The landscape for Australia's hip hop concert-goers has gone from an embarrassment of riches, to a downright dearth. The fourth edition of Supafest, which was meant to star T.I., Ne-Yo and 50 Cent, has pulled the pin on its event just days out from kick-off. News of the cancelation comes at the same time as the Nas-curated Movement Festival was called off.
Supafest had an ambitious schedule, which intended to cross the country and visit four cities in successive days starting April 25 in Perth. The itinerary would have clocked up more than 7,000 kilometers with four stops in as many days. And, incredibly, the final three dates -- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane -- would have gone head-to-head in those markets with its rival hip hop fest, Movement.
Organizers have said Supafest 4 “will have new dates” in November, though they’ve not locked-in any new venues or show-times. Dwayne Cross, the show's producer and principal of Chase Records, blames “difficulty completing venue contract arrangements” for the Melbourne and Brisbane legs of the festival. As a result, he says they've “been unable to proceed with the tour at this time.” Ticketholders are being urged to retain their stubs for the mooted November event, or pursue a full refund.
Supafest had billed itself as “The world's biggest hip hop and urban music festival,” announcing on March 8 a line-up which included its three headliners plus Akon, J. Cole, Waka Flocka, Young Jeezy, Dj Unk, Mindless Behaviour, Kevin Mccall, Dj Nino Brown, Dizzy Doolan and Phinesse.
It’s not the first time Supafest has disappointed its fans. The 2012 event took a hammering on social networks when its four-date event went ahead last April without the previously-announced bookings P Diddy, Missy Elliot and Rick Ross. Elliot denied that she’d ever confirmed to play, while Diddy claimed the promoters hadn’t paid up. Supafest denied those claims. Collecting society PPCA then mounted a campaign against Dwayne Cross’ PaperChase company to extract money owned. PaperChase reportedly went into receivership last year.
Live Nation was behind Movement, which canceled its inaugural fest on Thursday with no talk of alternative dates. Nas was billed as co-headliner of the shows, ahead of 2 Chainz, Chiddy Bang, Joey Bada$$, Angel Haze, Spit Syndicate, Thundamentals and homegrown hip hop chart-toppers Bliss N Eso.
Movement had a handful of big-plans, one of which was to help Australian hip hop fans “overcome the disappointment that has occurred in the past due to event cancellations and talent withdrawals from similar events in recent years.” It can safely be assumed Movement was pointing at Supafest, though both events have now managed to disappoint tens of thousands of concert goers.