Thousands of spectators from around the Midwest danced, sang and screamed along with Brad Paisley, Joan Jett, Steve Miller and other rock and country musicians during Prior Lake’s 10th annual Lakefront Music Fest in Lakefront Park on July 12 and 13.
Tickets are on sale for next year’s lineup, which will include the Grammy and Country Music award-winning Lady Antebellum as a headliner, organizers announced before Paisley’s performance late Saturday.
The Prior Lake Rotary Club hosts the concert as its major annual fundraiser and sold about 15,000 tickets for each of the two evenings, said Michelle Jirik, festival co-chairwoman and club secretary.
The festival in the last decade has raised more than $1 million for the club’s grants to local organizations and its projects, including participating in Rotary International’s push to end polio around the world.
The club presented a $66,000 check Saturday to YMCA Twin Cities and Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools organizations to pay back their ticket sales and volunteer time for the event, for example. Another $10,000 went to The Store, a free grocery store in Nashville launched by Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
The Rotary likely won’t know for several weeks how much it raised altogether this year, spokesman Kyle Haugen said, but “preliminarily, I think we’ll be very happy.”
Laurie Hartmann, publisher for the Savage Pacer and Prior Lake American, chairs the Prior Lake Rotary Foundation board, and Southwest News Media was a sponsor of the music fest.
Canadian blues performer Matt Andersen, country group Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives and country singers Chris Lane and Riley Green warmed up the nights’ crowds with powerful singing and skillful playing.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts took the stage Friday with such classic hits as “Cherry Bomb,” Jett’s voice still as strong as when she first sang it more than 40 years ago.
The Steve Miller Band and Paisley took the stage Friday and Saturday respectively as the daylight faded over perfect summer evenings. The entire Lakefront Park hillside twinkled with wearable lights as Miller performed “Jungle Love,” “Abracadabra” and other selections.
The festival went mostly smoothly from a public safety standpoint, Cmdr. Brad Cragoe with Prior Lake Police said Monday. There were a few medical calls and a few consumption tickets, but nobody went to jail.
Tickets and more information about next year’s event can be found at lakefrontmusicfest.com.