WWE Smackdown to be partially broadcast from a Miami music festival

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE issued the following press release on Wednesday to announce that portions of the July 23 edition of Smackdown will be held at the Rolling Loud Miami 2021 music festival.

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and Rolling Loud, the world’s premier rap festival, today announced a new partnership that brings Friday Night SmackDown to Rolling Loud Miami 2021 on July 23. The occasion marks the first ever collaboration between WWE and a major music festival.

Gracing the same stage as festival headliners Travis Scott, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky, WWE Superstars will compete in matches live from Rolling Loud Miami. The July 23 edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX will feature a split-site broadcast with multiple matches at Rolling Loud Miami, and the remainder of the evening held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.

“What Matt Zingler, Tariq Cherif and the entire Rolling Loud team have built is spectacular,” said Scott Zanghellini, WWE Senior Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Development. “We couldn’t think of a better partner to deliver such a unique WWE experience to fans during the July 23 edition of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX.”

“I grew up on Sweet Chin Music, mesmerized by the spectacle that Vince McMahon and co have built at WWE,” said Tariq Cherif, Co-Founder/Co-CEO of Rolling Loud. “The idea of weaving our two storylines into one world, one must see event, is electrifying.”

“And I quote! If ya smell…what the WWE and Rolling Loud…is…cookin’! Give me a hell yeah!,” said Rolling Loud Co-Founder/Co-CEO, Matt Zingler.

WWE has a rich history of integrating music into all aspects of its brand and collaborating with some of the most celebrated artists in the world. Over the years, world-renowned hip-hop artists including Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Three 6 Mafia, MGK, Wale and many others have performed at WWE’s biggest events.

Bringing 130 of the hottest acts in hip-hop to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., the sold out Rolling Loud Miami 2021 is a triumphant return for live rap music, and a coming out party for risers and new superstars eager to play in front of a festival crowd. The sixth Rolling Loud festival in Miami, where it started as a humble one-day event in Bayfront Park, Rolling Loud Miami 2021 will occur from July 23-25.

Friday Night SmackDown airs live on FOX at 8/7c and features Universal Champion Roman Reigns, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, SmackDown Tag Team Champions Rey and Dominik Mysterio, WWE Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews, Bayley, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and more.

Rolling Loud Miami is the first of three Rolling Loud festivals happening this year. On October 28-30, Rolling Loud returns to the birthplace of Hip Hop with Rolling Loud New York 2021, headlined by Travis Scott, J. Cole, and 50 Cent, taking place at Citi Field in Queens. The festival heads to the West Coast on December 10-12 for Rolling Loud California, headlined by J. Cole, Kid Cudi, and Future, from NEO Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif.

Stay tuned for more announcements about the Rolling Loud and WWE/Friday Night SmackDown partnership in the weeks leading up to the festival.

About Rolling Loud:

Founded by Matt Zingler & Tariq Cherif as a one-day Miami show, Rolling Loud has grown into a global festival phenomenon, putting on shows on both coasts and in multiple countries. Rolling Loud is the premier festival brand in hip-hop, known for its expert curation of wide-ranging lineups that reflect the state of the genre.

The festival returns from a 18-month hiatus on July 23rd-25th, with the sold out Rolling Loud Miami 2021, its biggest event yet, bringing in over 85,000 fans per day to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. With headliners Travis Scott, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky, Rolling Loud Miami 2021 is a triumphant return for live rap music, and a coming out party for risers and new superstars eager to play in front of a festival crowd. Rolling Loud Miami kicks off a massive year for the festival brand, arriving ahead of Rolling Loud New York, headlined by Travis Scott, J. Cole, and 50 Cent, in October and Rolling Loud California, headlined by J. Cole, Kid Cudi, and Future, in December.

During the pandemic, Rolling Loud expanded into much more than just a live festival company. With no in-person show possibilities in sight, Rolling Loud pivoted to become a heavy-hitter in the world of Livestreaming, drawing millions of unique viewers and landing multiple events in Pollstar’s Year-End Livestream Chart. In June 2021, Rolling Loud launched Rolling Loud Presents, their first venture into tour promotions, taking the Rolling Loud experience on the road with a series of tours headlined by some of the biggest stars in hip-hop, including Rod Wave, Trippie Redd, Jack Harlow, and more to be announced.

Powell’s POV: The press release states that this is the first collaboration between WWE and a major music festival. I guess they are not including NXT, which has held matches at the Download Festival since 2016. I like the move for Smackdown, as it should create a unique atmosphere, though I don’t think I’d be pleased by this development it if I had tickets for the Cleveland portion of the show.


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