The inaugural Movement Festival, a multi-date Australasian hip hop event spearheaded by veteran rapper Nas, has been canceled just a week out from showtime.
Organizers Live Nation and Niche Productions pulled the plug today on the trek, which billed Nas as a headliner and rounded out its line-up with the likes of 2 Chainz, Chiddy Bang, Joey Bada$$, Angel Haze, Spit Syndicate, Thundamentals and homegrown hip hop chart-toppers Bliss N Eso.
The dates were meant to start April 24 at Auckland’s Vector Arena, before moving on to Sydney (April 26 at the Hordern Pavilion), Melbourne (April 27 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl), Brisbane (April 28 at the Riverstage) and Perth’s Red Hill Auditorium (April 30).
In a joint statement issued today, the promoters cited the withdrawal of Angel Haze (due to a clash in recording commitments) and more recently 2Chainz (due to visa issues resulting from a pending unresolved court case), which they say led to a change of venues in some markets. Those changes “prompted patron feedback that the event no longer reflected what had been advertised,” according to the statement.
Despite their “best endeavours,” the producers of the show say they’ve “been unable to fulfill their commitment and as such it has been determined that the festival will not go ahead.” Full ticket refunds are being offered.
Co-curated by Nas, the traveling fest was announced Feb. 6 with the ambition of “filling the void of credible Hip-Hop events in Australia.” So confident were organizers that Movement would be a hit, Nas had confirmed with that initial announcement that he would again be involved in an artistic and programming capacity for the 2014 and 2015 events.
A hip hop festival is new territory for the Australian affiliate of Live Nation. The giant music promoter launched its Australian company in 2010 and last year acquired rival Michael Coppel Presents, who is now president of the growing operation Down Under.