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Dave Roepke, Published January 22 2009

Dave Matthews set to play 10K festival

Organizers also snag Widespread Panic, Wilco to make up for slagging attendance


Dave Matthews Band, the most mainstream and best-selling modern jam-band group, will be the show-closing headliner at the 10,000 Lakes Festival in July, organizers announced Wednesday.

DMB will play the festival, held July 22-25 at Soo Pass Ranch near Detroit Lakes, Minn., on Saturday, the event’s final night, according to the band’s Web site.

Also scheduled to play are Wilco, Widespread Panic (for two nights), Umphrey’s McGee, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Tea Leaf Green, Railroad Earth, Junior Brown, Cloud Cult, Trampled by Turtles and others.

The booking of Matthews and his band, set to release this spring its first studio CD since 2005, is a populist turn for 10,000 Lakes. DMB is annually one of the top-grossing U.S. concert tours, and 10K will be its only show in Minnesota this summer, said Dave Weissman, a festival spokesman.

Recent years’ shows have been dominated by the former members of the two biggest jam bands of all time: The Grateful Dead and Phish, both of which are reuniting this summer.

Weissman said bookers wanted to shake things up a bit after a poor year in 2008, when attendance was down by a third from 2007.

“I think Dave Matthews widens our base quite a bit,” he said.

That Phish and the Dead are mostly staying away from festivals forced the move to something different, but 10,000 Lakes has long aimed to sign bands with more than cult appeal, such as The Flaming Lips, John Mayer and 311.

Announcing the lineup early and in full – another 40 bands will be added, but few will be main-stage acts – will hopefully boost interest, Weissman said.

“We want to come out strong and swinging. We want to let people know we’re serious this year,” he said.

Tickets are already on sale through Ticketmaster and the festival’s Web site.

If you go


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535