The biggest music festival in the Twin Cities for many years running, the 12th annual hip-hop marathon Soundset should maintain its pace at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in 2019 with a newly announced lineup featuring Lil Wayne, SZA, G-Eazy, Lil Uzi Vert, Run the Jewels, Trippie Redd and, of course, local hosts Atmosphere.
Once again scheduled the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, the daylong, 40-plus-act marathon will also boast a couple exciting entries for old-school fans: DMX and Black Star, the latter a legendary duo with Talib Kweli and Yasiin “Mos Def” Bey. Black Star is purportedly about to release the long-awaited follow-up to their eponymous 1998 debut.
In addition to popular Soundset alums Run the Jewels and G-Eazy, the latter of whom went on to sell out the State Fair grandstand during the actual fair in 2016, a couple other longtime associates of Soundset promoter Rhymesayers Entertainment are also coming back: Tech N9ne and Royce D 5’9”.
This will be a first Soundset appearance for New Orleans kingpin Lil Wayne as well as for the other “Lil” on the bill, 24-year-old Philly star Lil Uzi Vert, who was scheduled to perform at the festival in 2016 just as he was starting to blow up, but he was a last-minute no-show. It will also be SZA's debut at the festival, following the sultry New Jersey singer's thrilling, sold-out First Ave show and breakout year in 2017 with her acclaimed debut album "Ctrl."
Local names on the 2019 lineup include Prof, Dem Atlas and DJ Keezy (all slated to play one of the two main stages), plus returning favorite Dessa and newcomers Cashinova and Dua Saleh (who will join Slug and Ant on the “Atmosphere & Friends” side stage). The DJ-led Essential Elements stage will include DJ Spinderella of Salt-n-Pepa fame, Cut Chemist, Just Blaze and Abilities.
It seems hard to believe it given Minnesota’s current weather, but last year’s Soundset – with names including Migos, Logic, Wu-Tang Clan and Erykah Badu -- was plagued by a dangerous citywide heat advisory. The sweltering temperatures hurt walk-up ticket sales and brought attendance down to about 30,000 people (from the previous years’ 35,000). Nonetheless, Soundset still earned bragging rights as the biggest fest in town, and as the largest one-day hip-hop festival in the world.
Tickets to Soundset 2019 are on sale now via Soundsetfestival.com starting at an increased early-bird price of $99 for general-admission. VIP passes start at $230. Prices increase starting Friday.
Here's the full roster for the festival.