After banning coolers filled with outside booze in the Preakness infield, the Maryland Jockey Club drew fans back by transforming the middle of the track into a music festival with top rock, hip-hop and electronic music acts.
Organizers are now hoping to hit the exacta by attempting to put on a similar show at another one of the local racing industry’s marquis events, Maryland Million day, held every fall at Laurel Park.
The Stronach Group, owner of both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, today announced the inaugural Clubhouse Festival during the Oct. 20 Maryland Million, featuring a lineup of electronic musician Deadmau5, house musician Steve Aoki, rapper Wifisfuneral and the DJ duo Lost Kings.
David Joseph, a spokesperson for Stronach, said the stage will be located away from the clubhouse turn, the first in the oval track, and beyond the paddock where the horses are saddled before races. According to a release, the festival can accommodate a crowd of 10,000 fans.
The concert is being put on by Stronach and D.C. music promoter Club Grow, the same partnership behind the multi-day electronic music Moonrise Festival that happens at Pimlico.
“We wanted to build upon what is already a great Thoroughbred horse race for the state, and take it to the next level, by creating a new event that can attract and excite the next generation of fans,” Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of the Stronach Group, said in a statement.
They’re banking on the next generation being college kids. The release announcing the festival touts the concert as “the only live racing and music festival event in the region to occur during the collegiate school year, where fans will get to enjoy both a trackside view of the races and the show.”
Conceived in 1984 by legendary sportscaster Jim McKay, the Maryland Million was originated as, and continues to be, a showcase of Maryland-bred racehorses, and is named after the $1 million in purse money available in multiple stakes races.
It’s one of the most important days on the Maryland racing calendar next to Preakness. According to the Stronach Group, it is second “for purse money distributed, attendance, on-track wagering and simulcast handle.”