« Should they regulate bar crawls? | Main | Concert review: Daughtry at 1st Mariner Arena »

March 19, 2010

O.A.R., Zac Brown to play Preakness InfieldFEST

fans at last year's infieldFESTRockers O.A.R. and the Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band will perform at this year's Preakness InfieldFEST, organizers announced today.

This year's InfieldFEST also features a second stage, with sets by Mr. Greengenes, Jason Michael Carroll and Collective Soul, a cornhole tournament, bikini contest and women's volleyball match.

Infield tickets are $40 in advance and $50 the day of (May 15). With the Mug Club package, thirsty revelers can pay an extra $20 and receive a bottomless mug of beer.

This is the second year for the InfieldFEST, a more organized alternative to the bring-your-own-beer, Porta-John racing infield mayhem of years past ...

Last year, Buckcherry and ZZ Top performed, but attendance was down noticeably from previous years.

"I think we worked through some of last year's issues," Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas wrote in an e-mail.

"We did a little homework on our own and listened to the feedback from customers on what they’d like to see. The entire day promises to be fun-filled, highlighted by the running of the Preakness Stakes."

Coolers and backpacks with food will be allowed, but outside beverages of any kind are prohibited on the infield. Sixteen-ounce beers will cost $3, and bottles of water will be $1.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:57 AM | | Comments (22)


so its $60 for all you can drink? that actually isnt that bad of a deal

Yeah, but how long are you waiting to fill up your bottomless mug?

Granted 60 bucks isn't all that bad of a deal. However, take into accord lines to obtain said beer.

Seems like "they" have been trying to kill Preakness for a while, and they very well may succeed. Don't know about the rest of you, but i don't have a spare 60 bucks that i would feel worth it to deal with crowds, etc. Looks like i'll find a watering hole with a big screen instead..

At least the figured out that no one under 40 wanted to see ZZ Top- part of the reason you could play a football game in the infield last year...

Sam - any other details on the Mug Club? Is it a separate area that you are stuck in? Or can you go in and out with your mug of beer? Also, if it is a contained area, any idea if they have other beverage options (wine, black eyed susans, etc)? My better half probably wouldnt get $20 worth of beer, but she'd pay the $20 just to have the better bathroom.

i personally think OAR and Zach Brown both suck. But for $60 you get these bands plus another stage and unlimited beer that is actually a great deal.

are they still gonna have those tiki huts that sell margaritas?

I hope they don't try to pawn off the small 10oz mugs on us. Those mugs are finished in two swigs

Meanwhile the Virgin Mobile Fest is FREE! And I bet it has better bands too! LOL

God, these people are so stupid. Chuckas should be fired. No wonder they're in bankruptcy.
I predict even lower attendance than last year. These people are complete idiots if they think people came to The Preakness JUST to watch horse racing. This is so crazy, it's as if they are deliberately sabotaging the event to setup a reason to move the race elsewhere like Laurel Park or somewhere else. And btw, that Maryland law is not enforceable in Federal court despite what Gov. Martin O'Malley says.

The Preakness used to be an EVENT you had to be at, mayhem and all & in some small way did attract a younger crowd to horse racing.
Now it's just yawn, Collective Soul, ZZ Top? LOL

The event was a complete failure last year without BYOB.
You can argue the plusses/minuses of BYOB, but it's impossible to argue that the event was a complete failure last year.
The Daytona 500 has BYOB and no mayhem, why can't The Preakness?

And what if it's like temps in the 80s and you can't even bring in bottled water?
What's up with that?

People used to come to Baltimore from all up and down the east coast and even further away for the Preakness. I used to go with old college fraternity buddies as sort of a reunion of sorts.
No more, a tradition has been killed. It'll never be the same again. No one will come from NYC, Philly or down south to pay that kind of money for this event. That was proven last year. And yet they learned NOTHING from that!

But it doesn't matter really, now that the SLOTS plan has failed, Pimlico's days are numbered anyway. Ultimately it'll end up being a "Wine & Cheese crowd" race at Laurel Park for the DC market or end up in Florida or elsewhere.
People forget the bankruptcy court does NOT have to force this race to stay in Maryland nor would this phony Maryland law passed by O'Malley keep it here either.

It's only a matter of time before The Preakness is gone from Baltimore if not Maryland too.
Tick tock...

Sounds good to me. Collective Soul is great, and everything I've heard about ZBB is that they're great live. Assuming they aren't on at the same time, I'm more encouraged to go this year than in years past.

The BYOB Preakness was such a clusterfrick. Just a sprawl of drunken morons. But hey, that's "tradition" so we gotta complain that it's gone!

Overpriced crap beer and boring non-threatening and non-interesting bands. Sounds like frat guys would still line up in droves.

Some more thoughts...
Having been to the Daytona 500, I think they have this BYOB thing down right and it works with twice the # of people as The Preakness with no mayhem.

The policy may have been tweaked since a couple years ago, but when I was there, you were limited to a 12 pack of beer per person. That might sound like a lot, but it is an all-day event, sunrise to sunset basically, so in reality not. However they did let people come and go and bring in more food & beverages all day long, but no huge coolers of beer and liquor.

BUT, AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT POINT... Unless you were parked like right across the street from the Speedway and had more alcohol in your car or had an RV on the infield, the idea of bringing in more beer was impractical to say the least and that meant it was impractical for many people there to do. They also had TONS of security & staff, something I never saw in the Preakness infield. Anytime you turned your head in any direction, you saw Daytona 500 security or staff.
Not so ever in the Preakness infield.

And that explains why The Daytona 500 infield does not have the mayhem that The Preakness infield had despite having TWICE as many drunken people!

The Magna people and The Maryland Jockey Club and Tom Chuckas are clearly totally inept at planning a huge event or they are deliberately trying to destroy The Preakness on purpose.

I cannot think of any other conclusion with the news of this year's Preakness.
It's basically the same failed event as last year.
I think the Daytona 500 was a cheaper ticket too & I actually saw the race as well! Go figure!

Oh, and by the way, I had a great time and I'm not even a big NASCAR fan.
It was crazy, no doubt, but it was well managed with little trouble unlike the Preakness infield.

$3 16 oz beer is overpriced? Where is your hang, I can always use some cheap suds.

Fabby - go be unhappy elsewhere...

I think the line-up is good, not great. I think the mug deal might be alright. I may even spring for the $60 just to give the new preakness infield a try.

Especially since Fabby won't be there.

ZBB, OAR and Greengenes! How can you not love this line up?!

I second the statement that Fabby and his negativity not being there totally increases the allure! Dude, calm down. The reason Preakness didn't work and the 500 did is because the demographics are completely different! Have you even been to the Infield? It was underage college kids that drank until they passed out. The 500 is late 20's to middle-agers that drink for fun not to black-out. I have been to both. And I applaud the MJC for their decision! The Infield truly is a festival now and not just a drunken orgy!

I’m so excited! $20 all-you-can drink and great entertainment!

Could you have two weaker bands? What, 2 hits between them? NOT worth the money! You think the crowds were small last year........

ZBB is incredible live. They didn't get the opening slot on the Dave Mathews tour for nothing. I might actually go for them alone.

Say hi to the 3 OTHER people there for me TS just like last year! LOL

PREDICTION: lower attendance or same as last year.

Which means the track loses money again for the year since it counts on huge profits from The Preakness to even stay open and a modest profit does NOT keep the track profitable since it loses money

People don't seem to understand that.

And you wonder why they're in bankruptcy? DUH.

Of course there are many other reasons, but this one is a no-brainer and shows a complete lack of ability to plan a huge event like the Daytona 500, just to satisfy the political correctness crowd.

The Virgin Mobile Music Fest will have better bands when announced, mark my words down now on your calender AND IT'LL BE FREE!

This is nothing but a "We couldn't get anybody ELSE event!" LOL
And the reason they couldn't get anybody better is everyone knows nobody showed up last year!

Poor planning = bankruptcy, no brainer.

I might consider going only because this might be the LAST Preakness in Baltimore.

You know Fabby, Maryland Racing, like always, turned a profit, abeit with the bulk of their revenue coming from Preakness day. It's the parent company Magna that's bankrupt largely because of they sank a ton of money into rebuilding Gulfstream casino/racetrack in Florida and the revenues have been nowhere near what they were hoping for, at least for now.

Flabby, give it up. They've been saying last Preakness for years now.

Well I have been going to the Preakness off and on since 1984. '84 was the last year of keg beer due to keg tossing. You think the random beer can toss was bad. Then in 86 I think was the year they banned bringing in non folding furniture and building your own spot a pot. ...The first ticket I bought was $8 or $12 at the gate...
Things change, events change, I think after the disaster of last year , nothing like seeing a half empty infield on national TV to cement the fact.
This I think is a step in the right direction, and it is a bargain, I would gladly spend $20 for all you can drink beer, and not have to carry my own cooler filled into the place. Not all the bands are going to make everyone happy, they never do. I am sure there were people that pissed and moaned at Woodstock as well. Remember it is a HORSE RACE first. So you take what you can get.

Check this out! SCVNGR is running a mobile adventure at the Preakness infieldFest. Sign up for it here:

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "n" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected