This past weekend Paisley Park in Chanhassen Minnesota welcomed Prince fans from all over the world to Celebration 2017. This event is notably named for celebrating the music legend in a series of events featuring guest artists. Celebration 2017 was planned for the one year anniversary of the sudden death of the musical icon known as Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson’s Chanhassen residence, known as Paisley Park, was turned into a museum. Paisley Park the museum opened on October 28th, months after the artist’s untimely passing last year on April 21st. Heralding the date, the epicenter of his Purple Majesty hosted a 4 day event. This event was designed to focus on doing what members of his band The Revolution said he would prefer. A celebration of his life, his work and his legacy.
Celebration 2017 for Prince
The price tag for attending the events at Paisley Park were steep. General admission was $549.00, while the VIP treatment ran for a smooth $999.00. For those who could not afford the lofty price tag for park admission, there more financially fiscal events to help celebrate. One of those events was Dance on Til Dawn, hosted by PRNFamily®. It was held at the Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom in Golden Valley, Minnesota. This after party started at 10:30 PM and raged till 4 AM. This event featured people like André Cymone, Apollonia Kotero, and Jellybean Johnson.
With that in mind, it was no surprise when tickets for a Prince tribute concert held in front of the legendary First Avenue venue also sold out. The venue, First Avenue, is often pointed out as being seen in the movie Purple Rain. The black building’s most telling feature is the stars of the various artists that have performed there over the years. The concert tribute held during Celebration 2017 in front of First Avenue featured artists such as Ricky Kinchen and Homer O’Dell of Mint Condition, and Soul Asylum‘s Dave Pirner performing covers of Prince hits.
Interestingly the best part about being in Minneapolis during Celebration 2017 was the stories people told. Many of the locals present at various events had interacted with Prince. Others recalled where they were when the city learned of the passing of their personal music god. Daniel, a manager of a downtown Minneapolis restaurant called City Works about a block away from First Avenue, was one of them. He fondly recalled the memorial that spontaneously sprung up last year in front of First Avenue. He recalled how he and staff found themselves inundated with a mourning population. Unexpectedly this put the restaurant in the weeds. Consequently, this outcome caused him to expect much of the same the night of the street concert.
While traveling through Minneapolis, service industry workers told stories about how the Purple One was able to be normal in his hometown. Usually the stories were told in the same fashion. Even though he was a world famous musical genius, everyone treated him as if he was just another common resident. They say, as many stories from friends confirm, he moved through his city freely. He shopped at local businesses a few miles from his home like an ordinary man. This atmosphere creates a great sense of grounding for any super fan. The people speaking of him make a near mythical being seem very real.
At Paisley Park
Over at Paisley Park fans slowed their cars and took pictures of the fresh monuments and tributes being placed on the fence surrounding the complex. Lovers of his music loitered outside of Paisley Park telling stories of their first Prince concerts. Locals shared stories of how the man lived among them marveling at the places people came from to honor him. The sidewalk in front of the fence was cluttered with chalked messages of love and remembrance. Languages from around the world could be heard spoken in passing. Candles were being burned in the nearby Riley Creek tunnel as the sun set.
Local radio station The Current, which helped sponsor the tribute concert at First Avenue, dedicated the weekend to playing deep cuts of the artist’s music. They only interrupted the hits for candid interviews with members of The Revolution and 3rd Eye Girl. Guitarist Wendy Melvoin joined with bassist “Brownmark” Mark Brown, drummer Bobby Z and keyboardists Lisa Coleman and Doctor Fink to tell of their favorite songs and why they loved them. While 3rd Eye Girl guitarist Donna Grantis spoke of what it was like to be mentored by Prince. The Current wrapped up their tribute with a top 89 list of Prince hits. Their website is currently hosting some of the most up-to-date information on the high points of the recent events. Many participants hoped that this would be the beginning of an annual trend to celebrate the man that could paint the world purple.
For those interested The Revolution will be touring the United States to continue honoring their beloved friend, Prince. Their way of bringing the ‘celebration’ to a city near you. Show dates, cities and times can be found with most music ticket sellers.
Have any thoughts about Prince and possibly continuing this yearly celebration please comment below.