After months of wondering what happened to Rock The Bells 2009 in Miami, we finally have an answer.
I briefly spoke on Saturday with Mihai Crisan of Contagious Musiq, the local promoters that helped bring Rock The Bells festivals in 2007 and 2008 to Miami, as well as the recent Mos Def show at the Arsht Center. I was talking to him about the Future Classic Festival on Sept. 12, and, seeking closure, I asked him about Rock The Bells.
Luckily, he was very forward and happy to tell me what happened:
The show was originally scheduled to occur on July 26, a Sunday. The 2007 and 2008 festivals both took place on Saturdays, the ideal day for the festival because it would allow out-of-towners to come to the show. But Saturday, July 25 was impossible because festival headliners Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley already had a show scheduled for Jamaica that night.
Because of the relatively high percentage of out-of-towners that attended the '07 and '08 show, it was decided that holding the 2009 show on a Sunday wouldn't have been conducive for high attendance.
That's why the show was canceled. Which explains why Miami was listed on the original batch of dates, but then quickly vanished without official word of what happened.
It's a shame the tour missed Miami, considering it had an extremely strong lineup that included Nas and Marley, The Roots, Common, Big Boi of Outkast, the reunited House of Pain, and Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek.
But from my conversation with Crisan, it seems 2009 was the anomaly. There was no indication that Rock The Bells was gone from Miami for good. Hopefully, 2010's event will make it back to the 305.