Seventh annual Rockin' Robbins lineup released, Willmar outdoor concert series to kick off July 11

The Willmar Rotary Club announced the Rockin' Robbins bands at a special reveal party April 25. The concerts will take place July 11, July 18, July 25 and Aug. 1 at Robbins Island in Willmar.

Steve Dresler spins wife Kristin Dresler around as they dance to the tunes of The Johnny Holm Band during Rockin' Robbins at Robbins Island Regional Park on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
Steve Dresler spins wife Kristin Dresler around as they dance to the tunes of The Johnny Holm Band during Rockin' Robbins at Robbins Island Regional Park on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. The seventh season of the outdoor concert series will kick off July 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — Whether you like rock, pop, country or funk, there will be a band for you at this year's Rockin' Robbins outdoor summer concert series at Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar.

This will be the seventh year of the popular concert event. The concerts are an ongoing fundraiser for Robbins Island, and have raised nearly $377,000 for park improvements since its inception. Money has gone to such projects as the Destination Playground, a new landscaped park entrance, the Celebrate the Light of the World holiday light display and the Willmar Flags of Honor Veterans Memorial.

The lineup for the four shows were announced during a special reveal party where major and presenting sponsors of Rockin' Robbins were invited to celebrate the concert series' success. The party was Tuesday at the Oaks in Willmar.

Hailey Minsaas, 6, dances to the music of band Steer Clear during a Rockin' Robbins concert on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at Robbins Island Regional Park.
Hailey Minsaas, 6, dances to the music of band Steer Clear during a Rockin' Robbins concert on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Robbins Island Regional Park. The outdoor concerts have brought large crowds to Robbins Island for six summers.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

This year's series will kick off July 11 with opening act Radio Acoustic, followed by headliner Collective Unconscious. Radio Acoustic is a duo from Willmar who play Top 40, classic rock and country with their own acoustic twist.

Collective Unconscious , together for more than 20 years and from central Minnesota, is a rock band that plays both covers and its own original music. The catalog of tunes include hits from the Beatles; Simon & Garfunkel; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and the Beach Boys. The group has also teamed up with Rockin' Robbins closer the Fabulous Armadillos for an Eagles tribute show called "Takin' It To The Limit."


The tropical-themed classic rock band Pirates, Guitars and Beachfront Bars will open the July 18 Rockin' Robbins. The group plays both classic rock from groups such as the Rolling Stones and The Police, along with the stylings of Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney.

Free and Easy , which was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2008, will be the evening's headliner. With a funky edge, the group plays music from artists like Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, along with newer voices such as Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.

The July 25 show will rock you with The Crown Jewels bringing their tribute to Queen to the island. The band comes from Minneapolis and is made up of music business veterans. They provide a show that both Queen enthusiasts and casual fans can enjoy.

The opening act for the night is 1060 West Addison Blues , a tribute to the Blues Brothers.

Audience members enjoy live music during the first Rockin' Robbins concert of the season July 13, 2021, at Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar. The event brings four outdoor concerts to the park during July and August.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

The final show of 2023, on Aug. 1, will close with the Fabulous Armadillos , who have been a fixture of Rockin' Robbins since the beginning. Established in 2006, the group has a large following in Minnesota. They play music from rock and Motown to country and heavy metal. The group came together to perform themed concerts at the Pioneer Place on Fifth Theater in St. Cloud and has since performed hundreds of show across the Midwest.

The final opening act for 2023 will be Ryan Van Slooten , a solo singer from Minneapolis. He plays most of the instruments on his recordings. He has released four albums of his music.

The four Rockin' Robbins shows take place on Tuesday evenings in July and August, starting at 5 p.m., with the headliner taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the music, there are many food vendors, a beer and wine tent, the Foot Lake vendor market and kids activities. A shuttle bus conveniently picks up and drops off visitors from three park-and-ride lots in Willmar.

Rockin' Robbins was started in 2016 by the two Rotary clubs in Willmar, who were inspired by a similar project by the Rotary Club of St. Cloud called Summertime by George. The concerts have been an annual event since the start, minus a pandemic-caused cancellation in 2020. The two Willmar clubs merged into the Willmar Rotary Club in 2017, and have won two district-level Rotary Service Awards for the concert series.


The Rotary Club has created a Rockin' Robbins subcommittee to start plans for a permanent concert stage at Robbins Island and has committed $250,000 toward the project.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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