Atmosphere, Snoop Lion Lead To Soundset Festival’s Record-Setting Attendance
It was a good day to be selling hoodies in Shakopee, Minnesota. The annual Soundset Music Festival, curated by independent record label Rhymesayers Entertainment, was marked by wet mud and cold winds as 36 artists performed on three stages. But that did not stop 28,000 fans from descending upon Canterbury Park, the horse track-turned-festival grounds on Sunday (May 26).
There were car shows and vendor booths, a DJ tent and b-boys as the Midwest brought out its finest for one of the region’s largest festivals, now in its sixth year. The performances started early with gates opening at 11 a.m. and the Shock Top pouring soon after.
The corn-fed crowd started getting wild by the time Joey Bada$$ took the stage around 1 p.m. to perform tracks from 1999, such as “World Domination” and “Don’t Front.” At one point in his set, he cut the sound and asked earnestly, “Have any of y’all actually been to Brooklyn?” Few threw their hands up in response, but Joey would have gotten a better showing had he asked if there were any Canadians in the crowd.
Pepé le Pew imitator and former Three 6 Mafia magistrate Juicy J then made the crowd trippy for one of the most turned-up sets of the day. He got “Geeked Up Off Them Bars,” downed “Zip And A Double Cup” and then partied with “Who Da Neighbors.” In between cuts, he commanded the massive crowd to echo his righteous refrain: “Show them tittays!!” And they did. Which is why Juicy goes to sleep every night with an Oscar on his mantelpiece.
Though fighting through the crowd (no joke, a dude punched a girl in the face in the first row) and treading through the mud pits was a pain, the jerk chicken legs for four bucks kept things from getting out of hand. And when it seemed like too much, people simply crowd surfed to the front, got the chokehold from security and then made their way to the back where the French Fries guy had set up shop. This seemed to be the exit strategy du jour.
One of the most exciting pleasantries of the day came from the new budding friendship between Mac Miller and ScHoolboy Q as the two could be seen gallivanting around the festival grounds all day long. Both had impressive sets, with the 2013 XXL Freshman building a great limelight for Oxymoron when it drops later this summer.
After Minneapolis staple and Rhymesayers co-founder Slug (of Atmosphere) got through his crowd-indulging ode to Minnesota—also known as “SHHH”—Snoop Lion and his fit platoon of nymphs took control. The band of sexy soldiers adorned the King who reminded everyone else that had taken the stage that they were mere Lords in his presence. As Snoop closed out his set with an emotional version of “Young, Wild & Free,” concertgoers cleaned the mud from their feet, headed back to their cars and hoped for better weather next year.