Our View: Is 2018 Rochester's year of music?

Dessa 2018 tour
Singer and rapper Dessa is on a concert tour of the U.S., Europe and Africa, and has a new album, "Chime," that was released in February. She performed at the Rochester Art Center last week.

We’ve had plenty to say about what’s lacking in Rochester’s live music scene. 507 Magazine hosted an artists summit last fall to bring the community together to hear their thoughts on what we’re missing, not just in music but all the arts. Canceled shows, like last fall’s Mustard Daze event, which was dropped due to poor ticket sales, are a familiar phenomenon here.

Until now. Already this year, for whatever reason, we’ve seen some shows sell out well before the performance date.

The Collider Presents series is a perfect example. True, each show has only 20 tickets, but the three most recent shows, with Mike Terrill, Amy Abts and Eric VanKirk Nelson, sold out. If you want to be at any of the upcoming ones, you had best make your priorities known in advance and buy a ticket early.

Exhibit B would be the sold-out Dessa concert Wednesday at the Rochester Art Center. Presented by local music promotions team My Town My Music , the show sold out on Feb. 28, weeks before the event.

As if that’s not enough, we present exhibit C: Dwight Yoakam’s sold-out show at Mayo Civic Center on March 30. You’d think a country music icon such as Dwight Yoakam would sell out, but in Rochester’s concert world, nothing is a given.


Whether this is all a fluke or the beginning of a trend, we’re not sure. But with the other successes we’ve seen across the arts board lately, there may be something to it.

One more reason why 2018 is shaping up as the Year of Music in the Med City: the two Mayo residents who have become a YouTube sensation with their impromptu performance at Saint Marys Hospital a few weeks ago were on "Ellen" last week. Thanks to Dr. Elvis and Dr. William for shining an even brighter spotlight on the musical talent in this town.

What To Read Next
Get Local