Free concerts have been happening at Glensheen every Wednesday night in July for many years. However, last year marked the first time all of the bands played on the 100-foot pier extending into Lake Superior. Attendance doubled, tripled, and nearly quadrupled from years prior.

So what is the best way to navigate Minnesota’s most unique concert venue?

1. Bike, walk, boat, kayak, carpool

…due to limited parking.

The parking lot and street parking fills quickly. Concert-goers are encouraged to bike, walk, boat, or kayak to the concert. Bicyclists should bring a bike lock which can be locked at the front entrance.

Best seat in the house? From the water. Boaters and kayakers are encouraged to enjoy the free music from the waters of Lake Superior.

Big Wave Dave & the Ripples Concert on the Pier in 2015
If a bike or boat is not in your future, carpool. And come early. Gates open at 6:00 pm and music starts at 7:00 pm. Parking lot is typically full by 6:30 pm. Come early, snag a good spot and relax.

2. Bring Cash

Cash bar. Food truck. Ice cream. What other reasons do you need to bring cash? The outdoor summer concert series cash bar features wine and local brews at a lakefront cash bar. Complete the night with a Food Truck dinner by Chow Haul Mobile Restaurant and handmade ice cream by Love Creamery.

3. BYOBlanket or Chair

While the rock beach of Lake Superior is fabulous, sitting on these rocks for an evening might not be. Chairs seem like the best way to go if you don’t get a spot on the grass for the uneven terrain.

4. Take a tour before the concert

Tour hours have been extended on Wednesdays to allow pre-concert tours. The last Full-Mansion tour is at 5:00 pm (typically an hour and a half). The last Classic Tour is at 5:30 pm (typically an hour in length). Plus, this means that you will pretty much be guaranteed a parking spot in the lot.

5. Explore the grounds

What was once a private home, now belongs to the public. Glensheen is yours. Take advantage of an amazing Duluth summer night on the gorgeous 12-acre lakeside estate. Explore the gardens and venture over to the stone bridge.

Path leading to the famous stone bridge

Bonus tip! Bring your kids

It is a family-friendly event. Music only plays for an hour. They can run around the grounds when they get restless. Plus, concert admission is free.

Eating a leaf is about as bad as it gets for kids at Concerts on the Pier

Last but not least, a little bit of mission statement stuff for you… Aka the ‘why’ behind Concerts on the Pier

Each of the bands have Duluth ties with a statewide and national reach making the series a showcase of Minnesota music and directly relevant to Glensheen’s new mission statement,

“To inspire Minnesota pride by preserving and sharing the legacy of Glensheen and to serve as an incubator for positive change.”