After selling out for the first time last year with 30,000 tickets sold, the Soundset Festival is sticking with the same winning formula for its eighth annual installment, scheduled May 24 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. The lineup announced today includes the usual mix of hip and hot rappers on the verge, such as J. Cole, Big Sean and Logic; local favorites like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dessa and Sean Anonymous; veteran acts Ice Cube, Ludacris and Dilated Peoples, and envelope-pushing newcomers a la Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib and Vic Mensa.
Here’s the full list of performers:
Atmosphere / J. Cole / Ice Cube / Big Sean / Ludacris / Logic / Yelawolf / Dilated Peoples / Clockwork Indigo (Flatbush Zombies & the Underachievers) / Brother Ali / Vic Mensa / Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic & DJ Abilities / Dessa (of Doomtree) / DJ Jazzy Jay / Hopsin / Smif-N-Wessun (20 year anniversary of “Dah Shinin’”) / DJ Babu / Freddie Gibbs & Madlib / Vince Staples / Watsky / DJ Eclipse / deM atlas / DJ Supreme / B. Dolan / Father / SonReal / G.L.A.M. / Chester Watson / Sa-Roc / Sean Anonymous / Manny Phesto / Freez with DJ Willie Shu / Set the Smith / DJ Lean Rock / DJ Stage One / DJ Adatrak / DJ Str8reppin / Hosted by Sway Calloway, St. Paul Slim and J. Pratt
The lineup lacks a current mainstream-crossover name that might attract top 40 fans like Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and Macklemore in past years. However, J. Cole did land a No. 1 record last year with “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” Ice Cube hasn’t had a hit in 25 years, but he’s obviously well-known as a movie star today and could be rightfully recognized as a rap giant again with the upcoming biopic on N.W.A. set to hit movie theaters later in the summer.
Regardless, the individual acts' star power seems to take a backseat to the festival's own unique persona each year. And anyway, the fest literally can't get any bigger (30,000 people seems to be the comfortable capacity level for the festival grounds). This year's show will have a special local angle to it as it falls on the 20th anniversary of Rhymesayers Entertainment, the pioneering Minneapolis label behind the fest.
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 11:00am through www.ticketweb.com and Fifth Element record store in Uptown. General admission tickets start at $62, and a VIP goes for $140. Stay tuned to the Rhymesayers and Soundset Twitter and Facebook accounts for details on pre-sale access.