Get ready to party! Burt Block Parties bring large-scale music events back to Winnipeg


Manitobans will be able to enjoy live music on a larger scale once again, with a two-weekend concert series next month.

For two consecutive weekends in August, fully vaccinated Manitobans are invited to enjoy shows at the Burt Block Party, featuring music from 54-40 — who will be headlining the concert series — as well as The Jim Cuddy Band, The Northern Pike, The Sheepdogs, Said the Whale and Streetheart.

An electronic dance music (EDM) party will also take place on the last night of the event, which will take place outside the Burton Cummings Theatre, between Smith Street and Notre Dame Avenue, on the weekends of Aug. 20-21 and Aug. 27-28.

"It's been something we've been working on for a long time," said Kevin Donnelly, senior vice-president of venues and entertainment for True North Sports and Entertainment, which is presenting the event in association with Live Nation Canada. 

"It's been tough to get all of the approvals and green lights, but we're thrilled to be able to confirm we'll be able to host."

Donnelly says the Burt Block Party, which will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 fans each night, could be one of the biggest shows since the COVID-19 pandemic halted most events in the province.

"We're looking at all our colleagues across the market — the Bombers are hosting some home games before that, but this is the first big musical event that I'm aware of," he said. 

"There are some smaller — like the pop-up beer cans and stuff are hosting some live music — but this is really the first opportunity for Winnipeggers and Manitobans to come together and see some live entertainment."

Donnelly says with a lengthy checklist of COVID-19 protocols to follow, it's harder to put the events on. 

"In the olden days [pre-COVID-19], we would do this and people wouldn't even notice…. We're looking forward to seeing Winnipeggers and Manitobans come together again, take advantage of our beautiful summer nights before they're gone and enjoy some great music."

The event is open to all fully vaccinated Manitobans over the age of 18 who can show proof of vaccination — through the provincially issued vaccination card — at the gate.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and can look forward to a fully-licensed site with several food trucks and vendors. Each night of the Burt Block Party will be hosted by The Village Idiots, creators of the online series Live at The Roslyn.

Early bird tickets go on sale Wednesday, July 28, at 10 a.m., starting at $39.50 per night plus fees. A limited number of VIP tickets will also be available that include indoor washroom access, exclusive bar service and access to a VIP viewing deck for the concerts.