Lowertown Guitar Festival 2016

McNally Smith College of Music is pleased to present the 4th Annual Lowertown Guitar Festival — a fun-filled day of FREE live music — on Saturday, August 6th. Last year’s Fest doubled in size from its inaugural showing, drawing over 4,000 attendees, and this year promises to be the biggest and best installment yet, with artists performing in three distinct venues: Vieux Carré (formerly the Artist’s Quarter), Wild Tymes and the outdoor Palace Music Stage — all centrally located at the 7th Place West pedestrian mall in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.

Unlike other music festivals, which often cater to a specific genre, Lowertown Guitar Festival celebrates one of America’s most beloved instruments — guitar — and the diverse artists who play it.

Offering something for all tastes, this year’s eclectic line-up features prolific blues rock guitarist/producer Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Calexico, Pieta Brown, The Pines, Charlie Parr), renowned bluegrass legend David Grier (named “Guitar Player of the Year” three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association), African-born soukous sensation Siama Matuzungidi (a McKnight fellow now working and living in Minneapolis) and one of the world’s preeminent finger pickers, Peter Lang. Beloved St. Paul-based singer/songwriter Molly Maher will reprise her role as festival emcee for a fourth straight year.

St. Paul institution Summit Brewing will once again be on hand to service thirsty Fest attendees, while Vieux Carré — true to its New Orleans-inspired vibe — will offer up mouthwatering beignets. In addition, Wild Tymes’ complete food and beverage menu will be available for purchase.

Twin Cities Acoustic Guitar Show

In another Fest first, Lowertown Guitar Festival is partnering with the Twin Cities Acoustic Guitar Show, taking place at McNally Smith’s nearby campus from 10:00 AM–3:00PM Saturday, August 6th and Sunday, August 7th ($5 admission; FREE w/ student ID). Don’t miss this amazing chance to meet regional luthiers as they present an array of hand-crafted acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments — featuring performances by Tim Sparks, Phil Heywood and many more! For a full list of vendors and performance schedule, visit: www.twincitiesguitarshow.com

Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition 

Guitarists aged 15–19 are encouraged to enter the Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition — a fun and friendly contest taking place on the Palace Music Stage at 1:30 PM. A panel of esteemed judges will award prizes to a few talented teens— including a Telecaster courtesy of Fender Musical Instruments and a LXM acoustic guitar courtesy of Martin & Co., as well as free studio time and Summer Workshops scholarships courtesy of McNally Smith! All styles welcome! For complete Guitar Day: Teen Guitar Competition details and registration visit: www.mcnallysmith.edu/guitarday


Support for Lowertown Guitar Festival 2016 comes from site sponsors Vieux CarréWild Tymes and Willie’s American Guitars, as well as McNally Smith College of Music, the Twin Cities Acoustic Guitar Show, Arrowhead Music ExperiencePremier Guitar MagazineMN Guitar Society, Capitol GuitarsEclipse MusicElectro-Voice, Fender Musical Instruments, Martin GuitarsKBEM Jazz 88True Center Group and Summit Brewing.