Downtown Miami

Rowdy crowds shut down stage at Rolling Loud; performers shuffled around

Security guards block the Monster Energy stage at the Rolling Loud music festival after the stage was shut down due to rowdy crowds.
Security guards block the Monster Energy stage at the Rolling Loud music festival after the stage was shut down due to rowdy crowds. ldixon@miamiherald.com

Day three of the Rolling Loud festival got off to a relatively normal start and by the early afternoon the crowd of thousands enjoyed the sounds of Gucci Mane, 21 Savage and Playboi Carti.

But by the time rap group Migos were prepared to take the Monster Energy stage, things became slightly chaotic and led to the stage being shut down entirely.

The highly-anticipated performance was set for 6:30 p.m. but by 7 p.m. the group still hadn’t taken the stage and the event’s hosts, social-media star YesJulz and New York radio DJ Peter Rosenberg were pleading with the rowdy crowd to back up from the stage and trying to distribute water.

“This will get shut down,” Rosenberg warned.

And by about 7:15 p.m. the announcement was made that Migos would not be performing until later and the crowd was asked to hydrate and get food. Security guards stood across the front of the stage and threw water bottles into the crowd.

When it was announced the group would instead be performing at a different stage, attendees began to run there. The Postmates-sponsored stage had a larger area for the crowd.

It was a theme that was common during the first two days of the festival as members of the crowd became dehydrated and some had to be taken to nearby hospitals. Some sets also got off to late starts and were delayed by hyped-up crowds.

On Sunday, set times were displayed on the large screens to the side of the stages for the first time during the three-day festival.

Performers were still running behind schedule, though. In the early afternoon, a DJ repeated “Y'all ready for Robb Banks?”

But 20 minutes past Banks start time, the rapper still wasn't on stage.

Several crowd members expressed disappointment as they walked away from the Monster Energy stage after Migos’ set was pushed back.

One attendee named Drea, who would not give her full name, said that she was near the front of the Monster Energy stage all day and that the area seemed overcrowded and people were being overly aggressive.

“It was like 50 people in a row of 10 seats. There were people passing out and they weren’t letting people leave,” Drea said.

The stage has amphitheater seating closest to the stage and became a mix of seated and standing crowd members.

When rapper Playboi Carti performed at the stage he consistently asked for the crowd to make room in the mosh pit area but even as he ripped through hits like “Run It” and “Lookin” there didn’t seem to be a safety concern.

Before that performance though, most of the attendees had positive reviews of the fest and the performances on the previous days from Kendrick Lamar, Action Bronson and A$AP Rocky. Sean Connaire and his friends made their way from New York and looked forward to performances from Post Malone and Migos on Sunday.

“It’s been unbelievable, we’re staying at a sick place and the weather’s been beautiful,” Connaire said.

Jess Smith, who flew in from Kansas City, Miss., gave a similar review of Miami and said he was looking forward to seeing Future later Sunday night.

“It’s a beautiful city and it’s a great tourist city too,” Smith said as he and his wife posed for a selfie.

The Monster Energy stage eventually reopened, and Post Malone was performing to a large crowd.

After the confusion involving the Migos performance, the sets that followed from Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert were a nice release for fans and both drew large crowds.

Lil Uzi Vert's performance stood out as he made his way through the crowd, onto the top of an equipment tent and then jumped into the audience. He played several hits like "Do What I Want" and "Wokeuplikethis*"

The final performers of the night, Future and Travis Scott, also drew some of the biggest crowds of the night as they performed concurrently on the two stages.

Future ran through new and old tracks like "Itchin," "Move That Dope" and "Super Trapper" and gave a shout out to the women in the audience and his "day one" fans.

Meanwhile, Travis Scott performed some of his tracks like "Upper Echelon" "Through the Late Night" and "Way Back." He said he was excited to see the festival grew after he performed there in 2015 and his performance was filled with pyrotechnics, smoke and shouts out to the lively crowd.

Despite all the shuffling of performers Sunday, Miguel Silva and Tom Freda said they would still give the event a 10 out of 10. They said they were frustrated by the shut down of the Monster Energy stage and the lack of communication.

"It was probably not excellent planning but besides that it was awesome," Silva said.

The two friends were mostly looking forward to Migos and Travis Scott and said the lineup convinced them to make the trip. They also think the organizers might have underestimated the popularity of some artists.

"The Kendrick [Lamar] crowd wasn't as big as Migos’," Silva said.

Caitlin Randle contributed to this report.

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