Bend of the River Fall Festival hosted at MSU

On Saturday, the Bend of the River Fall Festival will take place on Blakeslee’s practice fields on Minnesota State University, Mankato’s campus. Proceeds from the concert will go to local athletics and activities programs with the main beneficiary being MSU Athletics receiving a $50,000 donation from the event.

Originally planned to happen in fall of 2020, plans to hold the concert derailed due to the uncertainty of Covid-19.

“We’ve just been waiting and waiting to get out of the starting gate. And as it looked like we were going to move past COVID this year and be able to have this type of event, we put the wheels in motion about 10 months ago,” Kevin Buisman, MSU director of athletics, said.

Headliner Jimmie Allen along with Priscilla Presley, Jason Nix and IV will also be performing. Cornhole tournaments, food trucks and beverages will be available during the all-day event leading up to the concert. The tournament will start at 11 a.m. with 100% payback and fees for the competitive play at $40 and social play at $20.

“There is something for everybody. It’ll go all day. And then we, you know, we basically have a concert lineup with performers that’ll go from about 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.,” Buisman said.

Other participating schools that those who are interested are able to donate to include Mankato East/West, Loyola Catholic School and others. 

Various sponsors such as Kwik Trip along with dozens of other local businesses are supporting this event. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on, otherwise, it is standing room only.

Having to wrap up at 10 p.m. due to the city’s noise ordinance, it can be expected for local restaurants and bars to have an influx of concert-goers to keep the party going.

“I think people will certainly be energized after the concert and looking to go elsewhere in the community or into the downtown area,” Buisman said. 

Regarding more events to be hosted at MSU in the future, Buisman is optimistic.

“We’d like to make this an annual event, we know that we’ve got to walk before we run, and much like their other music festivals, they started smaller and grew to much bigger events over time,” Buisman said. “We’re very hopeful that there’ll be a return engagement and that people will get out and show their support and that our students will come and enjoy what we think will be a wonderful day.”

Header Photo: Above is a map of where the concert will be taking place in the Blakeslee practice fields, tennis courts and the available parking lots. (Courtesy photo of MSU Athletics)

Write to Julia Barton at

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