Jay Gabler/Minnesota Public Radio
Nate Jones
July 15, 2014 04:40 PM

When Dylan Spoering threw a concert in his Minneapolis neighborhood on July 12, he had no idea of the audience he would end up playing for.

The eight-year-old posted handmade fliers on his front lawn, advertising a “free piano concert,” complete with a helpful smiley face.

While passing by on his bike, local musician Thomas Rehbein noticed the sign and decided to do something nice for the boy, whom he had never met. He created a public Facebook event and encouraged his friends to join him in listening to the elementary-schooler tickle the ivories.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of people showed up to his free concert?” Rehbein wrote on the event page.

A crowd outside Dylan Spoering's house
Jay Gabler/Minnesota Public Radio

Rehbein’s scheme worked – on the day of the concert, Dylan was surprised by the appearance of 400 spectators who had all showed up on his lawn to cheer him on.

Fans come together to support Dylan Spoering
Jay Gabler/Minnesota Public Radio

From the makeshift stage of his front porch, Spoering dutifully entertained his newfound fans with a selection of tunes from his piano books. The whole thing was broadcast on Ustream, where it has been viewed more than 45,000 times.

The young maestro was thrilled by all the unexpected attention.

“I just wanted to play for people, just wanted to play for free and now I’m famous,” he told WPTV News.

Concert attendees on Dylan Spoering's front lawn
Jay Gabler/Minnesota Public Radio

After his short recital was up, Spoering demonstrated a command of stage banter that eludes many adult musicians. “Please stay!” he told the assembled crowd, inviting them to an ice cream social in a nearby park.

It may not have been Woodstock, but on the other hand, Woodstock didn’t have an ice cream social.

Two fans of Dylan Spoering embodying hipster stereotypes
Jay Gabler/Minnesota Public Radio

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