Like clockwork this year, celebrities once again flocked to Coachella, Governors Ball and Ultra Music Festival—the annual fests backed by major organizations. But more than ever before, stars and music fans in 2019 showed up in droves to festivals that were run by artists like Pharrell Williams, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Drake and Post Malone. It’s certainly a banner year for artist-run festivals, most recently capped off by Travis Scott’s Astroworld Fest and Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw.
The list of stars who performed or appeared at these artist-run festivals is a who’s who in music and entertainment: Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Kanye West, Meek Mill, DaBaby, Rosalía, The Internet, Kali Uchis, Ari Lennox, 21 Savage, B2K, Marilyn Manson, Solange, Rapsody, SZA, Big Sean, Lil Uzi Vert, J. Balvin, Trey Songz, Saweetie, Diplo, Janelle Monae, Migos, Jaden Smith, ASAP Rocky, Stormy Daniels and Kylie Jenner.
During this decade’s first few years, Jay-Z, Drake and Tyler debuted their respective festivals—Made in America, OVO Fest and Camp Flog Gnaw. But it wasn’t until the past few years that the idea of rappers running their own festival went from novelty to commonplace. Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne’s festivals came next. And this year alone, we saw the festival debuts for Post Malone, Pharrell, J. Cole and Travis Scott.