It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was browsing my Twitter timeline, minding everyone else’s business when I saw it.
There on my screen, adorned in a gaudy blinged-out font, sprinkled with Mariah Carey-inspired butterflies, was what would likely become the most fun time of my life: the Lovers & Friends festival.
In addition to the (hopefully intentional) awful graphics, the lineup is fire. Look at it! There’s Usher, Lil’ Jon, Ludacris, Megan Thee Stallion, Mase, TLC, Sean Paul, T-Pain, Nelly, Brandy, Monica, SWV, Fat Joe, Lil Kim and so much more…it seemed like a Black Nostalgic Coachella. Tell me you wouldn’t have the time of your damn life, too!
Burned by the Fyre Festival and realizing that such a beefed-up lineup was too good to be true, anxious music fans began to wonder whether or not artists had confirmed their appearance with cross-posting on social media (not that it would’ve completely proved it wasn’t a clusterfuck given Fyre’s marketing strategy of using artists to promote despite failing to follow-through with the actual festival, but it would’ve at least given it some validity). Plus, Ja Rule was on the lineup.
Turns out, Lil Kim, Mase and Twista called shenanigans on their respective social media pages.
What was to follow was quite the rollercoaster of Black Twitter.
Seriously, I need to know the actual lineup because I immediately pulled up the press application upon hearing about this festival so I can attend and write about it.
Hey, I try to avoid jumping on things before I see a valid source confirming it, too. Other than being cautious as a fan, it’s also my damn job, right? Well, knowing that Goldenvoice organizes one of the most notable music festivals in the world, I figured I was in good hands.
General admission tickets start at $145. Like many festivals, there are choices for those looking for an elite experience. The fest offers a VIP package for $250 and Super VIP package for $450, plus fees.
When you go to the Lovers & Friends website, there is a “19.99 down” sticker on the homepage. Yes, that’s right, there is a layaway option to go to this black-ass festival. I love my people!
Some Twitter users eventually clocked that one of the listed headliners, Megan Thee Stallion, would already be booked and busy for Broccoli City Fest, which takes place clear across the country in Washington, D.C., on May 9, the same day as Lovers & Friends. Yeahhhh, not going to happen, captain.
One of the listed headliners is Lauryn Hill, which adds to the hilarity of this mess, given her reputation for showing up super late for concert appearances.
Actually, the biggest plot twist would be if she shows up (and on time!) and no one else does.
Later on in the day, screenshots began surfacing of Usher posting the festival on his various social media platforms. Alright—*breathes*—the damn festival references the Lil’ Jon song he’s featured in (he sings the hook!), so we’re all good, right?
Additionally, Twista took back his earlier knee-jerk reaction, admitting, “Ok, ok, we locked in, damn I be smokin’ too much.”
Given Twista’s response, it seems to have been some miscommunication regarding artist contracts to confirm booking.
Whatever happened, this ride was a mess. And I still want to ride, for the record. Hell, it will make an incredible story…
The Root has reached out to Goldenvoice for comment. Pre-sale tickets will be available Thursday, Feb. 20 (you can register for that here) and general public tickets will go on sale Friday, Feb. 21. Stay tuned…
Update: 2/19/2020, 6:53 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for Goldenvoice has responded to our request for comment, noting: “Our festival is 100% confirmed. Lineups are always subject to change.”