Mick Sterling may be the most determined force on the Minnesota music scene during the pandemic.
For the second consecutive year, he is producing a series of outdoor drive-in concerts starring Minnesota musicians in a Burnsville parking lot, it was announced on Monday. And Relief Sessions 2021 is more ambitious, with themed weekends featuring three to five shows per day. More than 80 acts are booked.
The series is slated to run from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, in other words May 28 to Sept. 6. All but one weekend will be staged at the Burnsville Ice Center parking lot; the other concerts will be held in Rosemount's Central Park.
In 2020, Sterling, a veteran Twin Cities singer and producer of tribute shows, presented the intermittent Relief Sessions in Burnsville in June, July and August. The concerts peaked with a 12-day run with multiple acts daily during the dates of the Minnesota State Fair (which, of course, was canceled due to COVID).
Opening weekend of Relief Sessions 2021 features tribute shows to "International Legends" including Tony Bennett, Joe Cocker, Amy Winehouse, Sade and Van Morrison.
"Minnesota Rock 'n' Roll Legends" — including Gypsy, Curtiss A, Mary Jane Alm Band and the Suburbs — are scheduled June 18-20.
The theme for June 25-27 is "Folk and Rhythm Festival" with the likes of Michael Monroe, the Big Wu and International Reggae All-Stars. Those gigs will be staged at Central Park in Rosemount.
"Blues and Soul Legends" weekend, July 23-25, will offer Maurice Jacox & the We R Band, Annie Mack and Mick Sterling & the Stud Brothers, among others.
The lineup for "Art and All That Jazz" on Aug. 20-22 will include the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, the Peterson Family, Davina & the Vagabonds and others.
The series will wrap up on Sept. 3-6 with a "Country and Americana" weekend with the likes of Shalo Lee Band, the High 48s and Andy Griggs, one of the few non-Minnesota artists booked.
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719