Behind the Scenes at Live at the Hilde

by | Jul 2022

Hilde Performance Center on a bright sunny day

‘Hilde Performance Center on a Bright Sunny Day,’ previous Picture Plymouth submission. Photo: Nihar Ranjan Sahani

What you can expect from 2022’s Live at the Hilde: Party in the Park.

“I think the level of national headliners is what I’m most excited about [for this year’s Live at the Hilde],” says Patricia McLean, CEO of independent concert promoter Sue McLean & Associates (SMA). “We’ve had plenty of national headliners, but these are some pretty big names to have.”

This year, Live at the Hilde 2022 features Grammy Award-winning song writer Gary Clark Jr. and Country Music Association Award-winner Kelsea Ballerini, but these musical heavy-hitters aren’t the only acts to look forward to.

The openers for Friday, July 29 include California’s alternative rock band Cold War Kids as well as Minnesota’s own Kiss the Tiger. On Saturday, July 30, Plymouth’s Devon Worley Band sets the tone for a country music night, followed by up-and-coming country artist Brittney Spenser.

“[Devon Worley Band] reached out to us,” McLean says. “It’s a direct hit for the community, supporting a band actually from Plymouth. And they’re starting to get some good buzz, so it was a great fit.”

In its past seven years hosting the annual Live at the Hilde concert, McLean notes that SMA didn’t book a lot of country acts. “This year adding country to the second night—having a lineup that’s country-based—was something we wanted to deliver,” McLean says. “We get asked a lot about that.”

Party in the Park Event Flier

How does SMA decide their yearly line-up?

“We started the booking process late fall of 2021,” McLean says. “The process goes, ‘Who’s out touring?’ ‘Who would be available?’ You know, ‘Are they in the area?’ ‘Are they going to be a fly-in date?’ So, a number of things go into it. We start with a big list, and we pare it down under those parameters.”

Past headliners have included bands such as Cheap Trick, Goo Goo Dolls, Trombone Shorty and BoDeans.

What can concert-goers expect this year?

“The layout of the venue is different than we’ve done in the past seven years,” McLean says. Both headliners wanted the audience to be free to get up close to the stage, so McLean expects the more ardent fans will gravitate towards the front.

“Definitely a festival feel too,” McLean says. “There’re blankets, lawns. It’s family friendly. I think the success of Music in Plymouth has really helped us set the tone of that vibe.”

If audience members are looking for a more curated experience, there are two VIP packages as well, one a Pond Party Deck and the other a VIP Party Zone complete with its own facilities and bar.

Trail Blazer

SMA’s history in Minnesota is a storied one. Over the years, it founded some of the touchstone musical events in the Twin Cities Metro.

“Sue McLean was my aunt and the founder of Sue McLean & Associates,” McLean says.” She was an absolute pioneer in the music industry. You know, a female back starting in the 1970s, a female in this business. Also founding things like Music in the Zoo, Basilica Block Party. She certainly left her mark, and I’m honored to carry on her legacy.”

Sue McLean & Associates
Facebook: Sue McLean and Associates
Instagram: @suemcleanmusic
Twitter: @SueMcLeanMusic

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