Why is Rolling Loud NYC canceled? Organizers issue statement on status of festival 

Rolling Loud New York 2022 (Image via Getty Images)
Rolling Loud New York 2022 (Image via Getty Images)

Rolling Loud, the American hip-hop festival, will not be coming to New York City this year, with the organizers canceling the 2023 edition of the music festival due to what they stated as unavoidable logistical issues.

The cancelation of the 2023 edition of Rolling Loud NYC was announced by the festival organizers via a post on their official Instagram page. It reads,

"For the last few years, we’ve made some legendary moments happen in Queens. Sadly, due to logistical factors beyond our control, Rolling Loud will not return to New York in 2023. But don’t worry, this isn’t ‘goodbye,’ more like ‘see you later.’ We’ll be back in New York when the time is right."

It continues,

"In the meantime, we invite all of our New York fans to meet us in Miami July 21-23 for our biggest, best festival of the year. Love you all! Rolling Loud forever!”

The cancelation of the NYC edition of Rolling Loud marks the continuation of a long line of controversies that have marked the hip-hop festival since its inauguration in 2019 in New York.

Rolling Loud NYC has been marred by controversies in the past

According to the organizers, the cancelation of this year's edition of the NYC festival does not mean the end of it completely, with the message promising that the NYC edition of the festival will return when the time and circumstances are right.

However, the cancelation is not the only controversy that has plagued this particular edition of the festival.

In 2019, the magazine Fader published an exclusive report that revealed that the NYPD had asked the festival organizers to exclude drill rap stars 22GZ, Casanova, Pop Smoke, Sheff G, and Don Q. Martin Morales, the then NYPD Assistant Chief, wrote the following about the singers in his letter:

"The performers have been affiliated with recent acts of violents citywide. The New York Police Department believes if these individuals are allowed to perform, there will be a higher risk of violence"

Following the reveal of the letter and the festival organizers' compliance with it, co-founder of Rolling Loud, Tariq Cherif, responded with a tweet:

Trust me I said that and much more. All the public sees is the letter. Way more happened behind closed doors. If we want RL to return to NYC, we have no choice but to comply. That’s the position we’re in.…

After the events of 2019, three drill rappers were once again removed from the 2022 lineup of the festival at the request of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Last year, the mayor issued a public statement that seemed to call for a ban on drill rap music. It read,

"I had no idea what drill rapping was, but I called my son and he sent me some videos, and it is alarming.We are going to pull together the social media companies and sit down with them and tell them that you have a civic and corporate responsibility."

The mayor continued:

"We pulled Trump off Twitter because of what he was spewing. Yet we are allowing music, displaying of guns, violence, we’re allowing it to stay on these sites"

Following the inaugural edition, the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before returning in 2022. The 2022 edition of the NYC festival was held with fanfare, featuring performances from artists such as Nicki Minaj, Playboi Carti, Chief Keef, Lil Uzi Vert, Moneybagg Yo, DaBaby, Fivio Foreign, GloRilla, G Herbo, Lil Tjay, BIA, Westside Gunn, among others.

More about Rolling Loud Festival

The festival is an international hip-hop festival that was co-founded by Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler, who met in high school and quickly became friends, with the first Rolling Loud being held in Miami in 2015.

The festival quickly expanded from its base in Miami to include several other venues, starting with the Bay Area edition of the festival in 2017, followed by the Australian and NYC editions of the festival in 2019.

In 2022, the festival expanded again to include several other countries, starting with Canada, followed by Romania, Portugal, Canada, and Germany, as well as the first Asian edition of the festival in Thailand.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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