Billboard Hot 100 Fest 2017: Demi Lovato, Gucci Mane & More Memorable Moments From Day 1

Billboard Hot 100 Fest 2017 kicked off at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., on Saturday (Aug. 19), with an assortment of hitmakers and rising acts playing across four stages. Here are some of the memorable moments from Saturday:

2:22 pm: Following a week of national unrest over racist demonstrations in Charlottesville (which was only flamed by contentious comments from the White House), it was a guarantee that at least a few artists would address the climate during the festival. Sure enough, just a few hours into day 1, Matt Medved took a moment in his DJ set to lead the crowd in chants of "F--- racists" and "F--- Nazis." Many in the audience complied.

2:50 pm: L.A.-based DJ Justin Caruso was repping for students during his afternoon set, which saw a lot of dancing despite the 85-degree temps. "Who here is in school?" he asked to cheers. "Because I got class on Monday."

3:08 pm: "Let's f---ing rock," Phoebe Ryan said to the growing crowd at the Sun Stage. As fans roasted in the heat, Ryan ran through her alt-pop catalogue and made sure to include the hit that landed her on the Hot 100: The Chainsmokers' "All We Know."

3:25 pm: Vancouver-based EDM duo Young Bombs got the crowd revved over on the beachside Herbal Essences Stage. All the hands were in the air for a techno remix of Kanye West's "Touch the Sky."

4:11 pm: Strutting and smiling all over the stage, Kodie Shane was clearly enjoying her moment on the Beach Stage, running through an energetic "Your Side" before slowing things down -- which paradoxically turned the crowd up -- with "Just In" and "Can You Handle It." For such a relatively new artist, her stage presence was impressive, and her comfort with the moment spread throughout the crowd, with her song "Sad" serving as another standout.

5:05 pm: Bea Miller, who demonstrated impressive vocal depth and control, got off the Hot 100 Stage to sing directly to the front row during her personal ballad "I Can't Breathe." One girl in the front row was literally moved to tears, which made Miller stop to check on her -- without missing a note. The girl assured Miller she was fine, and they both shared a laugh and an arm squeeze before the X Factor contestant returned to the stage. It was a sweet moment.

5:12 pm: Supported by a DJ and backing band of a drum set, keys and sax, R&B singer Blackbear performed his soulful songs through a Vocoder, adding an electronic twist. As a light breeze carried over the crowd at the Beach Stage, the L.A. native slowed things down and found a comfortable balance between finger-snapping songs and more synth-heavy, high-energy tracks (like his trop-house hit "Make Daddy Proud") resulting in well-rounded set that delivered something for everyone.

4:30 pm: "You thought we were gonna wait 'til the end to play 'Check Yes Juliet'?" joked We the Kings frontman Travis Clark. The pop-punkers opened their set with the bubblegum highlight from their self-titled debut album, which they're celebrating the 10th anniversary of this summer. The sizable Sun Stage crowd joined in resoundingly.

6:00 pm: "First things first: Can I get a 'Thanks, Ugly God'?" Ugly God asked at the top of his set. "And can I get a 'F--- Ugly God'?" The crowd readily chanted both signature Ugly God catchphrases, and proved they were more than just passing fans of the "Water" rapper by finishing some of the NSFW lyrics to "FTBT" for him before he kicked off that song.

6:05 pm: Gucci Mane came out firing, opening with his two recent Drake collaborations, "Both" and "Back on Road" -- perfect for the younger-than-usual (for him) crowd at the Hot 100 Fest.

6:20 pm: "This song goes out to all the people who are single," Tinashe said during her exuberant set, a non-stop parade of modern R&B classics and effortlessly ill dance moves. "Yep, so am I," she said to cheers from romantically unattached people in the crowd. "But sometimes, you need a little… company." Naturally, Nightride single "Company" followed.

6:40 pm: Before the triple threat of "All Hands on Deck," "Flame" and "2 On" closed out her astonishing performance, Tinashe let her four flawless backup dancers take center stage to show off their individual styles. There were death drops and jumps splits on stage, and dropped jaws and shouts of "Yassss" in the crowd. 

6:50 pm: As his set-closer, delivered a little earlier than he had to, Gucci Mane used "I'm Back Bitch," a fitting and unequivocal statement after his court-mandated exile.

7:03 pm: Cherub's intensely energetic and vibrant electro-pop set provided the perfect transition into performances that followed from Demi Lovato and Zedd. As the sun set over the Beach Stage, the Nashville-based duo ripped through its catalog of pump-up jams. "Hold Me," which member Jordan Kelley dedicated to his dad, included a colorful and improvised saxophone solo (courtesy of the same brass player that accompanied Blackbear earlier), and later in the set the two pleased the crowd with fan favorite "Doses & Mimosas."

7:30 pm: Obviously Capital Cities got the biggest turn-up for their signature hit "Safe and Sound," but opening with the sly groove of their Tupac-quoting cover of Pink Floyd's "Breathe" was an inspired choice that turned a few heads and got the crowd moving. 

7:45 pm: Wearing a black bodysuit, thigh-high boots and an appropriately themed New York Mets Jersey, Demi Lovato strutted out on the Hot 100 main stage. With over 20 dancers on stage, all women, Lovato roared through "Confident," "Cool For The Summer" and her latest soaring power anthem "Sorry Not Sorry" -- she belted each of her sky-high vocals with ease.

8:20 pm: Considering that Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber's "Despacito" is close to tying the record for the longest-running No. 1 in Hot 100 history, and that it's the first mostly Spanish-language No. 1 since "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" in 1996, it was fitting that Party Favor dropped the vintage '90s dance jam during his set before asking the crowd – security included – to pose for a "family photo."

9:08 pm: After a late and slightly confusing opening to his set, Ty Dolla $ign dropped "Paranoid" and was immediately in his groove. Ty didn't disappoint and played all the hits, from "Don't Tell 'Em" to the Fifth Harmony cut "Work From Home."

9:32 pm:  Zedd drew one of the Hot 100 stage's biggest crowds for his first major New York City play since his October 2015 gig at Madison Square Garden. The Russian-born, German-bred DJ/producer brought out Echosmith's Sydney Sierota to perform "Cool Kids" before delighting the audience with multifaceted main stage remixes of his recent hits "Get Low" and "Stay."

9:50 pm: After shouting out JAY-Z and tearing through "Bugatti," Rick Ross slowed things down for a somber moment, but let the party keep raging. First, his DJ blasted Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones, Pt. II," as a tribute for the recently-deceased Prodigy, then shouted out Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as "Numb" blared from the speakers.

9:58 pm: Throughout his whole set, Rick Ross had been teasing tracks from his classic 2010 album Teflon Don. He rapped some of "I'm Not a Star," came back to more of it later and finally performed its excellent single "Aston Martin Music."

10:15 pm: While 3LAU's sound has mellowed out from fist-pumpers to head-bobbers over the past year, he reminded Hot 100 Fest attendees of his high-octane style with tracks like his Zombie Nation remix and Avicii's one and only, "Levels". He blasted confetti and CO2 throughout his set, and closed with his brand new drum and bass remix of "Hot Water", his collaboration with Audien.

10:23 pm: Big Sean dove into some of the songs he's associated with via the G.O.O.D. Music clique, such, as well, "Clique." "I just came to have a good time in one of the best cities in the world," he announced before "Jump Out the Window." Thankfully, no windows in sight. 

Billboard Hot 100 Fest 2017


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.