With a little over a week until the first scheduled date of the inaugural hip hop festival Drip World, Australia’s music community is still scratching its collective head pondering if the embattled festival is to be or not to be.

Earlier this week, the festival had to take arms against a sea of troubles following a concerning leak. But things aren’t always as they seem in this business.

For starters, the event’s parent company Yellow Live may have very few feathers in its cap, indeed far fewer than you’d expect for a company putting on such a massive event, but hey, even Chuggy and Gudinski had to start somewhere.

Drip World

Is Australia looking at its own Fyre Festival? Or will Drip World defy the odds and be the first successful touring hip hop festival in Australia since… forever.

We dug deep to look at both options.

To be: The Venues

At time of publish, Drip World has listed Sydney’s Parramatta Park, Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse, Brisbane Showgrounds and Perth’s Gloucester Park as its official venue partners. Also at time of publish, the events are currently listed in the ‘What’s on’ section for Parramatta Park, Brisbane Showgrounds and Gloucester Park.

Drip World

If an event weren’t going ahead, it’s usually the venues who find out first as they stand to lose quite a bit of money if they’re left stranded with an empty slot in the calendar. Those three venues have also shown support via social media at various stages in the events’ roll out.

Not to be: Also the venues

Interestingly enough, Flemington Racecourse hasn’t listed the event, or supported it on socials.

That is strange as the opposite side of the coin for the above comment is that venues also stand to make a lot of cash from events if they’re properly promoted. Not supporting an event at your own venue is a great way to ensure your built-in crowd don’t hear about it.

To be: The artist line-up

Several artists have publicly announced their involvement in the festival including Rich The Kid, Lil Skies and Lil Xan. Xan most recently as this week posted about the festival on Instagram.

While the others haven’t posted about the event to their Australian fans in some time, many posts remain public. There’s a long and convoluted kill chain between an event and the artist’s social media requiring numerous people signing off on any given post. The fact that these posts happened is a strong argument that the festival is legitimate.

Not to be: Also the artist line-up

While some artists have posted about the event, many haven’t, including main draw cards Migos and Akon. What’s more, many of the artists who did announce their involvement only did so via Instagram story and haven’t mentioned the event in weeks. That’s not a good look.

Save promoting the festival, it’s usually in the artists’ (and their record labels’) best interest to engage with their Australian fans.

Another interesting moment regarding artist announcements is the involvement of Sydney-based 13-year-old rapper Lil Tr33zy who announced her place on the line up in early August. This was shortly after the official line up announcement.

However, Drip World swiftly deleted their post announcing Tr33zy on the line up. Any mention has also been removed from her socials. TRVP, who have worked alongside Drip World at various moments is the only source still confirming her involvement.

Drip World

While we’re on the topic of the line-up, it’s worth mentioning the event’s artist timetable.

Of the 18-odd artists performing, six of them will be doing so for just 10 minutes. When you consider the amount of time it takes to load-in, sound check and line check, and load-out, 10 minutes seems hardly worth it. Not to mention the fact that the festival is selling half day tickets that allow entry from 5pm onwards, running the risk of artists right up to Akon, who performs at 4:15pm, performing in front of no one. Lil Xan, another key ingredient, performs at 2:15pm.

Drip World

To be: Social media activity

We saved the most interesting part of all this to last. Drip World’s social media presence has been a wild ride.

The festival has been actively challenging and shooting down any rumours that it’s fake. Logic would usually state that if it was fake, they’d take the opportunity the rumours presented to announce a cancellation rather than push through to their inevitable demise.

On August 11, in a pinned Facebook post, the festival directly addressed such rumours, providing a series of screenshots that prove its legitimacy including artist’s posts and venue posts. The festival usually maintains a steady stream of approximately two posts per day on their social media, which would indicate activity and a desire to sell tickets – two things that don’t usually happen with bogus events.

Not to be: Also social media activity

Social media has also thrown its fair share of slings and arrows at Drip World.

Drip World

The fact that the promoters needed to pin the aforementioned post indicates their desire to be seen as legit though perhaps they protest too much. “We are disheartened to hear some people out there think our festival is fake,” the post read.

Not content with the post, the promoters posted a series of comments also pointing to their legitimacy. An odd move for an organisation mere weeks away from launching such a large-scale event. The proof should be in the pudding, not social media posts.

Drip World

This week, Australian grassroots Hip Hop source AUD’$ posted of an upcoming announcement that would more or less confirm either the cancellation or postponement of Drip World festival. After allegedly speaking with the promoters directly, AUD’$ downgraded their announcement to a misunderstanding. Though the promoter’s explanation of a typo in an email send to contractors, where the term ‘postponed’ was deployed instead of ‘on-hold’ seems odd.

Drip World

Also, this week, at the time of publish, the event seems to have scaled back its regular, often daily posts and hasn’t posted in close to a week. An odd way to promote their upcoming dates indeed. It’s worth mentioning, Yellow Live hasn’t posted about the event since June.

Yellow Live has also not responded to multiple requests for comment.

The ‘shrugged shoulders’ emoji seems apposite here: 🤷. Believe you me when we say that’s how it has us feeling. The odds seem stacked against Drip World, even more so when you consider that the Australian market hasn’t been able to support a traveling hip hop festival since Supafest, and the less said about that the better.

But, miracles do happen and comments from followers of Drip World make it clear that the kids are hungry for such an event to take place.

To be, or not to be – that is the question and right now it seems Drip World could go either way.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine