First Avenue provides a unique and innovative cultural environment.
First Avenue is celebrated as one of the longest-running, independently owned and operated venues in the United States. Our commitment to independence is led by the belief that unique, locally-owned live music rooms are imperative to the health of the community and economy. First Avenue is dedicated to promoting artistic expression in diverse voices old and new, to provide a community by offering artists a stage and a mic, and fans a place to gather. First Avenue owns and operates The Depot Tavern, the 7th St Entry, the Turf Club, the Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater, the First Avenue Mainroom, and co-operates the Palace Theatre.
As the musical epicenter of the Twin Cities, First Avenue—and by extension, the venues it owns and operates—opens its doors to all music lovers who are First Avenue’s past, present, and future.
We’re proud to foster relationships with artists and musicians at all stages in their careers, whether it’s playing their first show at the 7th St Entry, selling out multiple nights at First Avenue, or playing one of our other independently owned venues like Turf Club, Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater, and the co-operated Palace Theatre.
First Avenue has served as the launching pad for countless artists and bands like Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Semisonic, Atmosphere, Soul Asylum, Lizzo, Prince, and many more.
Artists of all mediums take their place in the history of First Avenue.
With the original First Avenue In House magazine, many writers received their first chance at publication, with the fortunate task of writing about what they loved most.
Local artists have contributed original designs for show posters, magazines, flyers, and First Avenue inspired artwork. Additionally, photographers have shot iconic photographs over the years in our venues and outdoor festivals.
Check out this great piece from Pitchfork highlighting our very own Dan Corrigan (a photographer by night and First Avenue caregiver by day):
With the help of artists and musicians, First Avenue has been able to host countless benefit shows for local and national non-profit groups, including Pastor Paul’s Food Shelf, The Red Cross, the Twin Cities Music Community Trust, and many more. First Avenue has also worked with area schools to hold workshops and lectures for students interested in music and related fields.
First Avenue is a founding member of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).
NIVA is securing financial support to preserve the national ecosystem of independent venues and promoters.
These entertainment hubs are critical to their local economies and tax bases as employers, tourism destinations, and revenue generators for neighboring businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retail. Independent venues exist in every state across the country; they were the first to be closed, they will be the last to open. The economic recovery process will extend past just reopening the front doors, requiring solutions unique to the industry.
First Avenue has also been the place for local and national political events. Vice President Walter Mondale, Governor Jesse Ventura, Mayor RT Rybak, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and US Congressman Keith Ellison have used First Avenue as their soapbox during their runs for office. Many youth vote rallies have been held at the club, educating young voters on the importance of their vote and educating them on issues of local and national significance. First Avenue brings the fun back into politics and civic responsibility. Where else in the world could you see a city’s Mayor take a stage dive?
Since 1970, First Avenue has grown to include several unique venues throughout Minneapolis & St. Paul.