Low headlines second annual benefit concert at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery June 9

Low will headline the second annual benefit concert at Minneapolis’ Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery (2925 Cedar Avenue South) on Saturday, June 9 with special guest, Zoo Animal. Proceeds from the performance will help support the Friends of the Cemetery’s efforts to restore the historic steel and limestone pillar fence that serves as the border of the cemetery along Lake Street and Cedar Avenue.

Tickets go on sale today and can be purchased at Electric Fetus, Hymie's Vintage Records, Treehouse Records, and online at www.friendsofthecemetery.org. Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the show. Tickets are limited, so advanced purchase is advised. Tickets are not required for children 12 years and under, however donations are accepted. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., with Zoo Animal performing at 5:30 p.m. and Low taking the stage at 7:00 p.m.

Low, one of the best known indie rock groups to come out of Minnesota, formed in Duluth in 1993. The band consists of Alan Sparhawk, Mimie Parker, and Steve Garrington. Sparkhawk and Parker, who first met in fourth grade in rural Minnesota, are married with two children. Often labeled slowcore, their music has also been described as “hypnotic and entrancing” by nationally renowned music critic Jim Derogatis. Low’s performance will include songs from their most recent album, C’mon, which Chris Riemenschneider calls “some of the prettiest, warmest music they have made together.” The cemetery will provide a unique and reflective backdrop for their first local show after their recent tour with Death Cab for Cutie.

Food trucks—Hola Arepa and Dandelion Kitchen—will sell food during the event. Bike parking will be available within the cemetery. Free parking will be available at the Greenway Office Building (2801 21st Avenue South) and the Community Education Services Building (2225 East Lake Street) parking lots. On-street parking is also available. No parking will be available within the cemetery.

2011 Concert
The first annual benefit concert, with Jeremy Messersmith and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles was a resounding success. Nearly 1,500 people attended and over $30,000 was raised from ticket sales and a grant from the American Express Partners in Preservation program, a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation.  

Fence Restoration Project Update
By the spring of 2013, the fence restoration project will be 75 percent complete (50 of the 67 sections). Phase I and Phase II are completed. Phase III of the fence restoration project is underway and will restore 12 sections of the fence along Lake Street. In January 2012, Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery was awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Program grant in the amount of $150,000. The grant award will fund Phase IV, which is scheduled to start this fall and restore 22 additional sections along Lake Street and Cedar Avenue.

About Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery
Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, established in 1853, is the oldest cemetery in Minneapolis. It is also a Minneapolis landmark and the only cemetery in Minnesota that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the final resting place of over 21,000 pioneers, veterans and immigrants. It contains the graves of some of the first settlers of the city, many of whom made major contributions to local history; soldiers and veterans of the War of 1812, the Dakota Conflict, the Civil War, the Mexican American War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I; mid to late nineteenth century European immigrants, early African American citizens and abolitionists. Notable individuals buried in the cemetery include Philander Prescott, Charles W. Christmas, and William Goodridge.  In 1925, a group began to organize to save Layman’s Cemetery for its historical importance. The group’s effort is recognized as an early, local attempt at historic preservation.

One of the Ten Most Endangered Historic Places
In 2008, to raise awareness about the challenges of maintaining this landmark, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota placed the cemetery on its “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places” list. Today, the cemetery is in need of substantial capital improvements. The most immediate of those is the restoration of the historic fence that lines the cemetery on Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. The steel fence is 1,953 linear feet and contains 3,510 pickets within 67 sections.

Published May 18, 2012