Despite a city vote that almost threatened to cancel the festival and a couple of last minute changes to the lineup, Dope Entertainment managed to deliver one of the best music festivals Miami has ever seen in the form of Rolling Loud this past weekend.
With a lineup including Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, and Future, it was hard to go wrong in the first place, but the festival went beyond any expectations fans could’ve had. Sure, there were a few hiccups here and there, but they weren’t significant enough to make the experience any less enjoyable.
The first day was a little awkward at first, as many attendees did not know where to go and staff apparently didn’t know who was allowed in and through which entrance. Additionally, attendees were just trying to get to know the festival and the city, as many came from out of state and others were new to festival life. However, as the sun set, the mellow vibes present in the afternoon turned into waves of uncontrollable energy as Mac Miller took the stage early at night. The crowds became even wilder when ASAP Rocky came on after Miller, with the New York City native bringing out guests such as Lil Yachty to join him on stage. Meanwhile, on the Monster stage, Lil Wayne gave a performance that reminded people why he’s so loved by his fans, constantly telling the crowd, “I am nothing without you.”
On Saturday, things went smoother in terms of organization. It was evident that organizers had learned from the previous day and had addressed all major problems regarding entrance and access to the festival.
Highlights from Saturday included Chief Keef taking the stage despite having an arrest warrant on him and South Florida based rapper XXXTentacion giving one of the craziest crowd-surfing sessions of the festival. Joey Badass had also a remarkable, energetic performance, and by the time Joey finished his set, the Postmasters stage was filled to the brim, with crowds flocking to get a good view of the artist going up next: Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick didn’t hold anything back. He opened with “DNA,” and performed hit after hit until the very end, all while giving the crowd a sneak preview of his DAMN tour, full of impressive visuals and even fireworks. High energy from start to finish.
Things didn’t slow down on the third day. Migos attracted so much people that their stage had to be shut down for a bit, and other acts had to be rescheduled while organizers tried to control the crowds. It was probably the biggest “hiccup” of the festival, but once the shows resumed, people still enjoyed each performance as if nothing had ever happened.
The last day also brought the festival’s viral moment: Lil Uzi Vert jumping off the roof of the stage into the crowd. The videos of his 20 feet dive have been shared by thousands since Sunday.
The festival concluded with two huge names having huge performances. Future and Travis Scott split the crowds evenly as they performed simultaneously on different stages. Travis was joined on stage by a giant animatronic bird and delivered one of the most energetic sets of the festival. Future, on the main stage, electrified the crowd as they shouted all the lyrics to his anthemic hits, including his now classic “Mask Off.”
By the end of the third day, the general feeling among all concert goers was that Rolling Loud was simply an unforgettable experience, with many not only praising the festival but the setting and the people as well (people love Miami and Miamians.)
Having moved to Bayfront Park to accommodate their ever-growing crowds, the festival is certainly set to keep growing even more in the following years, especially if they deliver the way they did this year.
Photos and story by Alonso Montano