You needn’t care much about horses, gambling or big hats to have fun at the Pimlico Race Course during Preakness weekend (though it probably helps). For instance, on Saturday, music lovers can head inside the track to catch some of the country’s biggest chart-toppers and rising stars at InfieldFest. Whether you like to pump your fist in the pit or relax on the fringes, find the info you need about the biggest festival of Preakness weekend here.
What’s the deal with InfieldFest?
InfieldFest is an all-day music festival that takes place during Preakness weekend. It features a series of established and rising stars from throughout the pop, hip hop and electronic dance music scenes. Previous years featured artists like Bruno Mars, Zedd, Childish Gambino and The Chainsmokers.
Where is it?
On the grounds inside of the Pimlico Race Course.
The acts perform between 9:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., with the last act wrapping up just before the Preakness Stakes kicks off at 6:45 p.m. Headliners perform on a larger main stage, while a smaller Charm City Stage will feature local acts throughout the weekend.
Who’s playing? Anybody I’ve heard of?
This year’s lineup features a few acts of national renown, including one with some deep Maryland connections: Sir Robert Bryson Hall II(the “Sir” being granted by his mother, not an ordained knight), better known by Logic. The Gaithersburg-bred rapper and singer achieved international success over several acclaimed albums and mixtapes before releasing his biggest hit, “1-800-273-8255,” in 2017. The song, which shares a name with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and its frank take on mental illness earned Logic Grammy nominations for Best Music Video, (which he lost to Kendrick Lamar, Dave Free and Dave Myers for the former’s “Humble”) and Song of the Year (which he lost to Bruno Mars for “That’s What I Like”). In March, he released his latest album, the indie rock-inflected “Supermarket,” as a soundtrack to his best-selling debut novel, also called “Supermarket.” He closes the festival at 5:15 p.m.
After building a dedicated fanbase through recurring festivals and an increasing number of prominent collaborations, Diplo has risen to the heights of pop stardom and ubiquity. His work under both his own moniker and a series of couplings, including Jack Ü and Major Lazer, took genres as varied as Jamaican dancehall and Southern trap further into the pop mainstream over the last decade. Most relevant to Preakness’ equine theme, he recently remixed Lil Nas X’s breakout hit with Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road.” Perhaps he’ll play it when he goes on at 4 p.m.
Fellow headliner Kygo is a Norwegian producer and DJ who draws influence from various styles of house music, with an emphasis on the tropical form popular in beach rave hotspots like Ibiza. His collaborations with popstars like Selena Gomez (“It Ain’t Me”) and Ellie Goulding (“First Time”) thrust him onto the Billboard Hot 100 and dance parties the world over. He most recently teamed up with Rita Ora for the uplifting“Carry On,” from the “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” soundtrack. His set begins at 2:45 p.m.
Then there’s Paul Fisher, a former professional surfer from Australia who DJs and produces under the name Fisher. He follows the likes of Kygo as one of the house music world’s fastest rising stars. He hit number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and earned a Best Dance Recording Grammy nod for his first breakout single, “Losing It.” He performs at 1:30 p.m.
At the other end of the spectrum sits Juice WRLD. The Chicago-bred MC is one of the biggest names to emerge out of the SoundCloud rap movement, named for the streaming service through which it spread. Like many of the scene’s other stars, Juice WRLD saturates his music with a mix of heavy trap beats and melodic ‘90s-’00s rock instrumentation. The atmospheric beats support minimalist, partly-sung-partly-rapped lyrics that probe the depths of heartache and existential dread. His second studio album, “Death Race for Love,” debuted atop the Billboard 200. Juice WRLD performs at 12:30 p.m.
Lastly, Canadian artist Frank Walker returns to Pimlico to give revelers another jolt of electro-infused pop joy. If you haven’t followed Walker from his previous InfieldFest set, or his steady rise through the dance music industry over the last two years, check out his recent single with Norwegian singer Astrid S.Get vibey when he performs at 11:15 a.m.
In addition, The Stronach Group, which owns the track, hosts an invitational for local DJs to compete for an InfieldFest set. DJs and fans submitted mixes and votes, respectively, via Wavo.me up until May 10. Two winners, chosen by a mix of fan votes and InfieldFest organizers’ judging, will open the festival with sets on the main stage at 9:15 and 10:15 a.m. Four runners up will perform on the Charm City Stage.
Well that looks pretty cool. How much are tickets?
Depends on what you’re willing to spend. General admission tickets begin at $89. Tickets for the MUG Club, which includes access to various party sections and bottomless beers in a souvenir mug at associated stations, cost $109. MUG & Vine Club passes, which include MUG accommodations plus bottomless wine pours, cost $139. Lastly, VIP tickets, which offer accelerated entry, exclusive bathrooms, a separate viewing area and private cash bars, cost $199. In addition, all regular Preakness tickets grant access to InfieldFest. Purchase tickets via Tixr.com.