Rock the Bells re-ups for ’09


As widely reported, Rock the Bells International Festival Series returns for a sixth year this summer. Produced by Guerilla Union, this year’s itinerary features ten cities, and a mix of established stops (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles) and new locales (including Denver’s epic Red Rocks Amphitheater).

For annual Rock the Bells attendees, the lineup blends regulars with new jacks. At the top of the bill is Nas, who was second in line to A Tribe Called Quest last year; this time he headlines with Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley. The two will support their forthcoming album, Distant Relatives, which is tentatively scheduled for release this summer.

On the “new jack” tip, so to speak, there’s Common, the much-hyped street-rap supergroup Slaughterhouse, and Tech N9ne. And just like Coachella, each go-round features an old-school crew getting back together. Past years brought back Wu-Tang Clan and the Pharcyde. This year brings House of Pain and Reflection Eternal. Since Big Boi’s on the bill, here’s hoping that Andre 3000 will show up for a proper OutKast reunion, too.

Some of the performers, however, will only perform in select cities. Check the Rock the Bells website to find out which performers will appear in each city. I’ll update this post, too, as that information becomes available. (June 25 update: The performer itinerary has been added.)

Here’s a bit from the press release:

Guerilla Union, the promoter for the ROCK THE BELLS 2009 FESTIVAL SERIES, has unveiled the dates and venues of North America’s only major touring hip-hop festival. …

Another element besides top-notch musical performances fans can experience at ROCK THE BELLS is the legendary KRS-One’s Temple of Hip-Hop. “Rock The Bells has always strived to be the world-class platform dedicated to hip-hop culture,” states Chang Weisberg of Guerilla Union. “This year we are excited to announce that KRS-One and the Temple of Hip Hop will be producing unique fan experiences dedicated to cultivating hip-hop culture by hosting guest speakers, workshops, art displays, lectures, book signings and more. Plans are still being finalized, but expect a unique Temple of Hip-Hop area to be built in each city. We are going to reach out to all artists on this year’s line-up to contribute their efforts to help educate and expand perspective on hip-hop culture.”

“ROCK THE BELLS is committed to providing a unique opportunity to our fans who can begin their 2009 experience by logging onto our websites and viewing our media players for exclusive tracks, videos and digital content made especially for our community,” adds Weisberg about what’s in store to connect with ROCK THE BELLS fans. … “When our fans buy a ticket to ROCK THE BELLS, they are supporting the fabric of hip-hop culture.”

Here’s the itinerary:

  • 6/27: First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL (1) (2) (3) (4) (7) (9) (10) (11) (12)
  • 6/28: DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, MI (1) (2) (3) (7) (12)
  • 7/05: Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON (1) (5) (7) (8) (11) (12) (13)
  • 7/12: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Washington, DC (1) (2) (3) (4) (7) (8) (10) (11) (12)
  • 7/18: Comcast Center, Boston, MA (1) (3) (4) (6) (7) (8) (10) (11) (12)
  • 7/19: Jones Beach Amphitheatre, New York, NY (1) (2) (3) (4) (6) (7) (8) (10) (11)
  • 8/01: Deer Lake Park, Vancouver, BC (1) (4)
  • 8/06: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO (1) (2) (6) (8) (12)
  • 8/08: San Manuel Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA (1) (2) (3) (6) (8) (10) (11) (12)
  • 8/09: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA (1) (2) (3) (4) (6) (8) (10) (11) (12)

(1) w/Nas & Damian Marley, Big Boi, KRS-One, Reflection Eternal, Tech N9ne, Slaughterhouse, Slum Village, Supernatural, Pete Rock, Chali 2na, Evidence & Alchemist
(2) w/Busta Rhymes
(3) w/The Roots
(4) w/Common
(5) w/EPMD
(6) w/House of Pain, La Coka Nostra
(7) w/K’naan
(8) w/RZA
(9) w/GZA
(10) w/Raekwon, Sage Francis, Eyedea & Abilities, Necro, Psycho Realm, Buckshot, Mystik Journeymen, Mickey Factz, B. Dolan, Tabi Bonney, Murs
(11) w/M.O.P.
(12) w/The Knux
(13) w/Mos Def

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