The Rolling Loud Hong Kong festival, which was to feature musical artists such as Wiz Khalifa and Migos on October 19-20, has been canceled because of safety concerns relating to the anti-government protests that have been rocking the city.
The festival, which was backed by Live Nation, announced the cancelation in a Facebook post. In it, the festival expressed regret over the cancellation but added that — after discussing the situation with security experts — it would not be possible to hold the festival “without endangering the safety and well-being of our fans, artists and staff.”
The Rolling Loud Hong Kong site is still live, but ticketing has been disabled.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the festival will never have a Hong Kong edition, however. The organizers indicated that they hope to one day “celebrate the city’s rich culture and buzzing hip-hop scene.”
Those who purchased tickets directly from the festival’s ticketing platform will automatically receive a refund within the next 45 business days.
Back in the U.S., the New York edition of Rolling Loud, which took place this past weekend, also faced serious security concerns. In response to issues posed by a number of performing rappers, the New York Police Department forced the festival to remove several acts from the festival’s lineup.
Of course, rap festivals aren’t yoga retreats, and mayhem is a looming risk. Combine that with the chaos of Hong Kong, and it’s hard to imagine Live Nation not canceling the festival.
Hong Kong was a British colony for many years until control over it reverted to China in 1997.
Since then, the people living in the city have generally enjoyed more freedom than those who live in the communist-controlled mainland. But in recent years the Chinese government has been exerting more and more control over Hong Kong, which culminated in an extradition bill that many thought would lead to unfair trials in the mainland.
While the bill was ultimately withdrawn, it spawned a movement, especially among young people in Hong Kong, who are calling for the city to become a true democracy. Initially, the rallies were peaceful, but protestors have been steadily clashing with police and sparking a wave of violence. This has led the Chinese government to threaten a harsh response to further unrest, with the music industry and its performers already getting sucked into the maelstrom.
That includes Zedd, who is now banned from performing in China after liking a South Park tweet.