Miami-based Rolling Loud, a hip-hop themed festival, has announced plans for global expansion, starting with additional dates in the Bay area (October 2017), Southern California (October 2017), the United Kingdom (2018) and Japan (2018). The festival’s world tour will close out with a 2018 event in Miami.
Given the global expansion, one has to conclude the event has either partnered with another entity or received outside funding, though there aren’t any details as of now except for the planned expansion.
Rolling Loud is a two-year old festival housed under Dope Entertainment, a company founded in 2010 by Tariq Cherif and Matthew Zingler. The festival kicked off in 2015 with a one-day event at Miami’s Soho Studios with ScHoolboy Q, Juicy J and A$AP Ferg headlining for a crowd of about 6,000 people, according to Billboard.
While largely a positive for the genre, the festival has come under fire for repeatedly under booking women. Of the 54 performers booked for the May 2017 event, only three were women. In the 2016 event, only two women were booked. Looking at the inaugural event flier, it appears zero women performed.
The founders have claimed they book based on charts and fan requests, but for us that claim just doesn’t hold up. At all. (You can read our analysis of the topic here.)
It’s great that Rolling Loud is expanding and bringing live hip hop music to more people, but the expansion should also include the number of female artists in their lineup. Definitely we will be paying attention to and commenting on how it books for its coming events.