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Wild Horses Headlining Festival Rialto With a Herd of Minnesota Bands

Festival Rialto Saturday June 4th at Rapids Brewing Co. Grand Rapids MN
Festival Rialto Saturday June 4th at Rapids Brewing Co. Grand Rapids MN

On Saturday, June 4th, Grand Rapids band Wild Horses, is headlining Festival Rialto. The all-day festival features bands from around northern Minnesota (and beyond), and will take place at Rapids Brewing Co. in downtown Grand Rapids, MN. To learn more about how the festival came to be and why live music is served best with cold beer, Heidi Holtan and Kari Hedlund were joined in the studio by Bill Martinetto, General Manager at Rapids Brewing, and three members of the Wild Horses: Jed, Arianna, and JJ. Click the player at the top of the page to hear the entire conversation.

The lineup for the festival is made up mainly of bands that have played the Rapids Brewing Co. stage. Putting together a full-day festival allowed Wild Horses the chance to bring all those bands together on one stage. "We sat down and said, 'who are some of our favorite bands?'" Jed said, "who do we want to hear, and who can we get? We've got a busy summer and we wanted to kick things off locally. It's a chance to hear our favorite bands."

Wild Horses and Rapids Brewing Co. have had a number of collaborations over the past year, and Festival Rialto grew from those experiences. Martinetto recalled some of those collabs and how the fest came to be. "We just kind of dreamed this up with Wild Horses. Last time Horses played in Rapids, we had a little afterparty here at the brewery. After that we did a whole brew day where we did a Wild Horses Stout. And that sort of started the idea of 'let's try to plan something' and it came to, 'let's do a full day festival.'"

The name, Festival Rialto, is rooted in the history of downtown Grand Rapids. The building that is now Rapids Brewing Co. used to be the Rialto Theater. "It just seemed fitting," Martinetto said. "Jed threw out the name and it just seemed fitting because it pays homage to the old entertainment ways while bringing the newer bands and newer scenes to downtown Grand Rapids."

According to Martinetto, breweries are in a special position to help create community by playing host to live music throughout the year. "There's not a lot of glamor in the brewing process. But what is a ton of fun is how breweries bring community together and how beer tells a story and brings people together around that story. One of our missions and goals is to be in the community and a part of it."

"All of that is good for healthy communities, and that's why we continue to do the live entertainment," he said.

Jed echoed the sentiment about the power of local live music to knit together community. "It's cool to have something to listen to downtown going all the time. To see Bill's vision of curating the whole live music downtown, it feels natural. It's good atmosphere."

Festival Rialto is Saturday, June 4th, starting at 2pm. Tickets are available here on the Festival Rialto ticketing website, and at the door.

Here is the full lineup for Festival Rialto:

Wild Horses

Mike Munson

Superior Siren

Sugar on the Roof

Laplant Road

Chris Francisco (and guests)

Festival Rialto Poster

Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.
Kari (CAR-ee) is originally from South Dakota … a state often referred to as the land of infinite variety. As Music Director at Northern Community Radio, Kari has taken that theme to heart with her ability to feed a community of listeners hungry for an infinite variety of music and ideas. Along with her trademark lipstick and husky voice … Kari also raises a family … and Baguettes when time permits
Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.