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Newly entering the live music festival scene, Rolling Loud has made a name for itself as the world’s largest Hip-Hop festival.
Thanks to its unmatched lineup of some of the most influential acts in the hip-hop genre, Rolling Loud has become a staple for revellers around the globe.
Whether you’re a Hip-Hop fan or simply a lover of live music festivals, Rolling Loud has definitely left a mark on your radar in the past few years. But how much do we actually know about the budding festival?
Here’s everything you need to know about Rolling Loud.
The festival was only established in 2015.
This makes it younger than any other live music festival of its popularity and scale, such as Lollapalooza which was first held in 1991, and Glastonbury which premiered in 1970.
Regardless of being one of the newest names to enter the industry, Rolling Loud doesn’t fall short when it comes to attracting big numbers.
From a humble, one-day event to a leading music festival, Rolling Loud is one of the fastest growing rap celebrations.
Owner and co-founder Matt Zingler claims Rolling Loud is able to grow at such a fast rate because of the substantial return on investment he’s able to bring for each of the festival events.
“There’s a reason we’re growing at the rate we are.”Matt Zingler, Owner and Co-Founder of Rolling Loud
Rolling Loud has seen hundreds of thousands of revellers enter its doors, as well as some of the biggest names in the industry headlining its shows.
Dedicated solely to the hip-hop genre, Rolling Loud offered a stage for artists to get the full recognition they deserve rather than get muted out by other genres.
While other hip-hop-only festivals do exist, many of the names such as Afropunk and JMBLYA are yet to reach the size and hype of Rolling Loud.
The festival’s very first 2015 show only attracted 6,000 participants. The numbers tell a different story now. Since then, each year has seen an exponential increase in revellers.
In only four years, Rolling Loud Miami 2019 had an estimated 210,000 attendees, the largest number the show has seen to date.
Numbers had to be capped at 80,000 for its 2021 Miami dates due to coronavirus restrictions, but with the sheer popularity of the festival today, we can only imagine what its future dates hold in store.
The festival has moved through a few venues during its lifetime.
Originally, the festival took place in Soho Studios at Wynwood. It then moved to Mana Convention Centre, before eventually settling in the iconic Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Rolling Loud co-founders Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif were only 26 and 25 when Rolling Loud debuted its very first show. They became involved in the live show business while booking club acts in Florida.
Starting their own company, Dope Entertainment, in 2010, the two childhood friends were arranging concerts around the state when they realized a gap in the live-music industry.
It lacked a festival dedicated solely to hip-hop.
Already familiar with the up-and-coming musicians entering the scene, the duo was established in the playing field.
They found a way to capitalize on the one thing the live music biz lacked. And luckily enough – it was high in demand.
Unifying the subgenre of ‘mumble rap’ with popular lyrical rap, Rolling Loud was able to reel in names that were virtually unheard of at the time, and push them into the spotlight.
Did you know that Rolling Loud was the first festival Young Thug ever played?
And he wasn’t the only rapper to get their first taste of stardom on the Miami stage. Lil Yachty was booked and paid a sparse $1,500 for his first show, and the same applies to other rappers that now rake in hundreds of thousands.
“Same thing with Kodak (Black) and 21 Savage, a lot of these guys, Suicide Boys, all these guys popped their cherry at Rolling Loud at Miami.”Matt Zingler
Rolling Loud was particularly successful at giving recognition to artists from the rap and hip-hop genre who were otherwise getting lost among other music categories at multi-genre festivals.
With exposure of their specific genre, rappers had a platform dedicated to their beat and could quickly rise to stardom.
While the festival already has a replanned line-up list, founder Matt Zingler stated in an interview that the mystery factor when it comes to special guests and surprise performers is part of what makes Rolling Loud unique.
Discussing their 2018 festival, Zingler said:
“Maybe not all the names that are listed on the bill are gonna be there. Maybe there’s more. So having that mystery factor to the event is super cool with the special guests that came out this year.”Matt Zingler
Rolling Loud is no stranger to shocking fans with their favorite artists.
It wasn’t called the “the be-all of hip-hop festivals” for nothing. Hip-hop artists are well acquainted with surprise appearances, and their fans know it. There’s an excitement to attending such festivals and anticipating their favorite rappers to show up unannounced.
While Miami is considered the ‘mothership’, Rolling Loud has become an international brand making its way across the globe.
So far, it has hosted successful editions of the 3-day festival in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, with upcoming shows returning to some of these venues. It’s due to run a Rolling Loud Portugal show in 2022, with bigger future plans seemingly in the works.
The newbie festival has grown at an incredible rate, and the hype doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon.