Darkness Day is different this year. For one, it’s no longer in the suburban business park where our original Brooklyn Center brewery sits—we moved it 45 minutes east to Somerset, WI. For another, Darkness Day covers a full weekend, with the party and music starting Friday night before we pack it up on Sunday morning. We even made a whole new website, www.surlydarknessday.com, for the occasion.
Still, you’re going to need a plan. Here’s what to expect.
FRIDAY: Campground opens at noon. Parking is plentiful, and it’s free. Unlike previous years, you don’t have to queue up in the Caribou Coffee parking on the other side of France Ave. Unless you really want to, but the baristas are going to have some questions.
Camping sites are first-come, first-serve, so get there, scope out a spot for you and your people, and set up shop. There is A LOT of camping available; you’ll have options. RV folks: You can reserve a site with electrical hookup at the ticketing link. The bottle share starts whenever you say it does, but pace yourself, because the party hasn’t even started yet.
At 5 pm, the gates to the Darkness Day grounds will open. We’re doing a cask and tap takeover of Maggie’s Saloon at the Amphitheater, along with vintage bottles for sale, merch, food trucks, and a giant bonfire at sundown. In a Darkness Day Eve first, we’ll also have live music starting at 6 pm. Hive opens the proceedings, followed by Modern Life Is War, with NYC hardcore legends Sick Of It All headlining the evening.
The grounds will close at 11 pm. Head on back to your site, and keep the party going as you see fit.
IF YOU CAN’T GET TO SOMERSET ON FRIDAY: We get it. You have obligations. You told him you’d meet his parents for dinner. There’s a soccer tournament. There’s always a goddamn soccer tournament. Adulthood is about sacrifice and anyone who says different is selling you lies. However, our friends at Stub & Herb’s are having their annual Darkness Day pre-party in Dinkytown, including the very first taste of 2018 Darkness. It’s a hell of an alternative.
SATURDAY: Rise and grind. Campers, you have a big day ahead of you. We hope that, in addition to your cache of high-ABV palate steamrollers and barrel-aged stouts, you brought some Coffee Benders. Some water wouldn’t hurt, either.
If you haven’t bought a General Admission ticket yet, the box office opens at 10 am. BOTTLE PACKAGES ARE PRE-SALE ONLY. For those not interested in driving/camping, we will have a shuttle bus running from our MSP Destination Brewery to Somerset and back. Times TBA.
At 11 am, the gates reopen, and bottle pickup begins.
But wait, there’s more.
When those gates are open, you’ll find that in addition to all the Surly pouring stations, over 50 guest breweries will be sharing the Darkness Day grounds with us. Find the confirmed participants at the aforementioned www.surlydarknessday.com.
This is where we remind you of two things:
- A general admission ticket is required for entry. This is a change from previous years, as booking a campground, amphitheater, and killer bands isn’t free, even in Wisconsin. The ticket does entitle you to a camping spot both Friday and Saturday night. Ages 12 and under are free if you’re bringing the kid(s).
- The beers are not sample size. We will be selling full pours.
The music starts at noon and is headlined by metal legends Carcass. Joining them will be an unimpeachable slate of metal/punk/noise/doom/thrash: Murder City Devils, Khemmis, Off With Their Heads, Angerot, and Darkness Day mainstays God Came From Space.
We’ll also have an armada of food trucks at the ready, and in addition to guest breweries, our friends at Tattersall Distillery will have a full cocktail bar set up. Yes. Gin tastes better in Wisconsin. That’s just science.
Darkness artists past and present will also be on site to sign their bottles, sell their own art, and create live art during the event.
Bottle pickup ends at 3 pm. There is no guarantee there will be any left (some years yes, some years no), so if you absolutely want a Darkness bottle before its official release on Halloween, or a Darkness variant bottle period, those bottle packages are here. CONSUMER ALERT: As of August 29, we’ve sold through over half the variant packages.
The party wraps at 8 pm. The rest of the evening is yours. Don’t be an idiot. Campers, check-out time is noon Sunday.
If you need any further info (driving directions, band playlists, nearest casino, Somerset real estate, where the hammerschlagen is, etc.), hit us up on our social channels.