August 28th was one of the largest days in Governors Island event history as 17,500 loyals of hip hop attended The 7th Annual “Rock the Bells” festival, produced by Mad Dog Presents and Guerilla Union.
The greatest teachers of hip hop had returned to the old school, with legendary artists performing their classic albums in entirety. This new approach to “Rock the Bells” had mass appeal, as diverse, devoted crowds swarmed two stages on opposite ends of South Island Field.
The production glue team, under the technical direction of Matt Richman, was pleased to return to our summer venue of choice for the festival.
From 2pm to 2am, industry greats took over the mainstage. In his Rock the Bells debut, headliner Snoop Dogg performed with Warren G, The Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage & RBX; following A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan with Boy Jones, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Rakim, KRS-One, DJ Premier, and Slick Rick. Across the field, Street Sweeper Social Club, Murs & 9th Wonder, Wiz Khalifa, Clipse, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Supernatural kept a crowd throughout the two-stage, 12-hour day of music history.
The size and caliber of Rock the Bells drew massive crowds that included surprise celebrities both on- and off-stage. Lauryn Hill’s revival performance also featured cameos of star spectators: Jay-Z, John Legend, Chris Rock, Mary J. Bilge, Beyonce, Alicia Keyes, and Swizz Beats. Busta Rhymes joined A Tribe Called Quest. Snoop Dog brought his original crew, while new videos created for sketches off his 1993 album, Doggystyle, played on the 9’ x 24’ mainstage screen.
Such a show and crowd made the trip to Governors Island the hottest ticket in town. Guests came by ferry; the equipment by barge; and celebrities by private boat. The show took form over a weeklong load-in.
The large-scale event was second nature to production glue – the technical directors and production support for show producers Mad Dog Presents – for 16 Governors Island concerts (including Passion Pit, Grizzly Bear, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, Dr. Dog, and Local Natives just to name a few).
For an outstanding summer of events, and the entire 16-concert series of The Beach @Governors Island, production glue greatly thanks the team of Mad Dog Presents. We look forward to taking on the next stages together.