Hip-hop head, world-class concert organizer and musical miracle maker CHANG WEISBERG speaks:
How hard was it to get into Canada compared to last time?
So far so good, but we’re not there yet. Our co-promoter is Live Nation. They’re one of the premier event producers and they bring in a lot of revenue every year, and that helps with the authorities, consulate and immigration paperwork. Rock The Bells can hopefully be treated like V Fest or anything of the same nature.
Why couldn’t Rock The Bells be held at the Molson Amphitheatre?
That’s where I think RTB should be. Live Nation has an exclusive agreement at Molson, and we held the date before we confirmed the talent, but unbeknownst to even our co-promoter, they wouldn’t allow it. There were some concerns that RTB isn’t the right event for that facility. We just weren’t allowed in – but neither was Linkin Park this year. It was very surprising. But Arrow Hall will be one big cipher. Maybe we’ll earn our spot at Molson for next time if everything goes smoothly.
What’s the difference between Canadian and American hip-hop concerts?
Toronto and Vancouver are two of the best hip-hop markets in North America, period. The fans are very enthusiastic but very jaded. We have a lot to prove. Show up, do a good job, deliver as advertised and get it done.
What about future RTB shows? I’d love to see Leaders of the New School reunite.
Leaders of the New School would be awesome. I’d also like to see Gangstarr and Outkast – I’d love to see them together again. I’m just going to leave it right there.
Shad K petitioned online to perform. What’s the possibility of putting Canadian artists on Rock The Bells?
I totally think it would only be right to have some local talent on the bill. My problem is, we have contractual obligations to X number of artists, and I only have a certain amount of time onstage. Even five minutes is critical with the number of performers we have now at Arrow Hall. If we were at Molson, I’d have a local stage – no problem. I think it’s our job to serve up a little classic, something new, something political, something social, and have a happy hip-hop thanksgiving. It’s a feast!