Kaskade, Steve Aoki, A-Trak named for Indy 500 Snake Pit

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway month of May concert lineup has its latest announcement, joining the Back Home Again in IndianaCarb Day and Legends Day announcements. Here’s the Snake Pit lineup, with release below from IMS:

World-renowned electronic DJs and producers Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak will perform in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite during the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We’ve seen a renewed popularity in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite in the past few years and our younger fans really enjoy the direction in which it’s been going,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak are among the world’s leading electronic music artists, and combining their talents with the other entertainment we have planned will make our Snake Pit the place to be for the most entertaining party in Indianapolis this year.”

In an effort to enhance the Snake Pit’s reputation of securing top talent and to further its growth, IMS partnered with React Presents, the leading electronic concert and festival promoter in the Midwest, to produce the event. React Presents is a full service club, concert and festival promotion company based in Chicago. React Presents produces Spring Awakening Music Festival, Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and hundreds of events in the Midwest each year.

Crowned by the New York Times as “the new face of electronic dance music,” Kaskade formed the groundwork for a titanic musical and cultural shift creating a post-rock electronic music revolution that has captured the imagination of a new generation of fans across North America.

In 2011, Kaskade earned his first Grammy nomination for his double-album Fire & Ice, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic albums chart. He would later release his well-received eighth studio album Atmosphere in 2013, which scored 12 Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay Chart, meriting Kaskade his second and third Grammy nominations for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album. The two-time “America’s Best DJ” title-holder has created chart-topping remixes for everyone from Lana Del Rey to Beyoncé.

Kaskade closed out the 2014 concert season having performed and headlined at more than 100 shows and festivals. He’s brought his deep-euphoric tunes to the masses averaging 17,000 fans per arena-sized show spanning six continents in more than 45 countries. Kaskade’s live shows are a jaw-dropping spectacle with him performing in front of massive LED screens broadcasting evocative images synced with the music in meaning and tone, while strobe lights scan the crowd.

Steve Aoki is a Grammy Award-nominated, gold-selling artist and producer, who incites quite a bit of movement with packed headlining shows and festival appearances.

Millions of fans responded to Aoki’s 2014 studio album Neon Future 1, featuring a wondrous and wild cross section of genres. The album catapulted to No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums Chart, No. 4 on the Independent Albums Chart and No. 13 on the Digital Albums Chart. The single “Delirious (Boneless)” with Chris Lake and Tujamo featuring Kid Ink, achieved gold status as certified by the RIAA and “Rage the Night Away” (Feat. Waka Flocka Flame) appeared in theatrical trailers for the dance film Step Up: All In as well as Unfinished Business.

Aoki’s latest album release, Neon Future II, fuels his latest revolution, bookending the journey he began with Neon Future 1, while opening up the skies for more progression. He first ignites this ride with “Time Capsule (Intro),” where swirling synths propel an engaging and entrancing opener bolstered by cinematic and spacey soundscapes. Aoki taps the talents of the legendary Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) for an electrified reggae and rap banger “Youth Dem Turn Up,” emitting cosmic fumes worth huffing over and over again. Elsewhere, Matthew Koma lends his smooth and slick croon to the dance floor-ready bounce of “Hysteria.”

At a time when DJs sit firmly at the center of popular culture, A-Trak stands out as the MVP, and the key participant who holds together all facets of the craft. Very few share his mastery of turntablism while also sitting at the forefront of musical innovation, looking keenly to the future with history tucked in his back pocket.

After spending years as Kanye West’s tour DJ and confidant, A-Trak founded the celebrated record label Fool’s Gold Records in 2007 and developed the careers of numerous artists, including Danny Brown, Chromeo, RL Grime, Flosstradamus, and many more.

A Grammy-nominated producer from Montreal, Canada, A-Trak was a ’90s turntable prodigy. As a teenager, he won every DJ title known to man, starting with the 1997 DMC World Championships and holding a record-breaking five titles by the time he was 18.

A-Trak hops effortlessly from colossal festival stages to sold-out concert venues and sweaty underground clubs, building links between hip hop and electronic music while watching genre barriers crumble.

Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite tickets are available for purchase for all Indianapolis 500 ticket holders. General admission tickets to the Snake Pit are available beginning at $15 in addition to VIP tickets offering admission to the Serpent Lounge starting at $60. VIP amenities will include access to a raised viewing platform located side stage, a private cash bar, private restrooms, video boards with live race coverage and access to viewing mounds. Snake Pit tickets do not include gate admission.

For Snake Pit wristbands and more information, visit http://www.indy500snakepit.com.

The 2015 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for noon (ET) on Sunday, May 24.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing

Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”