November 17, 2013


Rock the Bells Coming Back for 2014

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Famed traveling hip hop show Rock the Bells will return in 2014, despite the cancellation of two tour stops this year due to poor ticket sales.

This year's fest included a killer line-up with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, J. Cole, WaleA$AP MobEarl SweatshirtTyler, the Creator and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, not to mention much-talked holograms of Eazy-E and Ol Dirty Bastard. (Check out all our full coverage of RTB's kick-off.)

The reason for this year's slow sales was not fully known at the time, but Chang Weisberg, founder of the fest's promoter Guerilla Union, recently spoke out on the cancellation—and the festival's future.

"It wasn't the cost of the holograms that killed Rock the Bells, or anything like that," Weisberg said in an interview posted to YouTube. "The bigger reasons, the macro-version: There were a lot of great shows that were out touring in our same time period; that could be a factor.

"The fact that Jay-Z was on sale, the fact that Kanye was on sale, the fact that Drake was on sale; there were just a lot of great hip-hop shows, and I wish all of them well. I think competition increases the market, and I'm happy that all these acts can be touring, and ultimately, maybe, that was one of the issues."

Weisberg also admitted that maybe he took on too much with the two-day events planned for DC and NYC—the two shows that were eventually cancelled.

"I didn't want to do the baby version of Rock the Bells for the East Coast, and I take full responsibility for that," he said.

But Weisberg was very clear about one thing: Rock the Bells is not done. In fact, the team is gearing up for an even more impressive showing for next year. And he wants us to know that the fans are what will make any of it possible.

"The fans are the most vital part of the festival—without your passion, energy and support, we are nothing," he said. "We are listening to your comments, learning from what has transpired, and taking it with us as we move forward. Be there with us."