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May 12, 2009

Are you going (or not going) to Preakness?

running of the urinalsA colleague of mine, Michael Dresser, wants to know if you're going to (or avoiding) Preakness because of the new anti-BYOB policies.

He's working on a piece from the paper, and needs to hear from you.

Call him at 410.332.6175 or e-mail him at

Michael is curious if more or fewer people will hit up Pimlico on Saturday. Remember -- it's now illegal to bring your own wine and beer, and there will be live music from ZZ Top, Buckcherry and the Charm City Devils.

Hit him up and tell him what you think.

(Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:09 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Random stuff


So what are the odds on how much the attendence will be down?

I will say down 25 percent from last year.

Remember! Buckcherry will be there!!!! What a joke.

The last report was that advance infield sales are down 17% and that was last Sunday the 3rd. How much is it up to now? The facebook group boycotting the infield is at about 1800 members now. The BSSC is doing "InfieldFest at Power Plant Live". By my count that is going to be another 500 people not going. That's already 2300 people.

Not going this year. I'm not sure if it's the no-BYOB or all the bankruptcy/slots/moving of Preakness talk, but it just doesn't seem like it would be fun this year.

One thing I did notice was a radio commercial that I heard the other day lauding the concert (ZZ Top!!!!) and the CHEAP BEER available. It was laughable, because nothing's as cheap as carting it in yourself and it was so transparent that they were emphasizing it.

It's a shame, it was a good time in the past, but just seems like it would be a downer this year.

ah preakness. one of the few lasting bastions of baltimore yesteryear. it all ends this weekend.
one day a year it's an all out free-for-all, anything goes place for those brave enough to enter. this event has been on a deathbed for sometime, but those vowing to save it will never be able to manufacture the kinds of memories that most of us share. the only way to save the preakness is to exploit it through commercialization. astronomical drink prices? check. crappy corporate bands? check. standing around waiting for something fun to happen when nothing will while people with collared shirts cheer on buckcherry? check.
what the hell has happened here?
no more drunken fights. no more overt nudity. no more youtube sensations. no more fun.
with ticket prices massively down because of the changes, there is a sense that baltimore will not be staging this event any longer. there are other ways this could have been prevented, but now we must face reality. this is going to be one of the last years the preakness happens in our backyard.
a fitting end to the preakness will have the dreadful "save tonight" playing in the background, all the while sponsors of the preakness try to give us a shot of morphine so everything dies a quiet death. i myself grab two beers. one to sip as consciousness is lost, and one to launch in the direction of the stage.

thanks for nothing a-holes.


The best part of this whole fiasco is how they (Preakness Officials) wanted to draw a more younger demographic. So let me understand this - ban all outside beverages, bring in oxygen bars, virtual reality paintball (which only two at a time can play), and add a washed up band that plays rodeos and carnivals. That my friend is how you attract a younger demographic? - NOT! It's sad to say that us Marylanders will be making a trek out of state next year to see the jewel of the triple crown with outside beverages allowed.

This is the first year in ages that I've even wanted to go to the Preakness -- because of the ban on outside alcohol. Let the drynken brawl find another home. Some of us really do want to go for the racing.

bill i enjoyed your rant but I think the band you were referring to was Eagle Eye Cherry, not Buck Cherry.

btw Buck Cherry is a terrible, terrible band. Just god awful.

Even if the ticket sales are down, has anyone considered that by selling beer, preakness might actually make more money than ever? A decent crowd will still be in attendance, and that crowd will still drink heavily I would imagine.

It's not that big of a deal that they charge for beer. People don't boycott a concert because it not BYOB.


If you go, tip your bartenders!!

A more family-friendly Preakness?

Daddy, can we see Buckcherry? I want to hear them play "Crazy Bitch."

Only if we can see ZZ Top later. I've been looking forward to listening to Pearl Necklace" or "Tush." But we can both agree on the beach volleyball right now.

damnit. thanks evan.

could you take that out of my post please? i mixed up my cherries and popped the wrong one.

Love how the Preakness Officials started out there marketing campaign with the promise of a "Family friendly" event, only to discard that approach once they received the results of ticket sales. Now that can't broadcast the CHEAP BEER sign large enough on your TV screen. Laughable.
One day I'll have my grandkids on my knee and tell them stories about how it was in the "good ole days"....Preakness....HFStivals....Senior Week.


"Um hey Buckcherry, we love your music but could you maybe tone down some of your lyrics for our family-friendly audience? Like, instead of calling it 'Crazy Bitch' could you just call it 'Crazy Witch?'"

"And instead of 'you [ahem] so good, i'm on top of it' could you instead say 'your beat's so good I'm gonna bop to it?'"

actually evan, you bring up a great point. i wonder if the band will have to censor themselves.

has the bikini contest been replaced by volleyball? someone mentioned virtual paintball. seriously? are they really doing that? zinkhan.

sam i am familiar with your use of zink, but i would like to introduce the zinkhan. it's where you bury yourself in a shallow grave and commit suicide.

Beh, you know after all the hairpulling, I understand the MJC's change here. The way "fun time" escalation was going, someone was literally going to die on the infield, either breaking their neck during a port o' john run or by an errant full can of beer to the head. They'll make up that 15% difference in beer sales, and it'll all be in non-lethal plastic cup. From a purely legalese standpoint, makes sense.

The sales went from 12% down to 17% down in a week and they haven't made a peep since then other then to offer a whole slew of "new things" at the last minute. All of a sudden there is now a "Hooters bikini contest", a beer garden serving $1 beers from 8-11am. The problem is, it's too late to organize 40+ people for all the bus trips they had that left. By my count after looking around just today, I can count 8,000 people that aren't interested in going now. I estimate the infield crowd will be 30-35k tops and that is with good weather. If it rains, drop it to 25k.

I think the real issue for most people in the 21-25 demographic is that we still have not reached the maturity level to want to go "purely to see the races" and pay $100+ to sit in the grandstands. I could really care less that they banned alcohol, in fact I think it helps to weed out the annoying underage crowed who get blacked out by 9am and cause havoc all day.

My BIG issue is that tickets are the SAME price. As everyone has already mentioned, i don't feel some D list band, a bikini contest and random games justifies a $50 entrance fee. Had they made it $25-$35 this would have helped to offset the price of having to buy beer.

As a sidenote: I would even have been happy to have had Mr. Greengenes play all day, since as a cover band they play all kinds of music everyone can enjoy. Instead they play a free concert the night couldn't pay me to see buck cherry or zz top.

Lizzie, feel free to come by Power Plant Live! the night before as Mr Greengenes will be performing for free at 8pm on the plaza. No cover, free show and $3 Miller Lites. Hope you can make it.

This is the first Preakness I have not attended since 1990. I was a young single 19 year old back than. Now I am a 38 year old father and husband and it is sad to feel like it is the end of an era. Its not just the fact that I cant bring in my own beer, it is something larger. It is the fact that they messed with tradition. It is almost a part of Americana or shall I say Marylandcana. I cant say I totally blame the governing body as I have seen full cans flying in the air for the past 5 years or so. I tried to warn the idiots that this freedom would come to an end if they continued to put others health in jeopardy. So to any jerk who has ever thrown a full beer can at Preakness. Thanks for killing tradition, you are as much to blame as those who made this decision.

Sorry but *cough* Altamont Lite *cough* Preakness lost its charm long ago.

In the "How Life Imitates Art" category, it's the 10th anniversary of the guy who tried to punch Artax during the 7th race at the 1999 Preakness?

Perhaps next year organize a "Burning Man East" for the Preakness infield to help boost falling ticket sales.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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