To the chagrin of thousands of hip-hop fans in the tristate area, last weekend’s 10th annual Rock the Bells Hip Hop Music Festival in New York was postponed. Actually, it wasn’t thousands of fans who were impacted, it was more like a few hundred.
“First and foremost, it is with great sadness and disappointment that we must cancel the Washington, D.C., and New York City Rock the Bells dates due to lack of ticket sales,” said Chang Weisberg, founder and owner of Guerilla Union, which organized the tour. “I, along with our staff, the artists and all of the sponsors, media partners, local promoters and radio stations involved are thankful for our supporters and the fans that planned on attending. It’s extremely unfortunate that we can’t complete the last half of the 10th anniversary Rock the Bells tour.
“We did everything in our power to save the show. Unfortunately, the financial loss would have been devastating. This festival has been 10 years in the making. I am truly sorry we could not produce the show for all the fans who did buy their ticket in support of [Rock the Bells].”
This year’s lineup consisted of Rakim, KRS-One, Common, Black Hippy (Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul), J. Cole, Juicy J, A$AP Mob, Brother Ali, Dilated Peoples, Kid Cudi and Pusha T. The festival was also set to include virtual performances of Ol’ Dirty Bastard with the Wu-Tang Clan and Eazy-E with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
While it looked like a strong lineup on paper, maybe the prospect of spending upwards of $150 for tickets was too much for the festival fans. Full refunds will be honored at the location where fans purchased their tickets. More details can be found on the festival’s official website at www.rockthebells.net.
So as not to lament on what could’ve been, a couple of the acts that were slated to hit the stage at Rock the Bells will be in New York soon. On Sunday, Oct. 27, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony will be at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Tickets are $35 in advance and $39 on the day of the show. Doors open at 6 p.m., and showtime is at 8 p.m.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Common will appear at the Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway at West 44th Street) for a special night. Ticket prices are $42.50-$47. What makes this show a must-see is the fact that Common will serve as a co-headliner with Marsha Ambrosius as they provide vocals for the Grammy Award-winning Robert Glasper Experiment. I’ll have more on that one in about a week, so stay tuned.
In the immediate future, Jill Newman Productions is bringing Martin Luther back to the city. Last we mentioned that brother was when he was about to bring fire to the Apollo Café series. This time around, he’ll touch down along with featured band Mark Kelly’ Portable at the Highline Ballroom (431 W. 16th St., between Ninth and 10th avenues) on Friday, Oct. 11. Vocalist Shea Rose will open the evening with a performance.
For tickets, contact 866-468-7619, ticketweb.com or the Highline Ballroom box office.
It’s a done deal this week. Holla in seven days. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.