The initial artist lineup and locations for the 2009 Rock The Bells tour were announced April 7, with the promise of specific dates and venues in the following weeks.
Amongst the eight announced cities was Miami. This made sense, of course, because the festival tour, a sort of Warped Tour for hip-hop artists, traveled to Miami both in 2008 and 2007. The shows played to packed crowds at Bayfront Park Amphitheater.
Then something funny happened when Guerilla Union, the tours' promoters, finalized the list of venues on April 27: Miami vanished without a mention, but Chicago and Detroit dates were added.
The last two Rock The Bells events in Miami brought some of hip-hop's finest to the city. Artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Mos Def and Talib Kweli rarely performed in South Florida, and the events gave fans an opportunity to see many of these acts in one day.
The 2009 lineup features even more must-see live acts: Headliners Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley will be debuting material from their upcoming duet album, Distant Relatives. The Roots, which once toured 200+ days per year, will now make a somewhat rare live appearance on the tour after becoming the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Big Boi, one half of Outkast, will be on the road for the first time in years. House of Pain and Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek) will be reunited onstage.
Which makes it all the more disappointing that the festival will seemingly not visit Miami. Guerilla Union has yet to make a statement regarding Miami's disappearance from the lineup since the initial release and its message board has people asking questions, but getting no answers.
E-mails to Guerilla Union event staff were not answered. E-mails to Bayfront Park officials were forwarded to Live Nation (which will now run Bayfront Park Amphitheater when it reopens in August after renovations), but Live Nation never responded.
Twitter users are also frustrated about the lack of information about the missing Miami date.
Stay tuned as this saga unfolds.