Preakness InfieldFest feat. Pitbull, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Afrojack

138th Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is a thoroughbred horse race held every May at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. First contested in 1873, the annual running of the Preakness is a classic American institution. The Preakness is the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. One of the largest single-day sporting events in the United States, the Preakness has hosted up to 121,309 people.

Pimlico will be awash in pink on Friday to help raise funds and aid awareness & research for breast cancer. Cheer on retired champion lady riders who return to the saddle for a "race with a cause" in the popular Lady Legends for the Cure IV. Catch the nation's finest fillies in the 89th running of the Black-Eyed Susan, and the top older horses competing in the 43rd Pimlico Special. Pick the winner in Pimlico's very first "Battle of the Sexes" Jockey Challenge, where racing's top men and women duke it out in four races for a top prize of $30,000. NEW IN 2013: Black-Eyed Susan Day Infield Concert featuring the Goo Goo Dolls, Rodney Atkins and Rachel Farley.

Don’t know a superfecta from a tote board? It’s not all about the horses. Preakness InfieldFest is a multi-entertainment festival featuring PItbull, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Afrojack plus bottomless beer in the popular MUG Club. Jagermeister Stage acts include Chevelle, Florida-Georgia Line and Kristen & The Noise.

Pitbull has risen to become a global superstar as both a recording and performing artist. The Miami-native recently added to a long-and-growing list of hits with his first #1, “Give Me Everything.” At the same time, his world tour sold out concerts in Latin America Canada and Europe, before bringing the party to the United States, Japan and Australia. Pitbull’s new single “Don’t Stop The Party” is a global radio and video hit and is also featured on his new album Global Warming. Its the highly anticipated follow-up to Planet Pit, which earned critical acclaim and enjoyed massive commercial success with sales of more than 1.7 million albums and 19 million singles. “Don’t Stop The Party” comes on the heels of Pitbull’s 2 million-selling single “Back In Time,” the chart-topping anthem from the action-adventure-comedy Men In Black 3.

To complement his worldwide success as an artist, Pitbull is also a burgeoning business entrepreneur with his own line of premium, low-calorie vodka, Voli, an equity partner in the iconic food franchise that shares his Miami roots, The New Miami Subs Grill, RockDoc, a revolutionary portable speaker line and a partnership with Sheets, the dissolvable energy strip. These entrepreneurial ventures are the latest for Pitbull, who has inked major sponsorship deals with blue-chip brands like Bud Light, Dr Pepper, Pepsi (Latin America) and Kodak.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a duo from Seattle, Washington, have emerged as a premier national hip-hop group known for their electrifying live shows, expertly crafted music, and innovative music videos and media. After years of building momentum with impassioned support from their devoted fan base, 2012 has been a banner year for the group, kicked off by Macklemore’s feature in XXL’s Freshman Class. Most recently, they have broken new ground by independently releasing their debut full-length album, The Heist, which shot into the #1 spot on iTunes and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts without the support of a traditional record label. Their single “Thrift Shop” has top 40 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and is still climbing, with a wildly popular music video (20 million+ views on YouTube) on heavy rotation on BET and MTV2. “Same Love,” a song and videoin support of marriage equality, galvanized young fans and voters and led to a live studio performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While on their 70-city, completely sold-out world tour supporting The Heist, they have garnered attention in Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, TIME and GQ, with live performances on VH1 and an upcoming feature on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ music is distinct for channeling cultural moments and refreshingly self-aware testimony through candid lyricism and thoughtfully crafted production. Their work has captivated listeners around the world, with a combined total of 50 million views on YouTube and a passionate fan following. Their body of work demonstrates an impressive variety of musical influence, experience and subject matter, all in a voice unmistakably their own.

Macklemore’s 2005 release Language of My World was well received by circles who noted his fresh perspective and a striking balance of insight and levity. After several subsequent years of artistic stagnation and frustration due to substance abuse, Macklemore made a commitment to sobriety with a newfound, more intrinsic dedication to his music. A major catalyst to this change was establishing a partnership and on-going collaboration with Ryan Lewis, an accomplished artist in design, photography, video and musical production, who also acts as Macklemore’s touring DJ. They released the VS EP in 2009 & VS Redux in 2010, the latter reaching #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts. Throughout 2011 they released four highly successful singles, all accompanied by undeniable music videos. As an independent group with no current association with an outside record label, the duo has built their brand from the ground up since day one, and continue to be completely in-house with their music, design, photography, merchandise and all other platforms of their artistry.

The pair has been featured at a significant number of major festivals and showcases, including the 2011 Rock The Bells Tour, Lollapalooza (IL), Soundset (MN), MusicFest NW (OR), Sasquatch (WA), Outside Lands (San Francisco), and a much-talked about run at SXSW, including a set at the Fader Fort. Perhaps most notable was 2011’s Bumbershoot Festival, where Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed an extended set to 12,000 fans at Key Arena, unprecedented for a Seattle-based hip-hop artist. They also performed “My Oh My” at the Seattle Mariners home opener at Safeco Field for 48,000 people.

Select publication appearances include the Source’s “Unsigned Hype” column in early 2012, the “Show-And-Prove” feature in XXL Magazine, a front-page feature on the Seattle Times and the cover of City Arts Magazine and The Stranger.

The stars must've been aligned just right when Nick van de Wall (better known as Afrojack) saw his first ray of light. Music was his first love since his early youth. He started playing piano when he was only five. Being a very creative student, Afrojack spent most of his time listening to all kinds of music while studying. It was no surprise that it didn't take him long to turn the tables and start making music instead of just listening to it.

Chevelle, an alternative rock band, has sold over four million records in the United States since 1999 and garnered three Grammy nominations. The Chicago-based band's 2004 album This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and exceeded gold status. The band scored its highest entry into the Billboard Top 200 with Sci-Fi Crimes in 2009, debuting at #6.

Florida-Georgia Line

It's been more than two decades since a new country act has captured the public's imagination the way Florida Georgia Line has.

The duo's multi-week #1 single, "Cruise," hit the Top 10 just 14 weeks after its release, faster than any debut since Brooks & Dunn’s "Brand New Man." It's the kind of affirmation few young artists ever experience, and yet was just the cap on a year that saw Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard thrill audiences on tour dates with Alabama, Brantley Gilbert and Jake Owen; cut an EP and their first album HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES with producer Joey Moi (Nickelback, Jake Owen) and sign a label deal with Republic Nashville -- after selling nearly 200,000 digital downloads independently. To date, "Cruise," alone has sold well over one million; reached #1 on the iTunes Country Singles Chart and helped secure them a spot on Luke Bryan’s "DIRT ROAD DIARIES TOUR" in 2013.

"It's safe to say it's been a real whirlwind for us," says Tyler. "It's been awesome."

"It's a dream come true," adds Brian, "although it still kind of feels like just yesterday that we were writing the first couple of songs on the back of Tyler's tailgate."

Those tailgate writing sessions, not long after the two met as students at Nashville's Belmont University, kicked off a partnership that has made them one of country's hottest young acts. The fact that their own hard work and game plan fueled so much of the journey makes it doubly sweet.

"As songwriters," says Tyler, "it's always the dream come true to see a song you poured your heart and soul into being sung back to you on a nightly basis to the point where you can barely hear yourself sing."

"And then because of that song, just to see our name on the chart with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, and the great new artists like Lee Brice and Thomas Rhett, that's probably the coolest thing," adds Brian.

"Cruise," which Country Weekly called "a hip hop hybrid of crunchy electric guitar riffs, rap lyrics and backwood boondock roots that would make Kid Rock proud and Jason Aldean envious," is the platinum-plated introduction to their debut album. Working with Moi, Florida Georgia Line has captured within its 11 songs all the excitement and energy of the live show that launched their reputation.

"That was one of our goals from the beginning," says Tyler. "It's difficult to capture the emotion and adrenaline we have in front of fans in a live setting, but I think Joey did a great job."

A great record begins with great songs, and HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES reflects the songwriting skills the two have honed with years of dues-paying.

"As songwriters," says Brian, "you're always trying to find a new way to say something, and we take a lot of pride in taking a fresh approach to things everybody experiences."

After "Cruise," there's no better place to start than with HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES, which captures the essence of this musically adventurous celebration of youth, fun and romance.

"The title track," says Brian, "sums up the album and what we bring to the table. There are some love songs, some ballads, and some songs about life, and then there are the songs that just rock it. It's going to make you feel some kind of emotion whether it makes you want to drink a beer, cry, reminisce, get back with your girl, whatever it is."

The songs include the passionate "Stay;" the deceptively thoughtful and nostalgic "Hell Raisin' Heat of the Summer;" "Dayum, Baby" (featuring Sarah Buxton) and "Tell Me How You Like It," two journeys into appreciation for the fair sex; the workaday "Round Here" and flat-out party anthems like "Tip it Back" and "Party People" (featuring Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Black). Throughout, there is hard-driving country with honest, expressive lyrics.

The journey that led to their breakthrough project began in two small southern towns--Monroe, Georgia, for Tyler and Ormond Beach, Florida, for Brian. Both loved the music of their churches, and both branched out into a wide variety of popular music, heavy on the country. Aside from a homemade CD and one show with friends in high school, Tyler didn't play country in front of a crowd until he attended Belmont.

"Music was probably the only thing that would hold my attention long enough to get me through college," he says. He began with a concentration on Christian music, but says, "the more I became passionate about writing all kinds of stuff, the more doors opened."

Brian's tastes ran from Christian to rap, from Aerosmith to Garth Brooks.

"Even at a young age," he says, "I understood that music can evoke any kind of emotion, and that's something we take into all our shows--the people coming to see us are there to experience, to enjoy, to party, to live out those songs."

Brian played baseball at Florida State, and then transferred to Belmont, where he met Tyler. The two knew right away that their vocal blend was special, and they became dedicated co-writers from the beginning. They played the city's writers' nights, and reaction was so good they decided they'd like to take a shot as artists as well as songwriters.

"We really built a good foundation of friendship above all," says Tyler, "and that's what made it work. Everything we've done together--writing, music, singing--it's come really easily and naturally. It was us doing it because we wanted to."

Then came a pivotal moment.

"We were driving through a McDonald's, on our way to write with a buddy," says Tyler. "We were about to graduate college and we were talking about what we were going to do. We both didn't really know. And we said, 'Well, why don't we get in the Tahoe and just go play music, whether it's on the sidewalk or in a bar? Let's go play our songs for people and see what happens. We've got nothing to lose.'"

"We figured if we gave it all we had and didn’t see any momentum or nothing was happening," adds Brian, "we'd just move on and go do something else."

So they set out in Brian's Tahoe, at first doing acoustic gigs, and later with a band. In the meantime, there were a variety of day jobs to pay the bills and keep the dream alive.

"When you're putting up bathroom stalls, cutting grass, washing cars and you don't feel like writing after work," says Brian, "you really have to love what you do. There were days where it's like, 'Man, I've got fifty dollars left in my bank account,' but you keep pushing."

"Right after college," Tyler adds, "mom asked me, 'What's your plan B?' I said, 'There is no Plan B. That's the plan."

Gradually, though, the clubs got bigger, and the crowds, built one fan and one show at a time, got larger and more enthusiastic. Back in Nashville, labels got interested.

Their first, independently produced EP, 2010's Anything Like Me, included the Tyler-penned song "Black Tears," which was covered by Jason Aldean on his chart-topping 2012 gold album Night Train. They picked up a booking agent, Buddy Lee Attractions, and then Seth England from platinum songwriter/publisher Craig Wiseman's Big Loud Shirt publishing company met with them, setting in motion a process that led to their second EP, this one produced by Moi. One of its songs was "Cruise," and its success helped them turn the corner.

"The one thing that set us apart and made us able to sell over 100,000 copies of 'Cruise' before we had a deal with Republic," says Tyler, "was the fact that we did work hard. Instead of looking for a deal, we were looking for fans. So we went out there for two years and just did show after show. We knew that when the fans were there the labels would be there and that's exactly what happened. That's what set us apart, and that's what led us to the best team in Nashville."

They bring profound life lessons to the table as well.

"You really draw from the things that make you stronger," says Brian. "For me, I spent a year playing baseball at Daytona State College under a coach named Tim Touma, which completely changed my life. I hated it at the time. It was basically like boot camp, but he always said it was bigger than baseball. What you were going to learn under him was stuff you could use the rest of your life. So when Tyler and I were getting up early, staying up late, our voices were tired and we were being pulled in so many different ways, I'd think, 'If I could tread water with a cinder block over my head at five o'clock in the morning, I think I can do this.'"

For Tyler, it was the lessons he learned from his father, who died tragically when Tyler was a college sophomore.

"If it weren't for my dad," he says, "I wouldn't be where I am today. He taught me all about chasing dreams and working hard to get where you want to go. My father was my number one fan and I miss him every day. And I've learned that if you can overcome something like that, you can overcome the seemingly hard times that go with a career. It's just a matter of working hard and trying to make the people close to us proud, whether they're here or gone."

The work, the life lessons, and the youth and energy they bring to the table are all part of what they pour out each night on stage and what they've brought to the table with their first album.

"We couldn't be more proud of all the songs on the record," says Tyler. "It's a really exciting time to be able to share our lives through music with our fans."

"Our friends are really excited," adds Brian, "but to them I think we're still just two guys who started out doing music on the back of a tailgate and have been working hard at it and trying to get better. And with the way my parents and Tyler's family have also been so supportive along the way, it's like everybody's success, not just ours."

And judging from their reaction, fans consider it theirs too.

Kristen and the Noise

Kristen and the Noise will open the Jägermeister stage. The energetic Philadelphia-based band is a regular in the mid-Atlantic region, featuring lead singer Kristen Kwolek. The band performs cover songs Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga and a mix of current rock, alternative, dance and modern day hip hop.

$60

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Preakness InfieldFest feat. Pitbull, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Afrojack with Chevelle, Florida-Georgia Line, Kristen and the Noise

Saturday, May 18 · 8:00 AM at Pimlico Race Course