The Washington, DC and the New York/New Jersey legs of the Rock The Bells hip hop festival, have been canceled.
The news came after rumors began swirling two days before the Washington, DC leg of the Rock The Bells travelling hip hop music festival, that the DC and possibly the New York/New Jersey legs had been canceled.
Despite unattributed tweets stating such, the Rock The Bells Twitter feed was still on full promo mode as of 11 a.m, when BirthplaceMag.com first reported these rumors.
However, later in the day, some of those tweets had been deleted, and reports came in that workers at RFK Stadium in Washington were being told to pack it up.
Industry insiders we spoke to, suggest that a lack of ticket sales was a possible reason for a cancellation, a decision which sent social media activity on the subject into a flurry.
Later in the day, Ticketmaster search results stated that the event, to stretch over two days, had been canceled. Several news sites, including a local Washington paper and FUSE TV, and dozens of hip hop websites went on to call the DC and NY/NJ legs officially canceled.
However, results began to return to Ticketmaster later in the day, and the lack of an official announcement by Guerilla Union, the festival’s organizers, continue to leave many in doubt.
An email inquiry to Rock The Bells initially sent at 11 a.m. was answered with an official statement, around 5:35 p.m., which included the following remarks:
Chang Weisberg, founder and owner of Guerilla Union states: “First and foremost, it is with great sadness and disappointment that we must cancel the Washington, DC and New York City Rock the Bells dates due to lack of ticket sales. 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 ten 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.”
Full refunds will be honored at the location where fans purchased their tickets.
The Rock The Bells festival, which already made stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco, hosting a slew of underground and mainstream artists with a fairly massive lineup of acts. Despite some technological issues, a “sluggish start” and a few big name no-shows, the DC and New York shows were being fully promoted by local radio stations, websites and Rock The Bells themselves.
The New York leg of Rock The Bells was expected to be heavy with regional talent, and of course, the main acts, to include The Wu-Tang Clan, help particular appeal to the NY Metropolitan area. Aside from the yearly Summer Jam, thrown by Hot 97, a one-day event which focuses much more on mainstream acts, there is no other hip hop concert as large or as varied as when Rock The Bells comes into town.
Failure for the show to go on is a huge blemish on the Guerilla Union organization, coordinators of Rock The Bells, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The full, official statement from Rock The Bells, can be read here.