Lyn-Lake Street Festival returns Sunday

After a year-long hiatus, festival return in a new location

The Lyn-Lake Street Festival will return this Sunday from noon until 8 p.m., moving from a two-block stretch on Lyndale Avenue to its new location between 29th and Lake streets.

This year, two stages will sit side-by-side behind the Jungle Theater and Fuji Ya in the Garfield parking lot to allow the music to travel up and down the streets effortlessly, according to Top Shelf owner and event organizer John Meegan.

“It’s a wider space than we’re used to. We’ll hope it’ll make the festival a little easier to put on,” Meegan said. “There’s going to be a synergy, but we don’t know exactly what, so we’re looking to see what kinds of surprises we have when these two different crowds kind of intersect.”

The festival will partner with another premier event, Open Streets Minneapolis, which will close Lyndale Avenue from 22nd Street to 42nd Street.

Last year’s Lyn-Lake Street Festival wasn’t held because the event hadn’t been profitable enough to hire a professional organizer, and Meegan didn’t have the time to coordinate it.

“Maybe God gave us the year off and said, ‘You aren’t going to do all this work for nothing,’” Meegan said. “We needed to take a rest. It’s a big job.”

To fund the event, Meegan seeks financial support from 30 to 40 sponsors. He has the help of many volunteer workers and 40 local businesses this year. Meegan said the festival is a good community-building exercise.

Seven Twin Cities bands will perform throughout the day, including Bunny Clogs, Ashley Gold, Ginkgo, Toki Wright and Big Cats, Dosh, Rogue Valley and Secret Stash Soul Revue. Meegan said the event brings together a variety of music genres and he is excited for Secret Stash Soul Revue to close out the festival.

“They’ve had their studio right at the heart of Lyn-Lake for years, so it’s going to be a pretty funky closing act we have,” Meegan said.

The Blaisdell YMCA, the Lyn-Lake Business Association and the Joyce Food Shelf all share the event net proceeds. The festival will feature Finnegan’s Reverse Food Truck, which accepts food donations at community events and delivers them to local food shelves instead of selling food.

Meegan explained the Lyn-Lake Street Festival is positioned as a way for businesses to give back to the community.

“We didn’t know after four years — would people even notice if we didn’t have it?” Meegan said. “The community starts to think of it as a God-given event. It’s been a ton of work, but we’re excited to see it go off on Sunday.”