Twin Cities

Are you ready for it? 'Swiftieapolis' prepares to welcome half a million people this weekend

Taylor Swift
Singer Taylor Swift performs on stage in a concert at Wembley Stadium on June 22 in London.
Joel C Ryan | Invision via AP 2018

With crowds of about half a million people expected in downtown Minneapolis this weekend for Twin Cities Pride and Taylor Swift concerts, Mayor Jacob Frey declared that he was temporarily renaming the city “Swiftieapolis.” 

Swift is performing on Friday and Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium, and Twin Cities Pride events are scheduled throughout the weekend. Frey and other city officials are urging people to prepare travel plans beforehand and said they’re working with regional partners to ensure people’s safety during the weekend’s events.

“We’re not just ‘Shaking it off,’” Frey said, one of at least 13 times he referenced a Swift song during the press conference.

“We have a multi-jurisdictional, coordinated approach with a number of different cities and entities, departments throughout our city, to make sure people have an exceptional time here in Minneapolis.” 

Minneapolis Office of Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander said he’s calling the security efforts this weekend “Operation Swift Summer.” He said he’s been working with city police, fire, 911 and EMTs to plan for the weekend, and that his office has communicated their plans with 50 local law enforcement partners throughout the region.

“We want people to participate, but it’s also important for the public, as you would anywhere, even in your own neighborhood, stay alert, be aware of your surroundings and be observant to your surroundings,” Alexander said. 

Although they aren’t currently planning to stand up the city’s emergency operations centers to coordinate with partners inside and outside the city, Alexander said city leaders may revisit that decision. 

Asked about perceptions of crime downtown, Frey pointed to statistics that show fewer incidents of most violent crimes in May than in pre-pandemic years. Frey said the weekend is an opportunity to showcase what Minneapolis has to offer. 

“There are times when perception of crime meets the reality, there are also times when perception is wildly out of whack with reality, and the reality right now is that crime is down,” Frey said. “I can’t say it enough.” 

“I know this weekend will be anything but ‘A Cruel Summer,’” Frey said at the end of his statements.  

Interim City Operations Officer Heather Johnston said people coming to the weekend’s events should plan their parking or transit options ahead of time. 

Johnston said the city has 18,000 off-street parking places and 5,000 on-street spaces. There are also about 35,000 privately-owned, off-street parking places downtown. Johnston urged people to arrive early and consider reserving their parking spaces on apps beforehand. 

The city’s non-emergency information line Minneapolis 311 will also extend its hours this weekend, staying open until 10 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and until 6 p.m. on Sunday. 

Metro Transit is also adding capacity to light rail and bus services after the Swift concerts, with some buses leaving downtown past 1 a.m.  

The following streets will be closed in Minneapolis this weekend: 

  • Hennepin Avenue will be closed from Washington Avenue to 16th Street for the Rainbow Run and the Twin Cities Pride March from 7 a.m. to about 4 p.m. on Sunday. 

  • Ninth Street between Hennepin and Hawthorne avenues will be closed for the Pride Block Party from 9 a.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

  • Chicago Avenue will be closed between Fourth and Sixth streets for the Taylor Swift concert from 11 a.m. until an hour after the concert each night. 

  • First Avenue, from Fifth Street to Sixth Street, will be closed each weekend through the summer and reopened by 10 a.m. on Sundays.