Rock the Bells, North America’s only hip-hop festival, will stop in 10 cities beginning June 17 and winding down August 9, playing only on weekends. The 2009 festival series will include headliners Nas with Damian Marley, The Roots, Big Boi and Common, plus many more major hip-hop artists.
Cities include Toronto, ON; Washington, DC; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Miami, FL; and Vancouver, BC. Each stop will feature 25 acts on two stages, a vendor village, surprise performances and more. Exact dates, venues and ticketing information will be unveiled at a later date.
For the first time, KRS-One will join MC Supernatural, Murs and Pete Rock as hosts for RTB as well as performing.
Also confirmed is the long-awaited reunion of the Irish-influenced hip-hop trio House of Pain consisting of all the original members (Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal) featuring La Coka Nostra; and with the union of Talib Kweli and Hi Tek. The complete list of participating artists for the tour follows below.
“Our festival has been blessed to host so many historic performances and has been the barometer for hip-hop culture every summer. This year will be no different,” Rock the Bells founder Chang Weisberg said in a statement.
“In fact, with the current state of global affairs, including the recent election of President Obama and the difficulties facing our economy, we found ourselves having to be conscious of all the social and/or economic issues our fans may be dealing with, as well as the challenges facing many artists in an ever evolving music industry,” Weisberg explained, adding, “The common DNA of all these perspectives is that there is faith that things are going to change.”
In 2008, Rock the Bells toured internationally for the first time in Prague, CZE; Amsterdam, NET; Stockholm, SWE; Helsinki, FIN: Paris, FRA; and London, ENG. However, there is no word on any international dates in 2009.
Rock the Bells 2009 performers:
(Line-up is subject to change.)
Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
House of Pain, feat. La Coka Nostra
Eyedea & Abilities