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MiEntertainment, purveyors of Common Ground and PRIME Music Festival, aren’t too worried about legacy rock acts. PRIME’s Friday sophomore effort is loaded with a lineup of rap and electronic flavors.
“We met Prime Social Group several years ago through some industry connections — they were looking to expand into the Michigan market,” said Jenna Meyer, marketing director of MiEntertainment. “We were also looking to expand our own business, so we thought it was a great fit.”
Headliners Diplo, Tyga and Russ are consistent with the direction in which MiEntertainment has taken Common Ground, which has noticeably shifted away from classic rock.
But the audience doesn’t seem to mind.
PRIME’s first go in 2017 commanded a massive crowd; the same year, hip hop became the most dominant music on the Billboard charts for the first time ever.
“I think in Lansing especially, the base is very college-y. It’s smart to gear toward your audience, and EDM, pop, hip hop — that’s big right now,” said Jason Veeder, who will perform at PRIME Music Fest as DJ Jay Vee. “When you are putting on something of that level, you’ve got to look at who you’re trying to please.”
PRIME is out to capture the attention of the 18 to 35 demographic, the vast population of Michigan State University.
“PRIME Music Fest really caters to the student body. We specifically targeted a bye week of football.”
Meyer said the fall semester date makes perfect sense for MiEntertainment — after all, Common Ground runs when the students have turned away from Lansing en masse.
Smaller Mid-Michigan artists like Day’Shawn Lyons, who performs Saturday as Chose Lyons, relish the opportunity to get in front the audience that headliners such as Diplo command.
Lyons’ politically charged single “Reparations” was released with a music video featuring the rapper dressed in tattered pants with a noose around his neck, but Lyons has a set of more party-oriented music ready for PRIME.
“I’ve been at a music festival before, and I know it’s sometimes hard to try to have fun and be conscious at the same time. Sometimes I just want to let loose, have fun, and I think my fans deserve that as well."
If PRIME Music Fest proves successful, it could further the discussion of whether Lansing needs, or can even handle, more music festivals. Pending renovations to Adado Riverfront Park, both Meyer and Scott Keith, who heads the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, believe more big events could be on the horizon.
“I think infrastructure improvements are the first thing that need to be done. It costs $40,000 a night to produce these events. That doesn’t mean improvements would eliminate all of that, because a lot of that is labor — putting in sound and lights, et cetera,” Keith Said.
“It’s stage rental, it’s a fence rental, it’s power and water. If those costs were eliminated, it would certainly make many events much more palatable and cost effective.”
Meyer said pending renovations, MiEntertainment might even be able to get back on the horse for classic rock.
“I think Lansing can support even more music. With the proposed renovations to Adado Riverfront Park and the permanent amphitheater, we’re really excited about projects that will see Lansing accept the arts and music even more.”
PRIME Music Festival Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Adado Riverfront Park 300 N. Grand Ave., Lansing For full lineup and tickets, visit: primefestival.com