First, Rock the Garden. Now Twin Cities Summer Jam. Wednesday was the day for calling off big music festivals for 2023.
Even though TC Summer Jam boasts having its biggest year in 2022, plans for next summer are off because the land used for the festival's campgrounds, adjacent to Canterbury Park, has been sold to become the site of a 19,000-seat amphitheater, approved by the Shakopee Planning Commission.
In fact, TC Summer Jam is calling it quits after three years as a multiday, multi-genre concert in the metro area.
"It will not be resurrected at Canterbury Park, and we have no intention of bringing it any place else," TC Summer Jam CEO Jerry Braam said Wednesday after making the announcement on social media.
"It's unfortunate because we've spent millions building a brand, building sponsorships and fan loyalty. We hemmed and hawed [about finding a new location] but by the time we take it someplace, we don't want to start over," Braam said.
Braam has "no hard feelings" toward people behind the amphitheater, Swervo Development Corp. led by Twin Cities businessman Ned Abdul, who revamped the Minneapolis Armory into an event and concert facility. The amphitheater is expected to open in 2024.
"An amphitheater is long overdue," Braam said. "We showed that music can be successful south of the [Minnesota] River, not just in Minneapolis and St. Paul."
Launched in 2019 at the Canterbury horse racing track, TC Summer Jam in its inaugural year paired REO Speedwagon with Rascals Flatts, Tim McGraw with Pitbull, and Aerosmith with Buckcherry. After a COVID hiatus in 2020, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd were the big attractions last year. This summer's scaled-back affair featured Kane Brown and Blake Shelton.
Braam declined to discuss financial aspects of TC Summer Jam other than to say that it sold out all 15,000 tickets to Shelton this year.
Braam had already begun negotiating with acts for the 2023 festival, but he received advice from Nashville power brokers.
"It didn't make sense to compete against an amphitheater," he said. "It's just like being a local grocery store and Wal-Mart comes in across the street. It's just business. Business is not always fun."