There's was little doubt that Rolling Loud's partnership with Twitch would be a success. This is a festival that managed to start as a one-day event in a Wynwood warehouse and turn into a global brand in just half a decade.
In addition to a slew of programming, the Rolling Loud-Twitch pairing promised a virtual festival series, dubbed Loud Stream. The first edition debuted September 12-13, featuring performances by, among others, Ski Mask the Slump God, Swae Lee, NLE Choppa, and Lil Keed. When the weekend was over, the stream had amassed 4.7 million total viewers with a peak of more than 60,000 concurrent participants.
Loud Stream did so well that it topped Pollstar's Livestream Weekly Charts for the week of September 14, with the much-talked bout Verzuz stream featuring Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle coming second with 3.7 million total viewers. "Loud Stream is a triumph during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many in the live business to adapt," wrote Pollstar's Ryan Borba.
The resounding success of the virtual festival means that its return on the weekend of October 30 is certain to be one of the best reasons to stay home and practice social distancing during Halloween weekend.
In an interview with Pollstar, Rolling Loud cofounder Tariq Cherif explained that the Twitch deal was confirmed three weeks prior to the first Loud Stream event. With more time to prepare, expect the second stream to improve on what the festival was able to put together with short notice.
While details are sparse — acts will be announced in the coming weeks — the Rolling Loud team promises that it has "a few new tricks & treats up [its] sleeves."
Once again, the concert is free to stream via Twitch. The first edition allowed fans to interactive access for $5, $10, and $25. No announcement has been made as to whether that feature will return.
Visible on the horizon to those hankering for hip-hop IRL, Rolling Loud is set to return February 12-14, 2021, to Hard Rock Stadium with A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, and Post Malone as headliners.
Loud Stream. Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31; rollingloud.com. Stream via twitch.tv/rollingloud.