IMS plans a festival with the idea that electronic music and NASCAR will mix – Indianapolis Star
Following the success of Indy 500 Snake Pit concerts, which attract 30,000 electronic dance music fans, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will present two nights of similar acts as part of this year’s NASCAR weekend at the track.
The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer and rapper Mac Miller lead the lineup of the inaugural 400 Fest, scheduled July 21-22 inside Turn 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IMS President Doug Boles said the new event’s origins are found in the Indy 500 Snake Pit, where prominent DJ-producers Zedd and Marshmello will perform May 28.
“We’ve learned the best way to attract a 30-and-under audience is to do it with the music and in a festival-like atmosphere,” Boles said.
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Traditionally, country music acts such as Rascal Flatts, the Band Perry and Brantley Gilbert have provided the soundtrack for Brickyard 400 weekend. Last year, rock-rap specialist Kid Rock performed the night before the race.
Boles said he doesn’t think it’s a stretch to place electronic dance music in the context of a NASCAR race.
“For those of us who have been around a long time, we hear NASCAR and automatically think country music,” Boles said. “We think southern United States. Over the last 20 years, NASCAR has expanded across the country. Their fans are a lot more broad and diverse than their reputation gives them credit for.”
400 Fest tickets, which start at $100 for two-day passes, do not include admission to the Brickyard 400 on July 23 or the Lilly Diabetes 250 on July 22. Attendees can buy discounted tickets to on-track action July 21-23.
“We also want to attract somebody who might not be your typical NASCAR fan,” Boles said. “And while we’re not attracting them, necessarily, for the race. We are getting them to experience the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With music as the front door, maybe we’ll get them to pay a little bit of attention to what we do on track.”
Gates open at 5 p.m. for both nights of 500 Fest, with music starting at 7 p.m. Supporting acts on the roster include Cheat Codes and DNCE, a quartet featuring Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. Boles said an additional performer has yet to be announced.
Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Monday at IMS.com, by calling (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the track’s ticket office, 4790 W. 16th St.
After the first 2,500 tickets are sold, general-admission passes will increase from $100 to $120.
Call IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at (317) 444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.