2024 Rolling Loud California Review

2024 Rolling Loud California Review

As a self-identified concertgoer, I can admit that it’s not an easy (or cheap) hobby. Going to concerts and festivals is physically demanding, requires good social skills, and can be exhausting. I’ve been abstaining from attending concerts since the 2023 Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in November, but when I received a call from a friend to attend the upcoming Rolling Loud California, I couldn’t resist.

Similar to my last music festival, I found out that I would be going on very short notice. I rummaged through my closet to find “festival attire” and tried to finish my upcoming homework ahead of time, but the excitement was getting to me. I couldn’t stop talking about the artists I planned on seeing with my classmates, asking my friends for outfit advice, and running my sister through my detailed plan on how to get closer to the stage.

Soon enough, the first day of Rolling Loud California was here. The festival spanned four days, starting on Mar. 14. Rolling Loud was created in 2015, first taking place in Miami, Florida. The hip hop festival has been held throughout the world, with past locations in Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe. With the reputation of having rowdy crowds, I anticipated a weekend filled with adventure and surprises.

When I arrived at the Hollywood Park Grounds, I was greeted by a sea of black hoodies, shirts, and sweaters. I expected this though, considering Ye was performing. Formerly named Kanye West, Ye has been embracing the theme of black clothing in his outfits, and it’s only expected that his fans would follow. The only performance on the lineup that day was ¥$, composed of Ye and Ty Dolla Sign, playing their new hit album Vultures 1.

My friend and I waited in the packed and excited crowd until we finally heard music. But as soon as the music started, the crowd became completely uncontrollable. We saw swarms of people climbing the light equipment to get a better view, endangering themselves and others. Despite this, neither Ye or Ty Dolla Sign stopped the show. In fact, throughout their set, they didn’t speak to the audience at all. Rolling Loud confirmed on social media platform X a few days prior to their set that the group will in fact be performing, not just playing their music as a listening party. The night ended without a single word from both artists, and fans walked away disappointed. Rolling Loud responded to our disappointment by posting on X, “Oops. It’s on him.”

The next day, Mar. 15, was way smoother than the day prior. We watched rappers YG and Tyga perform together, and even brought out rapper Saweetie. We met lots of people, and bonded over the mutually disappointing performance from ¥$ the night before. Everything was going well until Nicki Minaj’s performance. Not only was Minaj extremely late, but my friend realized she couldn’t find her phone. We searched everywhere we could, and came to the conclusion that she was pickpocketed. After Minaj’s set, we ran to the Lost and Found booth, where hundreds of other concertgoers were. They were all pickpocketed, and couldn’t track their phones through any software. Many people said that Rolling Loud was infamous for this, and that the pattern of phones being stolen and shut off happened last year as well. We headed home in defeat, and without a phone.

The third day of Rolling Lou was one that both my friend and I skipped out on. We mutually agreed that we would take a break this day, and use this time to rejuvenate ourselves. Despite wanting to see artists like Summer Walker and Pi’erre Bourne, I was happy with our choice. Although I spent the day at the beach with my family, I was still hearing about Rolling Loud through social media platforms, listening to updates, and keeping up with any news or announcements.

Finally, the last day of Rolling Loud was here. Considering Rolling Loud sold single-day passes to Sunday only, way more people were in attendance. I headed over to the grounds with a big group of friends, and we were all shocked at the number of people who were there. Despite arriving pretty late that day, we were still able to catch plenty of artists. We watched Don Toliver, Mike Sherm, Bryson Tiller, and then the biggest set of the night: Future and Metro Boomin. They played songs from each of their albums, such as HEROES & VILLAINS and HNDRXX. Our group made the decision to leave the crowd a bit before their set was over to avoid the traffic leaving the grounds, only to hear the hit song “FE!N” by Travis Scott play. Travis Scott was rumored to be a surprised artist, but not many people believed in the theory. We regretted leaving the crowd early but we still enjoyed Scott’s music from afar.

Arcadia High School junior Luke Camano recalled their experience attending the last day of Rolling Loud.

“I was really surprised with how close my group was able to get to the stage with the sheer amount of people there were,” said Camano. “I was also surprised to see Travis Scott being brought out—nobody believed it would actually happen. I would say it was a positive experience and I will definitely be heading back next year.”

Leaving the grounds satisfied, I was really happy with the outcome of the last day of the festival. Despite a few setbacks, Rolling Loud made an extremely unique and memorable experience for me.

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