For the seventh year in a row, the 605 Summer Classic marked the unofficial start to summer in Sioux Falls with enough music, cold drinks and breezy outfits to make even the most avid festival goer green with flower crown envy.
(And trust me, there were flower crowns—lots of them—thanks to JAM Art & Supplies’ make-your-own booth.)
Floral headwear aside, the 605 Summer Classic, a local beer and music festival hosted by 605 Magazine, was the place to be June 24-25 for concert-goers, beer aficionados and summer lovers everywhere.
Sioux Falls contributor Kaylyn Deiter is your guide to all the jams, brews and fashion at one of South Dakota’s biggest music fests.
What would a music festival be without a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists from across the area? Pretty boring, that’s what. But thanks to the Classic’s format of “one night Indie, one night Hip Hop,” boring was nowhere to be found.
Indie was the name of the musical game Friday night of the festival, opening with local singer-songwriter Maddie Todd and finishing up with Minneapolis-based band Hippo Campus. Gordo Ji-Bang, Union Grove Pickers and Heatbox provided some dance-worthy tunes in between as the sun set over the Cherapa Place parking lot.
For the Mumford and Sons lover in me, night one of the Classic was a sweet success. Though each act had a different sound, all provided a relaxed, carefree vibe, perfect for summer listening. Hippo Campus lived up to their headliner status, getting the crowd to dance and sing along well into their folk-inspired set. Though they didn’t come back for the much-anticipated encore, the band played over the 90-minute mark—serving up many of their more well-known hits, while also giving listeners a taste of things to come.
Long story short: Hippo Campus was the ideal band to kick off this summer festival.
Night two of the 605 Summer Classic brought the Hip Hop, with Nikko McFadden opening for Minneapolis-based rapper Brother Ali, while Strawberry and the Jam, Sol Fredo and Down Lo & Deploi got Saturday off to a rockin’ start with an edgier feel than the previous evening’s acts.
I’ll be honest, Hip Hop isn’t exactly my thing, but these artists weren’t just your typical rap groups—letting even the T. Swift girl that I am find something to enjoy. Opener Nikko McFadden was the artist that caught my attention and held it Saturday night. Playing with a band of fellow singers/rappers, McFadden brought a sense of musical diversity to the stage. One moment he was performing a typical rap song and the next the group slowed things down, featuring a female lead vocalist that complemented McFadden’s free-styling rhymes perfectly. Though headliner Brother Ali received all the hype, the rapper unexpectedly ended his set 30 minutes early, cutting short what could have been an awesome sendoff to the weekend.
Though each act at the Classic couldn’t have been more different than the next, the one commonality between all the musicians was the sense of pride Sioux Falls has in its local and Midwest-area artists. Singer-songwriter Maddie Todd had her own fan club hugging the stage when she performed Friday at 6 p.m., Strawberry and the Jam took in the festival both nights—playing a game of bean bags with fans and making her own flower crown, and headliners Hippo Campus and Brother Ali couldn’t have been more well-received—packing in the crowds and staying late to chat with festival-goers.
The Sioux Falls music scene loves its artists, a fact that was on full display at this year’s 605 Summer Classic.
In addition to local artists, local breweries came out in force during the weekend—serving up a taste of the good stuff at tents throughout the festival, while also playing host to the All South Dakota Beer Tasting event Saturday afternoon.
Breweries from Spearfish to Sioux Falls participated, ticket holders getting the chance to sample each of the 12 brews and vote for their favorites.
Each brewery undoubtedly had its loyalists, but given the Sioux Falls crowd, local staple Fernson Brewing Company seemed the uncontested favorite. With it’s Lion’s Paw dark lager and light IPA, the brewery won fans in both the tasting and beer tents. Hill City-based Miner Brewing Company came in at a close second with their fruity mango cream ale, a pick that can also be found at Sioux Falls’ Prairie Berry East Bank.
Last, but not least was the weekend’s festival fashion. Arguably a bit tamer than Coachella, the 605 Summer Classic still sported its own street style: namely florals, layers and, you guessed it, flower crowns.
To get my look festival ready, I talked with store manager Erin Larsen of J. Ella boutique. And let me tell you, there’s not much better than wearing a romper to a music fest (and a floral one at that).
Larsen said her favorite part about styling outfits is layering—putting together pieces that don’t always seem to match, but instead inherently go together.
“I don’t like matchy-matchy,” she said. “You want to stand out at a music festival or concert. This is the time to try something different.”
So try something different I did. Along with J. Ella’s colorful flower romper, Larsen added a neutral, oversize cardigan (actually more of a cross between a vest and a cape, but you get the picture) for that layered look. One of the boutique’s signature gold letter necklaces pulled the whole ensemble together.
Festival fashion at the 605 Summer Classic was all about being cute but still comfy. It was rompers with outrageous patterns, dresses with unique cuts and light-up-the-night lipstick that looked effortless. This was the weekend for stepping out of your style box and trying out that new outfit you thought couldn’t be worn within the confines of rural South Dakota (trust me, it can). Festival fashion is, above all, fun, and this festival was no exception.
The 605 Summer Classic was a weekend to remember for fashion enthusiasts, music lovers and expert beer tasters alike.
Perfect start to summer: check.
Want to see more of the latest & greatest in emerging fashion, beauty & culture?
Sign up for our newsletter below: