Introducing Experience Cafés

Introducing Experience Cafés

Great music, sumptuous refreshments, the incomparable Andrew Litton on the podium and at the piano—what more could you want from Sommerfest? We have the answer: new this summer are “Experience Cafés,” a variety of interactive events and exhibits held at stations throughout the Orchestra Hall lobby and adjoining outdoor spaces at all Sommerfest performances.

listening to records from Hymies

Patrons listen to vinyl records courtesy of Hymie's Vintage Records before last weekend's concerts

At these Café stations, you can peruse a library of books curated by the Orchestra’s music librarians; connect with artists from Mia (the Minneapolis Institute of Art) in a “sketching corner”; sample a selection of vinyl records at listening stations provided by Hymie’s Vintage Records; bird-watch with Audubon Minnesota; and play an interactive music and fitness game created by Glitch.

virtual reality in the lobby

A patron explores virtual reality before last week's concert

And in our “Conversation Café,” you can converse with local dancers, actors, composers, string instrument experts and brewers about how they learned their craft, their current projects or any topic on your mind. Among featured guests are dancers from the St. Paul Ballet (July 8), Shakespeare expert Amy Bolis (July 9), actors from Mu Performing Arts (July 9 and 10), luthiers from Clair Givens Violins (July 14), local composers including Jocelyn Hagen (July 16), and brewers from Boom Island Brewery and distillers from Tattersall Distillery (July 22).

playing games

A patron and her grandson enjoyed a game of Uno before last week's concert

Click here for details on the Experience Cafés, special Sommerfest food and beverage options, and free pre-and post-concert performances by musicians and groups including the Jeremy Walker Trio, the Minnesota Orchestra Band and pianist Chris Lomheim. Come one and all—a concert ticket is not required.

Minnesota Orchestra Staff