Atlanta hip-hop star Big Boi, who was scheduled to headline a Sept. 6 show at Raleigh's City Plaza as part of the Hopscotch Music Festival, will no longer perform as part of the festival, Hopscotch co-directors Greg Lowenhagen and Grayson Currin confirmed Friday afternoon.
[Disclosure: Currin is also music editor of INDY Week, which no longer owns Hopscotch. Since last fall, the festival has been owned by Carolina Independent Publications. CIP retained ownership of the festival after it sold the INDY to ZM Indy, Inc., in October 2012.]
However, festival organizers have known about the cancellation for more than a week, but continued to sell tickets and wristbands without an announcement. As of Friday afternoon, Big Boi was still listed as the Sept. 6 headliner on Hopscotch's website. About two hours after the INDY interviewed Lowenhagen and Currin, the festival posted an announcement about the cancellation to its website.
Currin acknowledged that Hopscotch had been aware of Big Boi's Sept. 6 cancellation for more than a week without an announcement. "The goal is to figure out how to fix it," he said. "That's the reason we had not made an announcement yet—because we're trying to be proactive about fixing a bad situation."
"We found out not very long ago that due to an injury Big Boi suffered to his leg, he had to reschedule his entire year," Currin added. "In conversations with his management, we were just not able to salvage the show on Sept. 6."
It's possible Big Boi will still play a Raleigh date shortly after Hopscotch, according to Lowenhagen. "We're working on a potential make-good show that we are hoping will happen at Memorial Auditorium on Sept. 21," Lowenhagen said. "We've learned that the venue is available, and we have a production team in place to produce the show. We're hoping to confirm it by the end of this weekend."
Lowenhagen added that the festival plans to provide a comprehensive update on Tuesday. "For now, what we want to do is make sure that we get all of the information available to us packaged into one large announcement," Lowenhagen said.
That announcement would include naming Big Boi's replacement on the Sept. 6 City Plaza bill, details on the potential Sept. 21 Memorial Auditorium makeup date (and ticket information for Hopscotch customers), and how customers can get refunds if they want, Lowenhagen said.
Ticketholders would have had access to Big Boi's City Plaza performance include purchasers of three-day wristbands, a one-day pass to all Sept. 6 Hopscotch shows, and single-show passes to just the Sept. 6 City Plaza concert.
Currin and Lowenhagen declined to identify the new acts on the Sept. 6 City Plaza lineup, but Lowenhagen said that Big Boi will be replaced by two acts, for "our first-ever four-band bill at City Plaza." The lineup currently includes Baltimore band Future Islands and Durham's Gross Ghost. "I think that what we have now will be as good if not better for the festival," Currin said.
Currin acknowledged that Big Boi was "probably the most famous person that was playing Hopscotch 2013. But the reason I remain enthusiastic is that it's not about one band, it's not about 10 bands, it's about well more than 100 bands" playing the festival from Sept. 5-7 in downtown Raleigh venues.