A hip-hop festival in Hong Kong, which would have featured American artists Migos and Wiz Khalifa, is the latest event to be canceled due to the city’s ongoing unrest.
Rolling Loud, the two-day festival, was scheduled for October 19 and 20. Rapper Wiz Khalifa and award-winning group Migos, of “Bad and Boujee” fame, were set to headline the show. The lineup also included Ski Mask the Slump God, Playboi Carti, and several Chinese hip-hop artists.
Festival organizers announced the cancellation on the show’s Facebook page on Monday. “After consulting with security experts, it has been determined that it is not possible to organize the upcoming Rolling Loud Hong Kong edition as we had hoped without endangering the safety and well-being of our fans, artists, and staff,” the statement said.
“While we regret having to cancel the festival, this is not a decision that has been taken lightly and we look forward to bringing the Rolling Loud festival experience to Hong Kong in the future to celebrate the city’s rich culture and buzzing hip-hop music scene.”
The statement added that all tickets would be fully refunded.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy, anti-government protests began in June over a now-withdrawn extradition bill. They have steadily escalated in violence and destruction — nearly every weekend, protesters clash with riot police on the streets, with tear gas fired and molotov cocktails setting barricades aflame. With pitched battles broadcast to the world for four straight months, many organizers and artists have canceled events.
Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show,” postponed a stand-up show; pop stars Carly Rae Jepsen and Chvrches both canceled concerts; the musical show “Matilda” postponed a planned one-month run; even sports events like the Women’s Tennis Association Hong Kong Tennis Open have been postponed.
In the face of endless unrest, it’s not just performers turning away — tourism numbers have plummeted. This August saw 40% fewer tourists than the same time last year. Malls are often nearly empty, and even Disneyland has been hit, with no lines for rides and bands playing to sparse crowds. And it’s taking a toll on the local economy — the unemployment rate rose from 3.9% in August to 4.6% in September, with retailers, hotels, restaurants, and tour companies citywide struggling to stay afloat.