You can't bring the hip-hop home every time, so on Oct. 3 the University of St. Thomas' Music Department will convene at CHS Field in St. Paul as a co-sponsor of the first annual Doomtree Zoo, a music festival featuring performances by nine hip-hop artists. The eponymous hip-hop collective Doomtree – comprised of local artists Paper Tiger, Cecil Otter, Lazerbeak, Sims, P.O.S., Mike Mictlan and Dessa – will headline the event, which takes place 2-10 p.m. Oct. 3.
In the past St. Thomas has co-sponsored music events, including the wildly popular Rock the Garden at the Walker Art Center and, recently, a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's Music and Movies in the Parks night.
Steve Cole, a professor in St. Thomas' Music Department, was one of the key people to helm the sponsorship. He hopes it is just the beginning of a beneficial partnership between the university's music program and what he called "one of the most progressive music industry cooperatives in the community."
"The reason for the connection is our program in music and, more specifically, the music industry. It's important for us to align ourselves with some of the leading-edge progressive organizations in music in our community. We have such a rich entrepreneurial population in the creative industries here, and Doomtree is one of the most progressive and innovative in the Twin Cities music industry. There are great lessons to be learned from them," Cole said.
This year's music festival, Cole explained, grew out of Doomtree's yearly residency, "Doomtree Blowout," which was held at local venues, including First Avenue and the Varsity Theater. "For 10 years they put on a week’s worth of shows. They sold them all out and this is their first foray into an event this large. We wanted to support them in their new endeavor," he said.
Cole added that, in turn, Doomtree is supporting St. Thomas' music program in terms of offering their leadership and artists to engage with students. "St. Thomas music students will have opportunities to learn how a music festival is conceptualized organized, promoted and executed, as well as in-class experiential learning on the music industry," Cole said.
Nick Meyerson and Maxee Whiteford, who lead St. Thomas' Music Industry Club, have plans to meet with Lazerbeak this month to discuss the club's participation in the festival. Meyerson is galvanizing club members to volunteer at the event as well.
Doomtree's most recent album, "All Hands," was released this year by their label, Doomtree Records.
Tickets for The Doomtree Zoo are for sale online on Doomtree's website.