Things to Do

This Maryland Music Festival Will Feature a Lot of Things At Once—Including a Horse Race

DJ Steve Aoki headlines the Clubhouse Festival at Laurel Park Racetrack.
The flyer for the festival. Photo courtesy of the Stronach Group

Wagering. A massive tailgate. Rappers and DJs. Thoroughbred horse racing. What do all of these things have in common? Practically nothing, except that they’re all coming together at once for the first Clubhouse Festival at Laurel Park Racetrack this Saturday.

Headlined by Steve Aoki, the festival will also have performances by rappers Tyga and Rich the Kid. Directly behind the stage—which is located near the clubhouse between the first and second turns of the track—attendees can watch the Maryland Million horse races.

Jimmy Vargas, executive VP for entertainment at the Stronach Group, says the new music festival is aimed at younger consumers like college students, who might become lifelong fans.

“It’s part of our initiative to continue to modernize and enhance the race-day experience by introducing some entertainment components,” says Vargas. “It’s definitely something newer for us as a platform, and it’s something that we are continuing to grow across all our tracks around the country.”

The Stronach Group is the same company that owns and operates the Preakness Stakes—which, for 10 years, has hosted performers such as Bruno Mars and the Chainsmokers at its Infieldfest. (The company made less festive news lately: Thoroughbred Daily News recently reported that Frank Stronach is suing his daughter Belinda, the president of the Stronach Group, alleging mismanagement of the family’s assets and trust funds.)

Local EDM promotion company Club Glow is the main partner involved, and Ciroc will offer cocktails for festival-goers. Vargas expects anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 people to attend the race and music festival.

“It’s ultimately a great full-day experience for guests to come out and catch the races, enjoy some great food and beverage, and have a fun day at the track,” Vargas says. “They’ll experience something that could be new to them—but we’re very confident that once they do experience it, that will create lifelong fans.”

Tickets can be purchased at clubhousefest.com; $27 – $75

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Elliot joined Washingtonian in January 2018. An alum of Villanova University, he grew up in the Philadelphia area before moving to Syracuse to pursue a master’s in journalism. His work has also appeared on Syracuse.com, TheAtlantic.com, and Catholicnews.com. He lives in Eckington.