Arts Desk

Rock the Bells Canceled, According to RFK Staffers

rockthebellsThe D.C. stop of traveling hip-hop festival Rock the Bells has been canceled, according to two staffers at RFK Stadium.

The massive two-day festival booked by California promoter Guerilla Union was scheduled to take place at RFK this Saturday and Sunday, with headlining appearances from Kid Cudi, Wu-Tang Clan, Wale, J Cole, Girl Talk, and Black Hippy with Kendrick Lamar.

Ticketmaster has stopped selling tickets for the event; it's listed as "canceled" on the ticket retailer's website. Guerilla Union has not responded to a request for comment. One RFK staffer said a statement from the promoter is forthcoming, but declined to discuss the cancellation further.

This post will be updated as we learn more.

Update 2:46 p.m. Chinyere Hubbard, the vice president for communications and marketing of Events DC, RFK's operator, confirms that the shows are canceled, but referred further questions to another Events DC communications staffer, who has not responded to a request for comment.

Update, 5:30 p.m.: Guerilla Union has put out a press release about Rock the Bells' cancellation. The promoter says that both the D.C. and New York (technically New Jersey) legs of the tour have been canceled due to low ticket sales, and ticket refunds will be available at place of purchase. Read the release below.

Festival organizers, Guerilla Union, announced today that the upcoming Rock the Bells Festival tour-stop in Washington, DC and New York City are now cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales. The festival was slated to take place in Washington, DC this weekend (September 28 and 29) and New York City the following weekend (October 4 and 5).

Chang Weisberg, founder and owner of Guerilla Union states: “First and foremost, it is with great sadness and disappointment that we must cancel the Washington, DC and New York City Rock the Bells dates due to lack of ticket sales. I, along with our staff, the artists, and all of the sponsors, media partners, local promoters, and radio stations involved are thankful for our supporters and the fans that planned on attending. It’s extremely unfortunate that we can’t complete the last half of the 10th Anniversary Rock the Bells tour. We did everything in our power to save the show. Unfortunately, the financial loss would have been devastating. I am truly sorry we could not produce the show for all the fans who did buy their ticket in support of.”

Full refunds will be honored at the location where fans purchased their tickets. More details can be found on the festival’s official website at

Due to a reporting error, the original version of this post misspelled the name of promoter Guerilla Union. It has been corrected.

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  1. #1

    Lack of ticket sales is the ultimate culprit. The promoter got real greedy by booking RFK when Merriweather would have more than sufficed.

  2. #2

    The show was scheduled for an RFK Stadium parking lot; not in the stadium itself.

  3. #3

    I won tickets on the radio, I knew it was too good to be true. :(

  4. #4

    Yea RFK Parking lot is a whack venue, but its all the people listening to garbage rap and not buying tickets to see real hip hop like wu tang, tech n9ne, and immortal technique that are to blame. I am so disappointed in the East Coast.

  5. #5

    Not enough ticket sales, come on! In NYC? In DC? Doesn't sound right. I'll bet there are politics behind this. Especially in DC, they shut down events like this super quick if they think it perpetuates violence.

  6. #6

    Rock The Bells / B.E.T Hip Hop Awards same weekend, guess who won?

  7. #7

    A few years back i went to something held in RFK parking lot...the community complained of noise from the concerts and the city shut that shit down. They probably filed a complaint ahead of time and the city was like alright just cancel it

  8. #8

    The ticket prices for this were arguably too high

  9. #9

    Michael B that doesn't make sense considering that so many of the acts listed this year were newer acts (Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Kid Cudi).

    I for one am too broke to pay $130 for some tickets.

  10. #10

    I have been to Rock the Bells twice when it was held at Merriweather Post and it cost no more than $75 for the lawn which is equivalent to General Admission. I was excited to go, but not for General Admission tickets being $200 for both days.

  11. #11

    Not quite sure who the promoters expected to attract with those ridiculous ticket prices for this festival -- tickets started at $87 and went up to $206! To watch from the parking lot of RFK ?? Which is one helluva miserable place to spend a day, let alone two days. Next time around, bring down the ticket price, and hold the event in a decent space that respects the concert-attendee.

  12. #12

    well yeah... if the tickets weren't SO EXPENSIVE.

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