Dave Pirrone hadn’t heard of Snoop Dogg before he spotted the rap artist’s name on a stack of glossy fliers dropped off at the Mariaville Lakeside Country Store recently.
As usual, the flier advertising the annual Camp Bisco festival listed the psychedelic new age jam band, the Disco Biscuits, along with a rap sheet of small- to mid-sized urban acts. But this year’s event at the nearby Indian Lookout Country Club featured a name that caught the attention of the store owner’s teenage daughter.
“I didn’t know who he was until she pointed him out in a movie,” Pirrone said.
The 36-year-old rapper and actor will headline the first day of the three-day festival July 17-19 at the 177-acre campground off Batter Street. Organizers believe Snoop Dogg’s appearance among this year’s slate of artists has drawn heightened interest in Camp Bisco, which drew about 5,600 people last year.
DJ Shadow, a household name in the hip hop world, and Cut Chemist, a fellow record producer, are also scheduled to perform. Luis Sandoval, one of the event’s publicists, said the powerful combination of acts has nearly sold out the event.
“This is probably the best lineup to date,” he said.
Snoop Dogg, a Long Beach, Calif., native, has produced 10 albums, appeared in dozens of motion pictures and is even featured in his own reality television show that airs on the E! channel. In booking Snoop Dogg, the event producers are hoping to elevate Camp Bisco from a modest festival to one that draws at least one big name each year.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Brett Keber, one of the event producers. “Little ol’ Camp Bisco has landed Snoop Dogg.”
Keber said the performer was partially drawn to the venue because of his desire to appeal to a new fan base. He said the appearance at Camp Bisco will be a new experience for the rapper, who isn’t prone to appearing at campground festivals.
“He really wants to get out here and play for a different audience,” he said.
Snoop Dogg’s appearance will be packed between tour stops he has scheduled at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn and the Comcast Center in Massachusetts. Though his appearance in Duanesburg is not listed on his tour schedule, it lies among six performances he is giving across five states over the course of one week.
Country club owner Frank Potter said the rapper will join a growing list of impressive names that have paid a visit to the campground, such as the Allman Brothers, James Brown and Government Mule, among many others. He said the organizers have already met with county officials and state police to plan the appearance.
But while Snoop Dogg’s scheduled performance should rank among the more memorable shows at the country club, it will be short lived. Potter said the rapper is only expected to spend two hours at the festival.
“He’s a big name and a big asset for us,” he said. “It’s big for Schenectady County.”