Downtown Miami

Rolling Loud attorney ‘politely’ threatens Miami with $30M lawsuit ahead of vote

Kendrick Lamar, top left, Migos, bottom left, and Lil Wayne, right, are scheduled to perform at Rolling Loud.
Kendrick Lamar, top left, Migos, bottom left, and Lil Wayne, right, are scheduled to perform at Rolling Loud. AP

The city of Miami has been “politely” threatened with a $30 million lawsuit if the agency that oversees Bayfront Park cancels Rolling Loud.

Ahead of a Tuesday vote by the Bayfront Park Management Trust that could pull the plug on the three-day hip-hop festival, Rolling Loud attorney Jeffrey Bass warned in a letter to Miami’s city attorney that organizers have already sold nearly 40,000 tickets. Bass said the festival’s organizer, Dope Entertainment, has spent the last eight months signing acts, contracting with vendors, working with Miami police and firefighters and airing advertisements around the world.

He said Rolling Loud, scheduled May 5 - 7, would suffer damages “well in excess of $30 million” if the event is canceled now, less than one month before gates are set to open.

“As politely and bluntly as possible, we wish to advise you that the Trust cannot impede the event at this time without significantly exposing itself to substantial financial liability,” Bass wrote on April 7. “Stated otherwise, the show must go on and we will hold the Trust accountable if it does not.”

The show must go on and we will hold the Trust accountable if it does not

attorney Jeffrey Bass

Dope Entertainment announced back in August that Rolling Loud — which some publications have described as one of the biggest hip-hop festivals of the year — was moving to Bayfront Park for its third installment. The show is headlined this year by Kendrick Lamar, Future and Lil Wayne. Organizers signed a use agreement for the park on behalf of Dope Entertainment affiliate TCMZ back in December.

I’m not going to get into details since there might be a lawsuit

Commissioner Frank Carollo

But last week, Bayfront Park Trust chairman and Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo requested a special meeting Tuesday for the “approval/denial of the use agreement for” Rolling Loud. The vote comes after Carollo lashed out at long-time park director Timothy Schmand during a board meeting last month, saying the festival was approved by Schmand without his knowledge or the consent of the park’s board.

Schmand, who has since submitted his resignation, said he’d done nothing wrong. But Carollo said he only learned of the event through a conversation with police, and argued that Miami’s laws require that all board contracts be approved by the board.

“The city attorney advised me to bring this item to the board as soon as possible, as per the code. And that’s what I’m doing,” Carollo said Monday.

Carollo declined to specifically address whether he will push for the festival’s cancellation. Neither would he comment on a portion of Bass’s letter that stated the Trust discussed the event back in October, a meeting that Carollo attended.

“I’m not going to get into details since there might be a lawsuit,” Carollo said. “But there was no specific conversation. And definitely not a board vote on the approval or denial of the event, as per code.”

Tuesday’s board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the offices of the Bayfront Park Management Trust, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. Bass said Rolling Loud remains hopeful that they can work things out.

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