribute by Jaybee & the Routine at the Minnesota Music Cafe in St. Paul on April 21, and another with G-Sharp & the Bizne$$ at Lee's Liquor Lounge on April 23.
Here are the details on First Avenue's newly announced events:
LATE NIGHT DANCE PARTY featuring DJ ESPADA, LENKA PARIS, DJ JAKE RUDH, and DJ SMITTY
Friday, April 21, 9 p.m. doors. Tickets: $10 advance/$15 day of show; 18 & older; on sale to the public Wednesday, April 12, 11 a.m. Limit two tickets per person.
MEMORIAL STREET PARTY
Saturday, April 22, 5 p.m., doors; show ends at 10 p.m. Tickets: Free, but registration is required. Tickets available for Current listeners on Tuesday, April 11, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. at first-avenue.com. Available to the public Wednesday, April 12 at 10 a.m. Entry is first come, first served. Registration does not guarantee admission. All ages. Limit two tickets per person.
LATE NIGHT DANCE PARTY featuring DJ KEEZY, DJ VERB X, SHANNON BLOWTORCH, and CLOUD
Saturday, April 22, 9 p.m. doors. Tickets: $10 advance/ $15 day of show; 18 & older; on sale to the public Wednesday, April 12, noon. Limit 2 tickets per person.
I WOULD DANCE 4 U- A Kids Dance Party
Sunday, April 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets: $5 advance, $5 door (adults); FREE for kids; all ages; on sale to the public Wednesday, April 12 at 1 p.m.