RNB Fridays Live is going global.
The urban and R&B party is gearing up for its fourth and biggest tour of Australia, with a line-up featuring Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Jason Derulo and more.
As previously reported, the festival brand will embark on a five-date national run of stadiums and open-air sites this November, starting Friday, November 8 at Perth’s HBF Park.
Presented by Illusive Presents, Frontier Touring and Hit Network, it’s coming off a successful 2018 run with roughly 175,000 tickets sold, placing it among the giants of the touring festival business.
That’s just the start of an adventure for the organising team, who are in talks on taking the show to the world.
“It’s definitely something that is deep in planning for a few locations for 2020,” says Illusive co-founder Matt Gudinski, “and while all the focus is on Australia and New Zealand, it’s something we’re definitely working towards.”
The day-long fest has been on a healthy growth curve since its launch in 2016, when about 50,000 music fans came through the gates across its five, sold-out shows.
In year two, the number spiked to about 100,000, from seven shows.
For its third edition the fest pulled back to five shows and went into stadium-style venues in Sydney and Melbourne. A sixth date in New Zealand added 25,000 punters, meaning the trans-Tasman trek nudged the 200,000 ticket milestone.
With the confidence of those numbers, and a global network already in place through Frontier Touring’s joint venture with AEG Live, organisers are exploring an ambitious rollout strategy.
“Throughout 2020 we’re expecting to be launching a number of events throughout the U.K. and Europe and potentially some Asian markets,” Gudinski told Billboard.
“There’s aspirations to also launch the event in select U.S. markets in 2021 as well,” he adds. “It’s something we think we can transform into a global brand and event series for the urban market. It’s gone really well to date, there’s still big plans on the horizon.”
RNB Fridays Live 2019 line-up announce
Here it is – presenting the RNB Fridays Live class of 2019! 🎉🍾 Excited to be together again this November for Australia's biggest party! Full details → rnbfridayslive.com 🎫
Posted by RNB Fridays Live on Thursday, 8 August 2019
Australia’s music festival landscape is legendary, but its events rarely travel outside its comfort zone. There are always exceptions to the rule. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is one of those exceptions.
In 2011, Laneway hosted its first event in Singapore. Two years later, the cooler-than-dark-shades brand tested the waters in the U.S. with a show in Detroit.
“What we tried to create with RNB Fridays from the start was effectively creating a concert quality and type of experience within more of a party-festival environment, going with the one stage model where everyone could see all acts there,” Gudinski tells TIO.
“We’ve really instilled production values and everything around the show was delivered to a higher level than maybe some of festivals in the market were providing.
“RNB Fridays isn’t simply booking 10 acts and putting them on one after the other. It’s a highly produced and programmed show, from start to finish. From the moment doors open until the last act finishes, it’s non-stop.”