Drip World promises to be 'Australia's biggest urban festival', but will it deliver?
The festival will stomp into Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth around the same time as Listen Out.
Today, Drip World officially announce the first five names of their sixteen-strong lineup. Topping the bill is French Montana in his first Australian visit in three years, followed by Lil Skies - who cancelled his slot at Listen Out last year - and the cult-adored Comethazine. Also included, are Australian emerging names ARMANI, Ay Huncho and Sophiya. Find out more details on their website.
If you've been on social media this morning, chances are you've seen something advertised called Drip World. It's being billed as "Australia's biggest contemporary urban festival" and with four shows around the country in multi-thousand capacity venues - the Brisbane Showgrounds, Sydney's Parramatta Park, a yet-to-be-announced venue in Melbourne and Perth's Gloucester Park, all through September - it looks set to fill its promise; if it goes ahead, that is.
Australia has a rocky relationship with hip-hop-centric music festivals. We've all heard about the highs and lows of Supafest, which from its beginnings in 2010 as a promising new force to the festival market to its snap cancellation in 2013, ended up giving us more cancellations than confirmed acts. It begun with much of the same promises - even branding themselves as "Australia's largest urban music festival" - but over the years, rocky relationships and high-profile cancellations from Akon, Timbaland, P. Diddy, Missy Elliott and Rick Ross saw Australia's trust in the festival fall, eventually leading to their 2013 event, originally scheduled for April with T.I., Ne-Yo, 50 Cent and Akon as headliners, which was then postponed until November, only for it to be cancelled completely with no warning - never to return again.
In the same vein, 2013's Rap City - headlined by Talib Kweli - faced cancellation due to 'scheduling issues' and in the same year, Movement Festival - headlined by Nas, Bliss N Eso, 2 Chainz and Joey Bada$$ also faced cancellation. Then, there's the death of Future Music Festival - coinciding with their drive to incorporate more rap music into its billings through headliners like Drake - and the consistent cancellations of rap acts playing non-hip-hop-centric festivals: Migos cancelling Field Day/Origin Fields just gone; Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper pulling out of Perth festivals and so on. It's a hard time for rap music festivals in Australia, to the point where even the biggest rap music festival in the world - Rolling Loud - make Australian debuts marred by the cancellations of Lil Uzi Vert and Ski Mask, replaced by Rae Sremmund and a strange XXXTentacion tribute.
So, how is Drip World going to fair? Well, honestly, who the hell knows at this point. The lineup is yet to arrive, but they've hinted that it includes GRAMMY Award-winning rappers amongst their 12 international names, eight of which never before travelled to Australia - a good sign for a festival that wants to stand out, but raises questions of how many of those artists will actually perform without history of Australian performances. The event is also directed by Australian promoting heavyweight Lui Spedaliere, who counts Tech N9ne, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy and Ice Cube amongst their touring alumni, but also The Game - who cancelled his 2017 Australian tour.
Then, there's also the task of selling 90,000 tickets across multiple locations in Australia, a feat that even some of our long-standing festivals aren't able to achieve. Pair that with the festival's biggest competition, Listen Out, bringing an incredibly forward-thinking list of international rap talent to the country later in the same month, and you a difficult task ahead of you.
Is it legit? Will it work? Have we found the festival the defy Australia's constant, uphill battle with hip-hop? Who knows, but it's not looking likely.
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