Music Festivals

Rolling Loud 2017 Survives After Bayfront Park Trust Votes in Favor

Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
This morning, the Bayfront Park Management Trust voted in favor of allowing the third edition of Rolling Loud to move forward. The vote comes after a city commissioner balked at the hip-hop festival over claims it was too close to Ultra and that he hadn't been properly informed about the show.

The move is likely the safest decision for the park and the city since the Miami Herald reported yesterday that the festival — headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Future, and Lil Wayne — had already lawyered up and was ready to sue the city for $30 million in damages if plans didn't move forward.

The board approved the festival this morning after some "fine-tuning" of the contract, according to Herald reporter David Smiley. The new contract limits when Rolling Loud can do sound check and requires nearly $800,000 for off-duty police and firefighters, according to the Herald.

Rolling Loud celebrated the approval with a simple tweet saying "VICTORY!!!" The tweet also included a Periscope stream by the festival's cofounder Tariq Cherif.

"We won!" Cherif says in the video. "They ain't shutting nothing down. We are gonna have a great concert."

This whole mess started when Commissioner Frank Carollo claimed he was unaware the event had been planned until he spoke to police earlier this month. But the show wasn't exactly a secret. New Times and the Herald had both reported on the event's move to Bayfront Park as far back as August 2016, and the event advertised heavily around town.

Carollo's displeasure, though, led to the resignation of park director Timothy Schmand and a full vote by the board to approve the concert.
As more and more residents have moved into condo towers along Biscayne Boulevard, large-scale events at Bayfront Park have become an increasing source of controversy. Ultra has long tried to appease the city and residents by hiring more police officers and placing tougher barricades around the park. The noise, however, is still the biggest grievance for local residents. For large festivals like Ultra and Rolling Loud, that complaint is pretty much unavoidable.

This is the first time Rolling Loud, which is put on by Dope Entertainment, will take place at Bayfront Park. Previous incarnations were held at Soho Studios and Mana, both located in Wynwood. Those events were successful enough for the event to continue growing, but it still had a few hiccups. The inaugural event saw long lines and flooding due to heavy rains, while last year local acts said the festival required them to pay to perform.

However, Rolling Loud's move to Bayfront Park could be a turning point for the festival. The lineup is perhaps its strongest to date, while Bayfront's size should make for a better experience for everyone attending.

Rolling Loud
With Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne, and more. Friday, May 5, through Sunday, May 7, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; Tickets cost $249.99 at
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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran

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