One of the hottest tickets during BET Week was the second annual EpicFest at Los Angeles’ Sony Studios on Saturday (June 25). Among the performers who commanded the stage during the late afternoon four-hour fest were Future and DJ Khaled.
“I’m fresh off that Beyoncé stage,” DJ Khaled shouted to the elbow-to-elbow crowd. “Let me give you a taste of what that was like.”
In addition to running through a montage of his greatest hits, DJ Khaled brought out protégé Kent Jones, who performed his hot summer hit “Don’t Mind.” Then Busta Rhymes made a surprise appearance, ramping up the energetic crowd with his throwback classic ”Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” as well as his verse from Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.”
Future, who performed at last year’s inaugural EpicFest, returned this year as its headliner. The rapper performed his new hit “Low Life,” along with “Jumpman,” “Where Ya At” and more of his Hot 100 charting hits.
Rounding out the lineup were performances by rock group KONGOS, French Montana, Jidenna, Kat Dahlia, Timeflies and Lil Jon. Dancing around the crowd throughout the afternoon and into the evening: Epic chairman/CEO L.A. Reid.
“If you give a party, you want to know people will show up,” Reid tells Billboard. “I’m happy that it’s working and happy that it’s catching on. This is something I plan to do each year. Maybe we’ll go later into the night, open it up. Maybe this is in an arena next year.”
The inaugural EpicFest was held in August last year. The event coincided with MTV’s Video Music Awards, which has since moved to New York. “We needed to keep this in Los Angeles,” says Epic president Sylvia Rhone. “So now it’s part of BET Week.”
Among the music industry notables and other special guests spotted in the Shake Shack-munching crowd: SNL producer Lorne Michaels, Jermaine Dupri, André 3000, Big Boi, Diane Warren, Randy, Jackson, Kelly Rowland (with her new girl group June’s Diary), Ricky Reed, Machine Gun Kelly and LeToya Luckett.
Coca-Cola and Concern Worldwide presented the second annual EpicFest with additional libations provided by Patron.
Additional Reporting by Ashley Lyle.