; I Thought Rolling Loud NY Was Going To Be The Next Fyre Festival. I Was Wrong. | Betches

I Thought Rolling Loud NY Was Going To Be The Next Fyre Festival. I Was Wrong.

It was a week before Rolling Loud New York, and I still hadn’t heard whether I was approved to cover or not. That’s not really normal, and my first thought was that didn’t bode well for the festival. (At the latest, I usually hear back two weeks out so I can plan my life.) So I went to try to find the Rolling Loud New York Instagram account—I didn’t find one, just this account that seemed decently legit based on the pictures it was posting, except it only had 1,500 followers and wasn’t even verified. Uh-oh. On top of that, the real Rolling Loud Instagram account wasn’t posting all that much leading up to the NY event. These factors didn’t give me much confidence that this festival would be well-organized, or even take place. Truthfully, I would have been okay with either outcome, because as much as I wanted to see A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Pusha T, and the like perform, I also wanted to be on the ground at the next Fyre Festival, reporting live on the scene.

But eventually I got my approval, I got my instructions, and it was all clearly laid out (phew, good sign). The next hiccup? I had to pick up my passes off-site at a hotel near LaGuardia airport (kind of annoying we couldn’t just go to Will Call on the festival grounds, but ok). And, when my friend and I arrived to pick up the passes, we were informed that they had actually run out of press and VIP wristbands, and were waiting to get more, and they wouldn’t know when more would arrive. We went to the hotel bar, paid $10 for a Blue Moon (which ended up being the least expensive Blue Moon I would buy that weekend), and then were told the only way to get to the festival at Citi Field was to Uber—they were not running a shuttle or anything.

So when I approached the entrance at Citi Field, I didn’t know what to expect. Well, actually, I kind of did—I figured it would be a pretty bare-bones festival, with the music advertised, but not a lot else.

Holy sh*t, was I wrong.

Immediately when I walked into the festival, I was greeted by a giant ROLLING LOUD sign that is probably the backdrop of a number of pictures you’re seeing on the Instagram explore page. And I was like, “Damn, ok, this is legit.” Even though this festival took place in a parking lot, the decor/atmosphere made you forget that fact, and it felt like a concrete Coachella. There were Instagram traps everywhere, tons of food stands, a cereal bar, and just generally a ton of stuff to do other than stand in a parking lot and watch music.


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Grab your besties and make this the best day at #RollingLoud! DAY 2 LET’S GOO!

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Leave your mark and interact with art 📰 📷: @srodriguez92

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🎟📣 WIN 10 GA TIX TO ROLLING LOUD! Find a golden ticket inside one of the boxes at our Cereal Bar. 📸: @themcdub

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Speaking of the music, there were a lot of good performances. Fat Joe drew a disrespectfully small crowd, but he was actually amazing and did all the hits. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Playboi Carti, and Tyga all had v good sets. Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky were great headliners, and A$AP Ferg and 50 Cent showed up during Rocky’s set. Young Thug brought out Gunna. Megan Thee Stallion, after her set got pushed five hours, killed it and was even diverting people from the main stages for her set.

The only caveat was that sets changed often and without much warning. Even before the festival began, Casanova, Pop Smoke, 22Gz, Sheff G, and Don Q were requested by NYPD to be removed from the lineup. That unknowingly set the tone for the rest of the festival. We showed up to Fabolous’s set and saw Wale. (Took me about 10 minutes to realize he wasn’t just dropping in for a guest spot.) Megan Thee Stallion got moved to a 9:10pm slot when she was scheduled to perform at 4pm. People were dropping and moving around like a game of musical chairs, but there were notifications on the app. They also notified people on Twitter and Instagram, but I felt like you really had to look for it (because they post to their feed a lot). Should have downloaded the app…


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DAY 2 😈 Where are yall at with it? Hit our twitter if you need the wallpaper for your phone!

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I get that sh*t happens, but when trying to reference the set times infographic provided, they felt like more of a loose sketch than actual set times. So as long as you didn’t go into the festival dead-set on seeing one specific non-headlining performer at a certain time, you probably had a great time and saw enough people you wanted to see to make it worth it. (I plan less and less every time I go to a festival, so I truly didn’t care. Plus, the VIP setup was dope so I was fine chilling in there.)

Rolling Loud, overall, was a great time, and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that it went fairly smoothly (and actually… like… happened) given that they have festivals in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Miami. Like, these people know what they’re doing.

So if you’re planning on hitting up a Rolling Loud in another city, here’s what I’d advise:

  1. Get a clear plastic bag of some kind. This was a new rule for New York, but they under no circumstances let people in with a bag unless it was clear vinyl. Yes, even fanny packs. No, I’m not kidding.
  2. Plan a f*cking outfit. Everyone there was dressed to the nines, and I felt a little underprepared in my run-of-the-mill crop top. I’m talking cool glasses (that were undoubtedly not prescription), all black, or neon. (Also?? Everyone was either 12 years old or beautiful, so I’m getting eyelash extensions for next year.)
  3. Be flexible. I feel like my friend and I played it perfectly because there were people we wanted to see, but we were pretty open to whatever sh*t the festival threw at us. If you’re gonna be mad because you have to choose between Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion, just… chill.
  4. Pregame beforehand (if you are of legal drinking age, of course). A freaking Blue Moon was $15 (tall boy, but STILL). Four Lokos were only $13 somehow? So obviously I chose money over sobriety the first day, and that came back to bite me in the ass. Never again!

In short, definitely not Fyre Festival, just a festival in its first year in New York and experiencing the growing pains that come with it. I’m hopeful Rolling Loud can come back for another year, since many festivals before it (The Meadows, EDC New York) have not been able to last at Citi Field. It seems like, with the choices they made (complying with the NYPD to the extent that they did, for instance) Rolling Loud is in it for the long haul and not just a one-off festival. I’m rooting for them.

Images: rollingloud / Instagram; MickeyPierre-Louis