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Rock the Bells organizer (finally) explains D.C. and New York cancellations

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 01: Kendrick Lamar performs during the 2013 Budweiser Made In America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) Kendrick Lamar. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Chang Weisberg, the founder of Guerilla Union, which organizes Rock the Bells, has finally explained why the touring rap music festival's D.C. date was abruptly canceled 48 hours before the event was to take place in September.

In a six-minute video released this afternoon on YouTube, Weisberg faulted low ticket sales and apologized to fans who had booked flights and hotel rooms to attend the two-day concert, which was to have included performances by Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator and others. Weisberg said the festival will return next year.

"It's been a couple of weeks since we canceled the festivals for Rock the Bells," Weisberg says in the video. [Editor's note: Um, no. It's been seven weeks.] "I know it stings for our fans, and I know it stings for me ... ultimately, you know we just didn't sell enough tickets."

"We were really trying to pull off D.C.," he says, adding, "There was a lot of great shows that were out touring in our same time period, that could be a factor -- the fact that Jay-Z was on sale, the fact that Kanye was on sale, the fact that Drake was on sale. There were just a lot of great hip-hop shows, and I wish all of them well."

"Maybe on the East Coast, we should have just done one day, but I didn't want to do the baby version of Rock the Bells, and I take responsibility for that," he adds.

Watch his statement, via Guerilla Union, below:

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.



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Lavanya Ramanathan · November 18, 2013

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