After another successful SXSW, festival season is officially in full swing. Now is the perfect time to see your favorite hip-hop acts live. So if you missed Ben G and Wacka Flocka Flame at the St. Patty’s Day Festival or Elliot Wilson’s #CRWN interview with Lil’ Wayne in Austin don’t fret we’ve got a list of shows that will satisfy any hip-hop fan itching for some good live music. Since this is SceneSC.com we tried to keep the suggestions as regional and coastal (sorry Coachella) as possible. Check out a few festivals you need to start planning for now.
Love, Peace, & Hip-Hop Festival April 12th
Love Peace & Hip-Hop is a one day annual festival held in the capital city. It celebrates the growing hip-hop Culture around the state of South Carolina. Different from most festivals this is a family friendly event. Not only does it feature local hip-Hop acts, it is a celebration of the entire hip-hop culture including Dance Crews, visual artists, DJ’s and more. This year’s headliner is hip-hop pioneer Slick Rick The Ruler. Last year’s local hip-hop acts included Collard Greens and Fat Rat Da Czar (also performed at St. Patty’s this year). What’s the best part about this festival? IT’S FREE, and you just can’t beat free. So if you don’t want to go too far to get a dose of the culture head to Main Street in downtown Columbia on April 12th to spread Love and peace at this local hip-hop Festival.
CounterPoint Festival April 25-27th
Although the CounterPoint festival features a heavy slew of electro rock artists its hip-hop lineup is far from light weight. Like many other major festivals this year hip-hop Legends OutKast are the main attraction, closing out the festival on Sunday night. What makes this stop extra special is not only does the show happen to fall on the exact weekend of the 20th anniversary of OutKast’s debut album but this is the closest venue to their hometown the duo will be performing. It’s almost guaranteed some very special guests will be popping up. If you aren’t a fan of OutKast (not sure how that’s possible) North Carolina native J. Cole will also hit the stage. Kendrick Lamar’s label mate School Boy Q who just had a successful release of his debut album is scheduled to have a set as well. More into trap rap? Atlanta native Rich Homie Quan is on the bill. Counterpoint has all the flavors of hip-hop. The festival takes place right outside of Atlanta in Kingstown Downs, Georgia. This is one of the closest major festivals to South Carolina and is cost efficient with single day tickets as low as $75. If you’re free to attend you can count on a memorable weekend.
NON hip-hop Acts you might enjoy: Foster The People, Janelle Monae, and Sleigh Bells
Hot 97 Summer Jam June 1st
This one day concert festival is the furthest away from South Carolina but it’s also the most talked about hip-hop event of the summer. For years Hot 97’s summer Jam has managed to take whoever the most elite artist in the genre are at the time and put them together on one stage for one night. Past acts include everyone from Lil’ Wayne, Fabolous, Nicki Minaj, OutKast, and the list goes on and on. All of your favorite artist are guaranteed to be in building and the show is still known for its surprise performances and reunions. Previously artists like Nas and Foxy Brown hit the stage to perform classics that you just wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. Hot 97 Summer Jam will get your summer off to blazing start.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival June 12-15th
Inaugurated in 2002, Bonnaroo is one of the more seasoned festivals and this year’s monster lineup proves that. Deciding against the current trend of booking OutKast this four day events major hip-hop headliner is Kanye West and you don’t get much bigger than that. However if Yeezus isn’t your taste then there is still plenty to choose from. Wiz Khalifa, Lauryn Hill, Pusha T, Ice Cube, and a few buzzed about up and coming acts will all be hitting the stage. Bonnaroo is held in Manchester, Tennessee and is only 4-6 hours from South Carolina. This is the perfect festival for those hip-hop fans that enjoy all types of music. Celebrating all genres of the musical art form across 10 plus stages and 700 acres of land you’ll get a chance to enjoy good ole live music like never before. Not sure you can foot the bill for such a large show? Bonnaroo also offers layaway payment plans for four day passes and V.I.P. packages start planning your festival fun now.
NON hip-hop Acts You might enjoy: Elton John, Frank Ocean, and Carolina Chocolate Drops
Made In America Festival August 30th-September 1st
Budweiser’s Made In America Festival is only entering its third year but has already had everyone from Jay-Z and Drake to Beyoncé grace the stage. The festival takes place in Philadelphia every year during Labor Day weekend and is the perfect way for hip-hop Fans to end the summer. Although this year’s lineup has yet to be released what makes Made In America different from other festivals is instead of the roster being filled with an onslaught of indie and buzzed artists that we love, the acts that perform usually aren’t apart of the regular festival scene. Rick Ross, Run DMC, and the entire G.O.O.D. music camp are a few examples. Made In America is perfect for the main stream hip-hop fan. Another bonus? In the past 3 day tickets have been as low as $100 that’s dirt cheap for any festival. So if you’d rather attend a show where you’re guaranteed to know all the artists hitting the stage the city of Brotherly Love is the place to be August 30th – September 1st
A3C Festival October 8th-12th
A3C (All three Coasts) is a hip-hop festival held in Atlanta Georgia every year. Opposite of Made In America this festival appeals almost exclusively to the Indie and Up and Coming. This year should be quite the experience because A3C is celebrating its ten year anniversary. A3C has a similar format to SXSW where multiple acts perform at multiple venues throughout the city of Atlanta. The festival isn’t limited to just music but also showcases different films, brands, and much more. South Carolina native Ben G has performed in the past and you can catch a plethora of other South Carolina artists at this event as well. So if you want to see all of you favorite local acts in one location clear your calendar for A3C.
With the growing sub cultural of attending festivals there are dozens of events large and small to choose from. Don’t see your hip-hop festival of choice on the list? Comment below. Let us know what shows you’re looking forward to this festival season.