See more of the story

After a sharply scaled back schedule in 2021 and nothing the year before that, Surly Brewing Festival Field looks to be making a (ahem) furious comeback this summer — with August, in particular, set to be especially hopping.

As tickets to the Decemberists' Aug. 15 gig go on sale Friday morning, that marks the fourth mid-August show confirmed for the big stage outside the Minneapolis brewery.

Other Surly concerts already announced are: the very promising trifecta tour with Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olson and Julien Baker (Aug. 9); Lord Huron (Aug. 12), and the final date on Iron & Wine and Andrew Bird's twofer tour (Aug. 13) — all booked within a week of each other.

There's a lot more to come, too.

Citing the eight big gigs that were hosted there the year before the pandemic (2019), First Avenue's general manager Kranz said they expect to have "as many or more shows there" in 2022. First Ave produces the Surly concerts, sometimes as co-promotions with Chicago's Jam Productions.

"Some of it might be related to COVID," Kranz said of the uptick. "There are definitely bands that are trying to focus on outdoors. But it also feels like an extension of how things were headed prior to the pandemic shutdown."

Amid last summer's up-and-down COVID concerns, 2021 saw just three concerts there: Patti Smith, Ween and Phoebe Bridgers, the latter of whom turned her two-night stand at the Palace Theatre into a single Surly show out of indoor vs. outdoor safety precautions. The Decemberists were also supposed to play in 2021 but wound up canceling their tour.

Aside from union issues at the brewery that came to a head during the pandemic, Surly has proven a popular spot for outdoor concerts since First Ave started booking there in 2017. Other past highlights have included Tame Impala, Gary Clark Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Spoon and Father John Misty.

Surly Field will probably remain in heavy use for concerts for at least the next two or three summers, while construction plans are finalized and set in motion for the First Ave-run amphitheater in the Upper Harbor Terminal riverside redevelopment north of downtown Minneapolis.