Hip-hop hooray: Popular DUMBO rap festival returns after apparent snub

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival — which appeared in jeopardy after a scheduling snafu and charges of racism last year — will take place in Brooklyn Bridge Park on July 12, according to the festival’s organizer.

Last year, the Empire State Development Corporation, which schedules events in the greenspace and condo development, raised hackles by scheduling a Polish-language production of “Macbeth” in the June slot that had been occupied for two years by a popular festival with headliners like Ghostface Killah.

“There was the impression that the state [wasn’t] committed to our type of programming and audience,” said Wes Jackson, the organizer of the event. But Jackson said the ensuing brouhaha — and coverage in The Brooklyn Paper — resulted in meetings that ultimately allowed everyone to sort it out.

“The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy reiterated how much it valued our event, and so did the state,” said Jackson, who now expects 4,000 concertgoers in Empire Fulton Ferry State Park.

Following the Brooklyn festival, Jackson plans to take the tour national, stopping in cities like Chicago and Miami.

That’s not bad for a festival that began in the Brooklyn Brewery parking lot. “We essentially doubled in size every year,” said Jackson, a Clinton Hill resident.

Updated 5:05 pm, July 9, 2018
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