Last month at a press conference in Hollywood, promoter Guerilla Union announced the initial line-up of artists for the 2013 Rock the Bells festival. This week at New York City’s Highline Ballroom, a slew of additional artists were announced, and more will likely be added in the coming weeks.
Among the notable names are up-and-comers, legends and a few eye-brow raising choices that are likely unfamiliar to most hip-hop fans. They include: Action Bronson, Big Daddy Kane, Deltron 3030, Freddie Gibbs, Freeway, Girl Talk, J. Cole, KRS-One, Pretty Lights, Rapsody and 9th Wonder, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, Sean P, Smoke DZA, Wale and YG.
One of the more interesting and surely controversial names added to the festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is Mad Decent signee RiFF RaFF. Guerilla Union president Chang Weisberg addressed the booking of more electronic dance music acts to the traditionally hip-hop festival. “It’s important to acknowledge the bridge being gapped between hip hop and EDM,” Weisberg said. “They’re no longer two exclusive genres and we’re starting to see major overlap between both styles, especially in areas like LA, NYC, and DMV. Hip-hop is not one dimensional, it’s actually more diverse than it’s ever been, and I’m glad that we’re able to showcase and celebrate the many different sub-styles of the genre.”
Rock the Bells will be held in two new venues in New York area and Washington D.C. this year. “We’re excited to add to Rock the Bells history by bringing the tour to two never-before-used venues on the East Coast,” Weisberg said. “Meadowlands Racetrack has a beautiful, massive grass infield and is just a quick train ride from the heart of Manhattan, making it a perfect location for our festival. Additionally, the Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium in D.C. have a prime, traditional layout with open floor General Admission and VIP standing room, which will make the event flow easy to navigate for our fans.”
Rock the Bells 2013 Locations & Dates
San Manuel Amphitheater, San Bernardino, California –September 7 and 8
Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California – September 14 and 15
RFK Festival Grounds, Washington D.C. – September 28 and 29
Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, New Jersey – October 4 and 5.