Ever heard of “Rolling Loud?” Well, you’re about to – either on stage or in a big court battle with the City of Miami.
A huge music festival with some of the biggest names in hip-hop may be cancelled at the last minute due to the antics of City Commissioner Frank Carollo. Which begs the question: What’s really going on here? Why is this concert being treated any differently than other concerts and festivals at Bayfront Park?
Maybe the Bayfront Park Management Trust will clear that question up for us this week when they hold an unprecedented meeting to determine the fate of Rolling Loud, a hip-hop music festival slated for Bayfront Park May 5-7. Festival organizers have shelled out millions of dollars to book some of the most popular artists in hip-hop. The organizers say they have been working with park officials since August of 2016 to bring a World Class event to Bayfront Park. But there seems to be a catch!
Despite the venue’s long history of allowing their management to book and promote concerts, suddenly the idea of 40,000 fans hopping up and down to popular music (and yes Ward Cleaver, hip-hop is super popular music these days) seems to have stirred up some controversy as to whether or not that authority has certain limits. Commissioner Carollo (also the Chairman of the Park’s Management Trust) seemed so incensed by the fact that the show was booked “without his knowledge,” despite the fact that major media outlets and the park’s own website have been advertising the event of months. Not only that, but dozens of other city staff and officials have know about the show for months. As a result, he ran the park’s popular director who has served in that role for over 20 years, out of town on the fast train.
Bayfront Park is a concert venue. If you need any further evidence of that, just look at that BIG concrete thing with the stage and all the seats right smack dab in the middle of the park. Although neighboring condo dwellers and officer workers might be inconvenienced by additional traffic and noise, and the occasional kids dressed in something from a Mad-Max movie, the fact is, Bayfront Park IS a concert venue!
Much like the Hollywood Bowl, Cruzan-Big Sky-Something-Something Amphitheater, or Carnegie Hall for that matter, Bayfront Park was created to host concerts and large events. It actually says so in the City Code creating the Bayfront Park Management Trust. It says the park should do everything in its power to host the widest variety of events possible and make money doing it. If I chose to live in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the Bowl, I shouldn’t complain about the fact that they hold concerts weekly. I mean, I might not be a Nine Inch Nails fan, but there are plenty of them, and I hear they put on one hell of a show.
So I wonder, is it the type of music being played at this one particular show? Sure, my parents were convinced that The Beatles were the work of the devil, with all that long hair, drug use, and that creepy Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. So let’s face it. Taste in music is widely varied and seems to change with age. There is no doubt, based on Rolling Loud’s published line-up, that this is a top notch show with some of today’s most popular artists. But for some there’s a problem with how all this played out. According to reports, the organizers did everything they were asked, and worked towards securing Bayfront Park much the way that any event would, including Hilary Clinton’s campaign concert with J-Lo and any other show with any other genre of music. So what’s the big deal?!
The big deal is, the City of Miami and the Park’s Management Trust may be putting taxpayers on the hook for a huge lawsuit. Reports of millions spent by concert promoters and the threat of lost profits from the show and the brand damage caused by pulling the plug on the show less than a month out might be setting the city up for a major lawsuit. This thing could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Because from what’s been reported so far, the problems surrounding this show seem to rest squarely on the shoulders of the city and its policies.