When Doomtree proclaimed last fall that their 10th annual multi-night Blowout at First Avenue would be their “Last Blowout Ever,” many wondered what the powerhouse hip-hop crew would conjure up next. It turns out we didn’t have to wait very long to find out: Today, the seven-piece group announced the Doomtree Zoo, an outdoor festival coming to Lowertown St. Paul’s CHS Field on October 3.
“With the Blowout, it was just so locked in for so many years,” Doomtree producer Lazerbeak told me yesterday. “For this one, we were like, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’
Beak says that part of the limitation of the Blowout was that it had to occur inside traditional music venues. For their new scheme, the crew wanted to look at their possibilities from a whole new angle. “At one point I ended up going on a drive with Joe Spencer, the arts and cultural director of St. Paul, and he gave me this awesome tour—I thought we were going to check out this one little outdoor field, and in the end we spent a whole afternoon just driving around. I hadn’t ever gotten to see the city from that perspective,” he continues. “We walked into CHS field and it was this eureka moment: This could be crazy.”
While the idea of hosting a concert in a baseball stadium certainly isn’t new—this summer’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival showcase of Dr. John at CHS Field and last falls’ Replacements show at Midway Stadium are two recent examples—Lazerbeak says that Doomtree hopes to “reimagine what a baseball stadium can be for a big show.” Performances won’t be constricted to the main stage inside the field, and the crew has invited In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and face painters to roam the stadium between sets. To emphasize the kid-friendly nature of the show, kids 8 and under get into the Doomtree Zoo free.
For now, the Doomtree Zoo will be a one-time event, with no plans of making it an annual festival. Right now, Lazerbeak says they’re focusing on simply executing an event of this scale—CHS Field can accommodate up to 12,000 people.
“When we talked aobut ending the Blowout, we talked about wanting to feel that fear again, to be more on the line—we knew that we could sell First Avenue out, it got too easy, maybe,” he says. “Challenge has always been good for us. This is the most we’ve ever bit off.”
Doomtree Zoo lineup:
Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic
Open Mike Eagle
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
- Doomtree Zoo: October 3rd, 2015, 2-10pm
- CHS Field (360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101)
- Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door
- A limited number of Baller Pass tickets are available for $100
- Pre-sale begins on Tuesday, July 28, at 11am CST (sign up for the Current’s newsletter to get a pre-sale password sent to you on Thursday)
- Tickets go on sale to the public on Saturday, August 1st at 11am CST
- More info available on Doomtree’s site here