BEST FESTIVAL - 2010
All too often, summer music festivals fall into one of two major categories: the kind that takes over sprawling, grassy fields to hawk $8 light beers and host an array of clean-cut, adult-contemporary rock bands, or the kind that takes over city streets to, well, also hawk $8 beers and showcase eclectic lineups of up-and-coming local talent. And while both kinds of gatherings serve their purpose on a hot summer day, one homegrown festival has set itself apart from the rest in both format and function. Now in its third year, Rhymesayers' Soundset festival has proven to be a unifying force for the ever-expanding local hip-hop scene, drawing more than 15,000 fans to the asphalt slabs of Canterbury Park for a daylong marathon of local and national rap acts, creating a veritable buffet of talent for the all-ages crowd to sample. Though the 2010 lineup has yet to be announced, it's a safe bet that more than a few of the label's major players (Atmosphere, Brother Ali, P.O.S) will attend, along with a bevy of soon-to-break-out new acts.