On the surface level, frozen, windblown Fargo may not seem like a fertile habitat for a flourishing music scene. However, one does not need to dig very deep to find the opposite to be true. Fargo is by far the state’s stronghold for music.
Feel like you are missing out, but not sure where to look? Take a look at these social media sites to get you started.
Fargo’s most well-known and hardest working music venue, The Aquarium books shows from a variety of genres. With the usual bare minimum being two shows a week, there is always something to attend. Big names such as Citizen have played the little attic above Dempsey’s Irish Pub.
The only downside of The Aquarium is that it is usually a 21+ only venue. That’s not to say they never have all ages shows, however, the biggest of which is the three-day The New Direction Fest coming up the last weekend of March.
The shows rarely cost more than $8, so you literally have nothing to lose.
Red Raven Espresso Bar
The most accessible all-ages venue in the area, the Red Raven hosts a variety of shows (although they are most well-known for their hardcore bills). The obvious perk to attending these shows is the ability to sip on great coffee or nosh on vegan sandwiches.
For those of us who are less of night owls, an added benefit to Red Raven shows is that they usually start between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Red Raven has several shows already scheduled for the next two months and usually cost $5, so keep an eye out.
DIY Midwest and Midwest Music Collective
For those who want to cast a wider net, both DIY Midwest and Midwest Music Collective are great resources to keep up-to-date on regional shows and the Midwest DIY scene as a whole.
One would be hard pressed to find anything vaguely music related happening in the area that Jack Stenerson isn’t somehow involved in. From audio and photography to promotion and playing bass and guitar in Baltic to Boardwalk and Too Fast For Frank, Stenerson is everywhere, seemingly all at once. The former owner of the now closed all-ages music venue The New Direction, Stenerson has an undeniable passion for the scene. If the music scene is a flower patch, then he is the gardener.
Stenerson is great at promoting and retweeting upcoming shows, so you won’t miss out on the best gigs in town.
She may not be a musician or even an event coordinator, but Kaytlin Dargen definitely has her shutter finger on the pulse of the regional music scene. The 21-year-old photographer is coveted for her trademark “cotton candy colors” that add magic to even the most familiar and mundane. She has her own photography business where she shoots weddings, senior photos, engagements, etc., but she also tours with bands.
If you go to any DIY show in the area, odds are you can spot Dargen at home behind her camera. Earlier in 2018, she was the official tour photographer for Remo Drive, Free Throw, Phobophilic and more, taking photos at home shows for countless others.
While her account won’t often give you info on shows before they happen, you don’t want to miss the rad photos after. Pro tip: Stand in the first row and you may be immortalized in a photo or two.