TARIQ CHERIF, 28
MATT ZINGLER, 30
Co-founders, Rolling Loud
Rolling Strong: The fourth year for the Rolling Loud festival was its biggest yet, attracting a crowd of 135,000 fans who paid $300-plus to Miami in May to see J. Cole, Future, Migos and Post Malone. “This year, it felt like everything finally clicked,” says Cherif, who met co-founder Zingler when they were elementary students in Hollywood, Fla.
Going Louder Overseas: “The meat of our lineup is what makes the difference between [selling] 30,000 and 60,000 tickets,” says Cherif. “We try to ensure that every type of hip-hop fan will enjoy at least 10 artists on the bill.” That philosophy enabled Rolling Loud to expand to Southern California in 2017 and the Oakland (Calif.) Coliseum this year, with plans to take the festival to Japan, China and the United Kingdom. As Zingler puts it, “We are planning to take over the world.”
SHAWN GEE, 47
President, Live Nation Urban; partner, Maverick
Priority No. 1: Since he was tapped to lead the newly launched Live Nation Urban in May 2017, Gee has grown the live-music market for R&B, hip-hop and gospel one festival at a time.
Growing Broccoli: Gee moved Washington, D.C.’s Broccoli City festival to RFK Stadium in 2018, which, he says, resulted in 32,000 tickets sold, up from 8,000 in 2017. He also launched RapCaviar Live with Spotify; Exodus Music & Arts Festival in Irving, Texas, with gospel legend Kirk Franklin; and closed the first live-music deal with Prince’s estate for 4U, a symphonic celebration of the late icon that is slated to play 47 dates stateside and in Europe, including London’s Royal Albert Hall.
TYLER, THE CREATOR, 27
Founder, Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
Flog Gnaw Flourishing: Tyler Gregory Okonma, aka Tyler, The Creator, has proved there’s room in the live market for a lovingly curated, highly creative music/culture festival that doubles as a showcase for his friends and fashion line. Camp Flog Gnaw, set for Nov. 10-11 in Los Angeles, has outgrown its original setting, the 15,000-capacity Exposition Park, and moved to Dodger Stadium, which accommodates 56,000.