Over the weekend the first Rolling Loud (outside of the States) took place in Sydney, Australia. It sold out 20,000 tickets the day they went on sale. Being the biggest hip hop festival in the world, this comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen their Miami line up.
Although the Australian line up wasn’t as spectacular as those in the States it can only be seen as a teaser of what’s to come in the following years. I would describe the whole Rolling Loud experience as a rollercoaster ride. The night before the festival it was announced that Ski Mask The Slump God and Lil Uzi Vert would no longer be attending. Replacing them would be Rae Sremmurd and a Special Guest. As you can imagine this resulted in many unhappy fans who had already seen Rae Sremmurd earlier in the month. We also had a pretty good idea that Gunna was going to be the surprise guest from an Instagram story that he had posted. Rappers cancelling last minute seems to be a recurring theme for Australian and New Zealand audiences leaving promoters to find replacements last minute and fans questioning whether it’s still worth going.
Arriving at the venue on the day was basically like lining up for a roller coaster ride at Disneyland without the fast pass. A lot of people I met on the day had travelled from all over Australia and New Zealand to be a part of this historic event. The line to get into the venue was endless and some people were waiting a good ninety minutes to get in. It didn’t help that it was one of the hottest days and people were throwing up just waiting in the line. This also meant that majority of fans missed Sophiegrophy, Manu Crooks and the XXXTentacion tribute.
The venue was indoors with one stage at the front of the dome. We got inside in time to see Smokepurpp. Audi, 123, Nephew got the crowd going. “I don’t want friends I just want Audi’s” was a whole mood. He even sung Gucci Gang by Lil Pump with a lot of “ESSKEETIT” between songs to get the crowd hyped. Next up was the surprise guest GUNNA. I didn’t know what to expect from his set but when he played his hit Drip Too Hard with Lil Baby and Yosemite from Travis Scott’s Astroworld, I couldn’t have asked for anything else. Playboi Carti got some mosh pits going with Magnolia, Poke It Out and R.I.P. During this it also started pouring down with rain resulting in crowds of people running inside to go from getting wet to getting lit instead.
The enthusiasm level escalated when Tyga came on around 7pm. This is when the real dance party began. He brought all his club hits that make you want to get your dance moves out. With hits such as Rack City, Taste, Dip and Swish the festival was turned into the best club you’ve ever been to. The energy of the crowd only went upwards from here with YG up next.
No one was ready for the scenes that followed the next artist. One of the highlights of the night by far – Rae Sremmurd. Their set consisted of hit after hit and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better they’d bring out another chart topping hit. Black Beatles, No Type, Guatemala, Powerglide were some of the highlights but honestly the list goes on. They even sung Sunflower – which has been #1 on the ARIA singles chart and is now also platinum-certified. Rae Sremmurd were definitely Unforgettable.
To shutdown the festival, the set everyone had been waiting for – Future. Coinciding his set with the announcement of his sixth number one album in three years, The Wizrd meant he had no shortage of hits to perform. Highlights included Mask Off, Jumpman, Low Life , New Level, March Madness, F*ck Up Some Commas and Gunna even came out to perform Drip Too Hard.
Overall, everyone made the most of the night. Tension from earlier was forgotten and we were all there to have a good time with our friends. Moshpits were going on everywhere and people left in high spirits ready for the after party. Tyga, Rae Sremmurd and Future definitely stole the show. When it all ended I felt like the rollercoaster ride was worth it and all the doubt from earlier had left. It’s a rollercoaster I would ride again minus the wait time in the beginning.
Tariq Cherif, co-founder of Rolling Loud even came out to thank everyone for coming and apologised for the wait times to get in because of the tight security. Looking forward, this is just the start for Rolling Loud Australia. Having already experienced the worst case scenario with acts cancelling last minute the event can only go up from here. It would be interesting to see the festival expand in terms of stages, venue and the artists they’re able to bring out. We already know they’ve got the connections – just look at their Miami line up. If we get one of those days here, it will be a festival like no other. We all left saying we would be back next year. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us (can we get Travis please).
(Thanks to Rolling Loud for passes to review the show)