Storming Jones Beach this weekend with some of the biggest names in music, the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival makes its debut with an explosive two-day, one-of-a-kind event. Taking place Aug. 22-23 from 1-11 p.m., the festival spans two full days, three main stages, and 40-plus artists, including The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Skrillex, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and more.
The Aquarian Weekly recently caught up with Jason Miller, President of New York for Live Nation, to discuss how the Hot 100 Music Festival came together, one can’t-miss act, long-term plans for the event and more. The transcription is below:
This festival features some of the biggest names in rap, rock, pop, R&B and more. What has it been like trying to bring all these acts together to play during this two-day event?
Most festivals enjoy incredible lead time when crafting a lineup. It allows artists to plan well in advance and strategically think about a market—particularly one as vast and potent as New York. We didn’t have that luxury, as our event came together relatively quickly, but what we did have was the passion and depth of resource only a collaboration between Billboard and Live Nation could offer, and when we came together as one things fell into place with relative ease. We found ourselves with a bit of luck.
With everyone from Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber to Cold War Kids and The Maine set to perform, do you feel like you’ve covered all grounds here and touched on nearly all genres? Was that your intention?
The intention was to create a world-class pop music festival which embraced the legacy of the Hot 100 chart for which it was named. We think we have done just that—brought together the brightest artists of today who are resonating right now with fans everywhere.
Is there one act in particular you’re interested in checking out, or perhaps one that fans don’t know about that they should?
Justin Baron is the feel-good story of the festival. He is a local boy who has done well, found success as a songwriter having penned a tune for John Legend and not only wound up as the only unsigned artist on the event, but on the main stage to boot!
At most festivals, you’ll be lucky to see the headliners play for 30-45 minutes or so. But this event is being described as “full sets.” Could you expand on this a little bit? Does this apply for all 40-plus artists, just a handful of the headliners, etc.?
Certainly when this amount of mainstream artists come together to perform it is generally as result of award show appearances or other media events where their participation is often appearance-based. We envisioned and created a festival that was filled with complete sets from top to bottom, which was our intent from day one. A very small handful of artists have an abbreviated set, but most artists are committed to and excited for a full-length show for the fans who attend.
Aside from the music, what else can ticketholders enjoy at the festival? I see there are several bars, a place dubbed “The Hangout,” and even a beach party?
We are creating installations and fan experiences that go beyond the music itself. You will be able to eat unique food, purchase wares, and for those of age enjoy an adult beverage as part of the festival experience.
The VIP packages include everything from catered dinners to up-close seating and even helicopter rides to and from the venue. Has this type of experience ever been offered before? What can fans expect to take in from these exclusive tickets?
Pop music stars are often referred to as icons for they transcend a certain kind of celebrity into a global social conversation. To that end it was important for us to create some new types of experiences which allow fans to participate in this conversation in a unique and participatory way. Some of these offerings are brand new and never been done here before but it brings people that much closer to the celebrity experience many of us admire from afar.
Being that this is the first Hot 100 Music Festival, how do you ultimately see this event going? Will this be an annual thing, or just a one-time event?
We hope the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival is woven into the fabric of New York for years to come as the premiere pop music event.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that fans should be made aware of?
Two full days of music spread across three unique stages with today’s biggest hit makers. The long-range weather outlook is strong so come spend your weekend with our Weeknd together in the sun.
The Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival takes place Aug. 22-23 at Nikon At Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY. For more information, go to billboard.com/hot-100-music-festival.