How Big Boi Got Booked for City Arts Fest and the Outkast KeyArena Show That Didn't Happen

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So fresh and so clean. Big Boi will be in town Oct. 23.

The inaugural City Arts Fest begins tomorrow and with it comes loads of local and national musicians performing on stages big and small throughout the city.

One of the bigger names acting as headliner is Big Boi, who is touring behind his solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty. The one-half of Outkast rapper will be performing at Showbox SoDo Saturday night. I chatted with Steven Severin, one of the bookers of the festival (who is also one of the talent buyers and owners of Neumos), last week and he shared an interesting story about an Outkast show in Seattle that never was and talked about how he landed Big Boi.

"I'm a huge Outkast fan, going back to the ATLiens days, which is showing my age a bit, but I've always wanted to book Outkast. I had an opportunity years ago to book them at KeyArena," Severin said. "At the time I was booking I-Spy and I had no business whatsoever trying to book an Outkast show but I had the opportunity. But I only had like $28 in my pocket and there was no way I could have afforded any of it. Looking back now at how big they were and how little money they wanted at the time I couldn't do it fast enough now."

Since Severin has always wanted to book Outkast he jumped on the opportunity to have Big Boi as part of the City Arts Fest lineup.

"With Big Boi, I knew his record was coming out so I called the agent and I told him we had to make this happen. Then he was like, 'Yeah, it's not going to happen.' I told him that I get that but that I needed to make it happen and he went and talked to him (Big Boi) and it happened," Severin said. "It wasn't super easy and it took a long time, it took months in fact to make it happen, but it happened and I get to do one of my favorite shows that I have every gotten to do."

City Arts Fest wristbands begin at $60. Individual tickets to see Big Boy cost $29.50. Neema, Fatal Lucciauno and DJ Swerveone are scheduled to open.

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