In 2006, Paid Dues Festival emerged as the indie conscience of the fast-blossoming Rock the Bells Festival. Organized by Murs’ 3:16 Productions and Rock the Bells’ Guerilla Union, it championed many of the smaller artists that had helped launch Rock the Bells as a major event. Last year, it even served as a “sister” festival, touring through several small cities and holding down the opening stage at Rock the Bells installments in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
The 2008 edition of the Paid Dues Festival will jump off at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino on March 22. Some people will argue that its lineup, which features familiar faces such as Sage Francis, Dilated Peoples, and Boot Camp Clik, reflects a certain conservatism within the indie hip-hop scene towards “true school” backpack acts. But in a press release announcing the event, Murs points out several relative unknowns on the bill as well. The full announced lineup is listed below.
“What we’re trying to do with Paid Dues as we go into our third year is: Number one is focus,” says Murs. “Being that it’s a festival birthed on the west coast we wanted to tailor the bill to appeal a little more to the region so we brought on local staples such as the A-Team, Omni and Fatlip. To knock it out of the park we added the three major west coast crews Living Legends, Hieroglyphics and the Visionaries.”
“The second thing we are doing is expanding by grabbing more artists outside of the traditional indie hip-hop family (i.e. Def Jux, Rhymesayers, Living Legends) so we approached Dilated Peoples and Little Brother,” continues Murs in the press release. “We also wanted to show some love to the decorated veterans of the independent scene so we reached out to Boot Camp Clik and Kool Keith. Third and most importantly we wanted to give back to the awesome fans who’ve supported us over the past two years to make this the biggest and best Paid Dues yet. My partner Chang [Weisberg of Guerilla Union/Rock the Bells] says the third year is always the greatest and it seems to be like he’s going to be right, again.”
3/22: Paid Dues Festival w/Sage Francis, Little Brother, Dilated Peoples, Jedi Mind Tricks, Living Legends, Hieroglyphics, Visionaries, Boot Camp Clik, Kool Keith, POS, the A-Team, Mac Lethal, Fatlip & Omni, Yak Ballz, Bernard Dolan, Isaiah