Exclusive: OutKast to headline 2014 BET Experience

Big Boi, left, and Andre Benjamin of the group OutKast, shown here in 2006, were announced as additions to the BET Experience concert lineup.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

OutKast will headline the 2014 BET Experience, the three-day music festival scheduled for June in downtown Los Angeles.

Black Entertainment Television is expected to make an official announcement Monday that the Atlanta duo will topline the festival’s rap-heavy showcase, which includes Rick Ross, ASAP Rocky and DJ Khaled.

When BET announced in March the first set of performers for the festival, which will be in its second year, the network teased a “very special hip-hop reunion you won’t want to miss.”

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That reunion is OutKast, which recently ended a seven-year hiatus with a headlining slot at the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival this month.

Coachella launched an extensive festival run for OutKast, which is marking the 20th anniversary of its 1994 debut, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.” Gigs at more than 40 festivals include Governors Ball in New York, Sasquatch in Washington state, Drake’s OVO Fest in Toronto, Wireless Festival in London and now the BET Experience at L.A. Live.

This year’s festival, scheduled for June 27-29, will again include concerts, wellness seminars, celebrity panels, exhibits and a fan expo at multiple venues at L.A. Live. It’s anchored by BET’s annual award spectacle.

R&B crooner Maxwell and songstresses Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius and “American Idol” winner Candice Glover will kick off the festival June 27 at Staples Center.


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OutKast will close the following night’s hip-hop-focused bill with Rick Ross, ASAP Rocky, K. Michelle, Ty Dolla Sign and August Alsina. DJ Khaled will host.

Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz and Jennifer Hudson will close the festival. (Tamar Braxton no longer appears on the bill.) Future and the Roots have been tapped for late-night club gigs that follow Staples Center shows.

Last year BET launched the festival. More than two years in the making, the BET Experience was a way for the network to expand its awards show and make L.A. a destination for urban music fans in search of a big-ticket event.

More than 100,000 flocked to L.A. Live last June to see Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole and Miguel as well as R. Kelly, New Edition and the Jacksons. There were also comedy shows from Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer, a Kirk Franklin-led gospel showcase and late-night jam sessions topped by Erykah Badu and the Roots.

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In 2012, the network signed a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group to launch the event and move its award show to the Nokia Theatre. BET teamed with promoter Goldenvoice, a division of AEG Live, to select talent for the festival.

VIP packages, priced between $1,095 and $4,395, include access to the awards show and the Staples Center series. Single-day tickets to the concerts are $59.50 to $149.50, and buyers can bundle the Staples Center series of shows for $199 to $399. The fan fest is free and open to the public at LA Convention Center, withno registration required.


More info, including ticket sales, can be found on the festival’s site.


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