When co-founders Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif debuted Rolling Loud in February of 2015, they envisioned creating something never been done before.
“I’m trying to create [a] Starbucks,” he told Forbes in a 2018 profile explaining his goal of franchising the Rolling Loud festival brand.
Now, with hip-hop heavyweights consistently headlining, established venues in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with plans to expand in New York, London, Japan, China, Mexico, Australia and Croatia, and a formidable rival to Coachella for number one music festival, it’s safe to say he has.
Selling out the Miami Dolphins’ 40,000-seater Hard Rock Stadium with general admission priced tickets going for $300-plus, like Starbucks, is a darn successful business model. Each year they’ve increased in occupancy and turned a profit.
Except, Starbucks isn’t the creme de la cream of coffee. In fact, Starbucks isn’t the creme de la cream of chain coffee (that’d be Intelligentsia), so it’s to no surprise that this year the festival did not live up to its high expectations.
After three days of confusion, no-shows, and arrest, Rolling Loud 2019 has come to an end. And apparently, it ended up being more ‘mid’ than anything.
Rolling loud looking like it was a setup by the police lol
— Snapchat: kel12121 (@kel12121) May 14, 2019
Rolling Loud is RollingFeds niggas went to jail got robbed shot at. Sound like some bullshitto me.
— IVORY (@LabreaBoy) May 14, 2019
With any mass gatherings of bodies, you cannot expect perfect or for everything to go smoothly but in the case of Rolling Loud this past weekend it was astronomically bad.
Just how bad? Well, how about you judge for yourself. Here are 5 ways Rolling Loud was was some mid and flopped:
False active shooter
Festival goers should have known Rolling Loud was going to be on some bullshit when on opening day there were false alarms of an active shooter.
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The Miami Times reports that around 10:30 p.m. a fight broke out, causing thousands of guests to stampede and leaving several guests trampled and hurt. The panic caused many to think something worse — a shooting — had happened, which resulted in more scrambling and hopping fences.
Although they deemed there never was a shooter, many left and missed the headliner that night: Cardi B.
One could say it was his fans’ fault, seeing Kodak ‘s problematic history, that they were stood up and left out to dry when he didn’t show up to his set, but this time it wasn’t his fault?
On Saturday, the Florida rapper was picked up by the police as part of a joint sting by federal agents and local authorities to pursue federal and state firearms charges. Authorities have yet revealed what led to his arrest, but it was reportedly the result of an “extensive investigation.”
Despite reports that he’d been arrested on festival grounds, Rolling Loud issued a statement saying that he was “arrested on his way to the festival and we have no knowledge of what led to the arrest since he was not on festival property.”
Lil Wayne absent
Similarly, and adding to the belief that the festival was predisposed to arresting artists, Lil Wayne also missed his set, citing police asking to search him before getting on stage.
In a tweet, Wayne explained the situation, stating that he wouldn’t be subject to such stipulations, “I do not and will not ever settle for being policed to do my job,” he wrote. He was ultimately replaced by Meek Mill, who complied with the search.
To all my fans who came to see me at Rolling Loud, I’m sorry but I won’t be performing. The Festival Police (Not Rolling Loud) made it mandatory that I had to be policed and checked to get on the stadium grounds. I do not and will not ever settle for being policed to do my job
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) May 12, 2019
Miami’s trash weather
If the arrests and no-shows weren’t bad enough, the weather was lackluster as well. Being that it is Miami in the springtime, it’s to be expected, but in many cases, it ruined the show.
A lightning storm broke out of nowhere, causing the festival to be put on hold for nearly two hours for safety while fans both got drenched. Then, of course, things we’re muddy afterward, followed by humidity.
Yeah, people didn’t like that.
Rain & Thunder going off at @RollingLoud nobodys performing until the thunder stops
— S A I N t J H N (@SAINtJHN) May 12, 2019
Sound issues and checking-in/leaving
Then there were the sound issues.
From Travis Scott’s mic cutting out entirely during his headlining set on Saturday to Young Thug not being able to hear himself for most of his, there’s an argument that the $400 tickets should have covered those technical difficulties.
In addition, a lot of the sets were close to each other, causing a clash in sounds at times and forcing some to turn around and look for a different set.
You have to admit, bringing 40,000 people and 140 hip-hop different hip-hop personalities to one festival was probably asking for a lot and this year’s go-round might have been the pushing point.
Even the process of entering and leaving the festival grounds was a nightmare. The traffic surrounding a venue like Hard Rock Stadium is one thing, but organizers had attendees walk around the stadium and through a fenced-in corridor to get through security and enter the show, causing crowds to compact together and herd along at a snail’s pace. In some instances, leaving was half an hour process.
With that being said, that’s the dice you roll with festivals, especially as they grow in size. Let’s just hope they fix the issue for in time for next year.