Reporting Scott T. Sterling
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UPDATE (5:14 p.m. EST): Chang Weisberg, the man behind Rock the Bells and its production company, Guerilla Union, spoke to Radio.com regarding the cancellation of the D.C. and New York dates, confirming that poor tickets sales was the cause.
“I’m really bummed. We were really excited, with it being the 10 year anniversary of the tour,” he sighed. “Something like this leaves everyone scratching their heads. You look at the line-up and it just doesn’t make sense. I’m at a loss for words, really. I feel like I’ve let down so many people. The artists have been awesome and so supportive, but I’m crushed.
“There are a lot of high-profile hip-hop tours on the road right now, so maybe the market’s saturated,” he added, citing upcoming jaunts from Jay Z and Kanye West featuring Kendrick Lamar. “For hip-hop, this is the busiest season I’ve ever seen. I wish everybody well.”
(Los Angeles, Sept. 26) The 2013 edition of traveling hip-hop festival Rock the Bells has just canceled the tour’s previously scheduled shows in Washington D.C. this weekend (Sept. 28-29), with rumors swirling that the New York dates are soon to follow on the chopping block.
No official announcements have been made, but XXL and The Washington Post both cite sources within the company saying that the festival has been cancelled. While these unconfirmed sources cite poor tickets sales as the cause of the cancellation, saying that and the festival will take a $3 million loss and refund all tickets. Calls to the promoter Guerrilla Nation have so far gone unreturned.
Also on the bill was the Wu-Tang Clan, expected to perform alongside a hologram of fallen member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony was slated to reveal the band’s own hologram of deceased mentor Eazy-E. Both “virtual performances” were rolled out during the tour’s opening dates in L.A., neither of which helped to salvage what was for some a miserable experience.