Fans of Atmosphere and its many Rhymesayers-affiliated pals won’t have to drive all the way out to Shakopee to see them in a big venue. Not only is Rhymesayers planning to move its Soundset music festival from Canterbury Park to the State Fairgrounds next year, as was revealed at the tail end of Sunday’s soakathon, but the Minneapolis-based record label and promotions company is also planning to put on a special 20th anniversary celebration at the end of this year at Target Center.
Rhymesayers Entertainment will take over its hometown basketball arena on Friday, Dec. 4, for a party that could wind up drawing the biggest crowd of the basketball season. Details of the RSE20 celebration will soon be announced. The label trumpeted its 20th anniversary around the music industry with a couple events at the South by Southwest Music Conference in March but has yet to host a big hometown party.
As for Soundset’s move to the State Fairgrounds, it wasn’t by choice: Canterbury Park and the city of Shakopee are about to launch a $200 million housing and retail development that will take over the land where the festival is held annually (as is the Warped Tour). Soundset has been held on the horse track’s grounds for seven straight years, following its inaugural run outside the Metrodome in 2008. Funny to think that a lot of people -- including Soundset organizers -- wondered if the crowds would still show up way out in Shakopee.
It's easy to see a positive side to the relocation, though. As was the case with the Metrodome site, the fairgrounds are much closer to home for city kids and are highly accessible by bicycle and mass transit. At the fair, Soundset’s stages will not be held in the grandstand, whose 15,000 capacity would only accommodate half of Soundset’s draw. Instead, it will either be set up on the huge asphalt space where the Midway operates or just north of there, in the newly developed West End Market area.
“We don’t know what the capacity will be but it might be a little bigger,” Soundset co-organizer Randy Levy told us.
Another unknown: how hip-hop music will play with the horse show already scheduled in the fair’s Warner Coliseum that weekend. The date for Soundset 2016 is May 29.