Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas & More Set for Australia's RNB Fridays Live Tour, Int'l Expansion on the Horizon

Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images for JJ
Janet Jackson (C) performs onstage during the opening night of her Metamorphosis - The Las Vegas Residency at Park Theater at Park MGM on May 17, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent and Jason Derulo lead the lineup for RNB Fridays Live 2019, the fourth annual celebration of hip-hop and urban music which winds its way across Australia and New Zealand this November. 

Also joining the Australasian lineup, announced Friday, will be Keri Hilson, Sisqo, J-Kwon and an unidentified “mystery artist,” while Fatman Scoop returns as emcee.

The day-long experience will visit all five of Australia’s largest cities, opening Nov. 8 at Perth’s HBF Park, then on to Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, Adelaide Showgrounds, Brisbane Showgrounds and Sydney’s Giants Stadium on Nov. 16. 

Presented by Illusive Presents and Frontier Touring (both part of the Mushroom Group) plus Hit Network, this year’s edition will be the biggest yet. And for a production riding a sharp growth curve since its inaugural year in 2016, organizers are keen to take the brand further afield. 

“We are already in planning and having discussions to take the event and concept into further international markets in 2020 and beyond,” Illusive Presents co-founder Matt Gudinski tells Billboard.

Those plans could see the launch of a number of events next year in the U.K. and Europe and, "potentially some Asian territories,” Gudinski explains.

Perhaps, the brand will enter the home of R&B in the near future. “There’s aspirations to launch in select U.S. markets in 2021," Gudinski adds. “It’s something we think we can transform into a global brand and event series for the urban market.” 

Most Australian festival owners dream of a United States leg, few carry through with it. The last and best-known Aussie brand to flirt with the U.S. was St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, an indie music smorgasbord which briefly had a home at Detroit’s Meadow Brook Music Festival, back in 2013.

The game has changed, and the hip-hop genre is currently flying high. Also, RNB Fridays' producers can draw on some heavy international firepower, through AEG Live’s joint venture with Frontier Touring which, in turn, has a joint venture with llusive Presents. "There are a few different ways we’re looking at launching it," says Gudinski, noting talks continue on partnering-up with local promoters in various markets.

“It’s built into a massive event in Australia the last few years. In 2018, it was the biggest touring festival in Australia by some way (with 175,000 tickets shifted across five Australian shows). It’s developed on a similar trajectory in New Zealand," enthuses Gudinski. “There’s big plans on the horizon.”

Visit Frontier Touring for more.

RNB Fridays Live 2019 Australia dates

Nov. 8 -- HBF Park, Perth
Nov. 9 -- Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Nov. 10 -- Adelaide Showgrounds
Nov. 15 -- Brisbane Showgrounds
Nov. 16 -- Giants Stadium, Sydney

Festivals 2019


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