Each year at Preakness InfieldFest in Baltimore, popular music artists of the moment share the spotlight with horse-racing itself — a deliberate marriage in the hope the former will excite young attendees enough to pay attention to the latter.
The Stronach Group will try a similar approach for the first time this fall at Laurel Park with the inaugural Clubhouse Festival, organizers announced via news release on Tuesday. Grammy-nominated electronic dance music producers Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki are scheduled to perform on Oct. 20, along with DJ duo Lost Kings and rapper Wifisfuneral, during the Maryland Million race. Tickets ($60-$85) go on sale Friday.
Similar to this year’s InfieldFest, festival attendees will have a trackside view of races, as the stage will be positioned by the course’s first turn, according to the release. (At InfieldFest, the concept was more in theory than practice.)
In recent years, the Preakness Infield has felt like a standalone concert and all-day drinking party for millennials, curiously placed next to one of the biggest horse races in the world. But on Saturday, InfieldFest will see major changes designed to bridge that generational gap.
For the Stronach Group, owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, bringing the star power of a music festival to the sport of kings is an ongoing attempt to turn a young generation into fans. In recent years, chart-toppers such as Post Malone, Sam Hunt and Lorde have all performed at Preakness InfieldFest — though only time will tell the effectiveness of such an approach.
The Maryland Million is a one-day stakes card with winnings totaling $1 million.