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Presented by
Sean Robinson of

First Avenue

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Consider visiting First Avenue as part of your trek to visit Paisley Park, the home and studio of Prince. First Avenue is celebrated as one of the longest running, independently owned and operated venues in the United States. As the longest continual entertainment and music venue in the Twin Cities, First Avenue’s roots in the community are deep and far-reaching. Originally a Greyhound Bus, First Avenue opened in 1970 under the name The Depot with Joe Cocker as the first headlining act. In 1980 it was transformed to Uncle Sam’s, and then on New Year’s Eve 1981, it changed to First Avenue. Throughout the ’80s, the venue’s ties to the local community allowed its bookers to match local opening bands to larger national acts. The club catered to dancers too, and hosted lip-sync and talent contests.

Over the years, First Avenue was home to acts like Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Ike & Tina Turner, Iggy & the Stooges, Chubby Checker, The Kinks, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Rod Stewart and U2. But no description of the ’80s at First Avenue is complete, without a nod to Prince, who made the club his regular venue, his testing ground for new material, and both the set and the setting of his movie, Purple Rain. 40 years later, First Avenue is still one of the most popular venues in the country. 


SoundWaves Travel highly recommends seeing a performance while visiting The Twin Cities, and can help design a nice itinerary for the Prince fan in you, and even a stop at the world famous Mall of Americas.

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