Fyre Festival was dead in the water. Woodstock 50 never got in the water at all. And now there’s a new unreal festival in town called Lovers & Friends, which looks like an extravaganza featuring R&B and hip-hop acts from the ’90s and 2000s.
The festival, scheduled to take place on May 9 in Los Angeles at Dignity Health Sports Park, was organized by Goldenvoice, the national music production company behind Coachella. Its lineup seems constructed from dreams: Nelly, T-Pain, Sean Paul, Brandy, Monica, Ja Rule, Fat Joe, SWV, Foxy Brown, Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Next, 112, Mario, Eve, Trina, Tweet, Amerie, Cam’ron, Mike Jones, Montell Jordan, Jon B., Baby Bash, Frankie J, Nina Sky, Summer Walker, Saweetie, Megan Thee Stallion.
And maybe it is actually a dream. Several artists have since declared that they never signed up for Lovers & Friends, and only a few acts have confirmed their appearance. According to BuzzFeed, Usher and Lauryn Hill shared the poster on their Instagram stories, while Lil’ Kim, Mase, and Twista said it was fake. (Twista later commented that he is, in fact, playing the fest, so make of that what you will.)
One way to confirm the lineup is to double-check which artists are scheduled to perform elsewhere at the same time. Megan Thee Stallion is supposed to play the Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. on the same day as Lovers & Friends. And T-Pain is on the Rolling Loud lineup in Miami on that day. A spokesperson for Goldenvoice told BuzzFeed, however, “Our festival is 100% confirmed. Lineups are always subject to change.” Which seems confusing.
My first interaction with this lineup was on Tuesday when a friend tweeted the flyer with an exasperated caption: “this cannot be real...... i am going to lose my mind.” I was immediately skeptical, mostly because: 1) It looks fake, and 2) I’ve been burned by big DJs in the past who use a musician’s name and/or likeness on flyers as a ploy. Maybe Lovers & Friends will go on as planned and feature all of these acts. Or this could be the dystopic future of festival advertising. At the least, it’s not on an island in the Bahamas.