Nas Launches Hip-Hop Fest Down Under

Nas performs during the 2012 Voodoo Experience at City Park on October 28, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Veteran rapper Nas is to co-curate and headline a new multi-city hip hop fest Down Under.

The inaugural 2013 Australian Movement Festival will begin its four-date trek April 26 at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, then heads on to Melbourne (April 27 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl), Brisbane (April 28 at the Riverstage) and wraps-up April 30 at Perth’s Red Hill Auditorium.

It’s early days for the Australian Movement Festival, but organizers are confident it’ll do the business. Nas has already confirmed he will again be involved in an artistic and programming capacity for the 2014 and 2015 events.

The chart-topping hip hopper won’t be the only big name doing the rounds. Bliss N Eso, an act at the vanguard of Australia’s burgeoning hip hip scene, will co-headline the dates. The trio landed at No. 1 on the Australian sales chart in 2010 with their fourth album, “Running On Air,” which is certified platinum here (300,000 units) on the independent Illusive label.

Bliss N Eso have taken their brand of Aussie hip hop to the United States on several occasions, and are a linchpin in Australia’s hip hop scene, which has smashed its way into the mainstream here in recent years. Adelaide hip-hoppers Hilltop Hoods and Perth-based Drapht have also enjoyed chart-topping albums.

Australia’s festivals circuit is a congested one, but the space for hip hop and rap purists is relatively wide open, certainly during what is the end of the southern summer. The annual Sprung fest typically takes place in the lead-up to Christmas, and the Supafest has disappeared from sight.

Rounding out the Australian Movement Festival line-up is 2 Chainz, Chiddy Bang, Joey Bada$$, Angel Haze, Spit Syndicate (Melb, Bris and Perth) and Thundamentals (Sydney only).

The tour is a joint-partnership between Nas, Live Nation and Niche Productions.