A different kind of benefit concert will be held in Minot next week.
SummerFest will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Grand International, 1505 N. Broadway. In a rarity among benefit concerts, SummerFest is actually being held to benefit another benefit concert Rock the Leaves.
The organizer of this unconventional idea is Dan Hansen, the same person who came up with Rock the Leaves, an annual benefit concert held to help pay the medical bills of a person in need.
Dan Feldner/MDN - - Dan Hansen, organizer of SummerFest, stands in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand International Inn earlier this month. The concert is set up as a kick-off event for Rock the Leaves, and will be held at the Grand International Inn Tuesday at 6 p.m.
He called SummerFest a sort of pre-benefit concert to Rock the Leaves, with all proceeds going to pay the expenses of Rock the Leaves so more money from that later concert can, in turn, go toward the beneficiary.
"It's kind of like a kick-off benefit," Hansen said. "I kind of got the idea from other benefits I've seen where they have, it's almost like a pre-benefit to the main event, just to help fund the main event."
"All the funds raised at SummerFest will go to Rock the Leaves to help with expenses," he said.
Rock the Leaves
Rock the Leaves, which is in its fifth year, will take place in Oak Park on Saturday, Aug. 6, from noon to 10 p.m. While a beneficiary has been picked, Hansen can't release the person's name quite yet.
"We have everything pretty much ready to go and hopefully it's the best one yet," Hansen said of Rock the Leaves.
The band lineup for SummerFest features the usual eclectic combination of music Hansen manages to find for all his benefit concerts. Headlined by The Cascade Sun and The Gregorian Punks, SummerFest will also have Carly Ann, Colleagues and Coworkers, Who I Am, Nate Cole and more.
"It's everything from classic rock to pop alternative rock to acoustic," Hansen said.
While the concert is for all ages, there will be a cash bar serving wine and beer in a separate area from the general crowd. As is the case when any alcoholic beverage is served, patrons must be 21 or older to enter the cash bar area and there will be staff there to enforce the age limit.
Hansen said there was also a cash bar at Beardstock, a benefit concert held earlier this year, and they had no problems then. He expects the same good behavior from the crowd this time around as well.
Hansen started dreaming SummerFest up around six or eight months ago. A concert as big as Rock the Leaves has quite a few bills to pay before any money can be donated to the beneficiary, costs he's been looking at ways to offset.
"Putting on an event like Rock the Leaves, there's always room for improvement, there's always room for new ideas," he said. "So we're going to try this and see how it goes, and hopefully it goes well and it can raise a good amount of money to help with the costs of putting on the main event."
There are certainly no shortage of benefit events held in Minot throughout the year, and Hansen said he's aware that too many might lead to fatigue. He thought about it and talked to other concert organizers before deciding to give SummerFest a try.
He ultimately felt SummerFest and Rock the Leaves each have something different to offer and both will be successful, which can only mean good things for the crowd and musicians, as well as the beneficiary.
"I think that we're different enough from all those other benefit concerts (so) people won't get burned out on what we're doing," Hansen said.
"Rock the Leaves is kind of a one-of-a-kind experience," he added. "(You're) not only coming together to donate money and help someone, but you're also getting the opportunity to express yourself musically and artistically, whether you're the audience or you're the musician who's performing.
"It's just a great opportunity all around for anyone who's involved," he said.