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September 20, 2023

Echoes of the 80s: The Musical Legacy of Harriet Island

Before skyscrapers and urban rhythms dominated the horizon, Harriet Island pulsated with iconic melodies, electric riffs, and the unmistakable enthusiasm of countless fans. This historic space, on the cusp of transforming into the Farwell on Water district, was the backdrop for legendary musical memories.

Legends of Harriet Island

The 80’s and 90’s on Harriet Island were marked with electrifying performances by some of the biggest names in music. Van Morrison’s poignant melodies during Riverfest still linger in the air, a testament to an era where his soulful tunes resonated deeply with the audience. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts rocked the island, with their indomitable energy echoing in tracks like “I Love Rock ‘n Roll.”

The tranquil setting by the Mississippi River only heightened the ambiance, making every note and lyric feel profoundly connected to the island’s spirit. And then, in 1992, Lollapalooza transformed Harriet Island into the epicenter of the alternative rock universe, offering an unforgettable fusion of the past, present, and future of music.

Yet, it wasn’t just these standalone events that captivated souls. From 1983 to 1998, Riverfest, the go-to summer music festival, was the heartbeat of Harriet Island. This festival was more than just music – it was a tapestry of shared experiences, community bonds, and timeless memories.

Echoing Harriet Island’s Rhythmic Past at Farwell on Water

With such a profound musical lineage, Farwell on Water seeks to weave the vibrant tapestry of Harriet Island’s past with a future filled with connectivity and unity. The notes of Van Morrison might not float through the air, and Joan Jett’s vibrant energy might be a fond memory, but the spirit of unity and shared experiences endures. Within the design and ambience of the Esox House project, subtle nods to this rich musical history are seamlessly incorporated, ensuring the legacy continues to resonate with residents and visitors alike.

A Nod to A Harmonious Legacy

For those who reminisce about the days swaying to legendary tunes on Harriet Island, Farwell on Water is more than just a tribute – it’s a continuation of that legacy. And for the new generation, it’s an invitation to create profound memories, reminiscent of the golden days of Riverfest and other iconic concerts.

Together, we’re ensuring Harriet Island’s legacy – its music, its community, its indomitable spirit – thrives vibrantly within every nook and corner of Farwell on Water.


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A quiet hideaway between the bluffs and the banks of the Mississippi River, Harbourline offers 66 income-restricted units in the Farwell-on-Water development, located on
St. Paul’s west bank.