Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Aerosmith are among the biggest acts that will perform at Canterbury Park’s inaugural Twin Cities Summer Jam July 18-20.
Shakopee and neighboring communities are known for their crowd-pulling events, said Canterbury spokesman Jeff Maday. Summer Jam could bring anywhere between 15,000 to 40,000 showgoers to the track right in the middle of horse racing season.
This being a destination event, RV-only camping spots will be provided to those who reserve them. Food and beverages will be on offer — including from Prior Lake’s own Gray Duck Vodka — and air conditioning and restrooms will be available in the grandstand building.
The concert itself will be held on the south end of the track, with races paused for the entire week, Maday said.
“We had 19,000 people here for racing on Father’s Day,” Maday said. “That’s the kind of crowd we’re expecting.”
Shakopee police will contend with the high volume. Promoters for the event include local and national brands like Mystic Lake, iHeart Radio, Bud Light, Red Bull and on and on.
In addition to the headliners, the concert will feature Pitbull, REO Speedwagon, Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers, Buckcherry, Chris Hawkey, Soul Asylum, Christina Taylor, Elvie Shane and Hopkins band Quietdrive.
While this is the first Twin Cities Summer Jam, famed artists have played the Canterbury grounds for decades. In 1997, Lilith Fair drew 25,000 people to an all-female artist concert series. Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan organized the series and headlined. Since then, Canterbury Park has lent its space to concerts like Warped Tour and Soundset.
“Summer Jam is the only true music festival in the area this year with camping,” Maday said.
John Groen, Canterbury vice president of marketing, said due to the high number of people that staff frequently work with, the park and its employees are well-equipped for the three-day blowout.
“The folks behind Summer Jam have been behind a number of festivals in Minnesota,” he said. “We’re used to large events. We’ll have a good mix of people wanting to stay for the weekend or go home at night.
“This will be one of the first times we host a concert on our racetrack infield, in the middle of racing season. It’s unique and challenging to execute that while taking a break from racing.”
Shakopee already has the infrastructure to accommodate large-scale events like Summer Jam and the Renaissance Festival, Groen said.
“This community, I think it’s a tourism community,” Groen said. “We’re used to large events. It’s what we do well. To be able to bring this event here is just another great asset.”