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One Love hip-hop festival returns to Calgary at new venue

By Scott Christensen, August 2 2017 —

Now in its third year, Calgary’s annual hip-hop and R&B music festival is facing some changes. One Love Music Festival will now be a one-day event on Aug. 4, instead of its previous two-day stretch on labour day weekend. They’ve also moved from Elliston Park to the larger Max Ball festival grounds. One Love organizer Harvey Cohen says the shift is intended to unify the event with the Chasing Summer electronic music festival happening the same weekend.

“One Love 2017’s move to early August allows closer alignment with one of our most successful events of the year, Chasing Summer,” Cohen says.

Cohen added that the festival chose to move to Max Bell to make it easier to get to on Calgary Transit.

One thing that hasn’t changed about One Love is its lineup, which has a mix of current stars like Migos and legends like RZA and Ms. Lauryn Hill, on top of smaller names and local talent performing earlier in the day. In previous years, the festival secured acts like Nas, Tyler the Creator and Lil Wayne — though the latter cancelled his appearance last minute. Other acts this year include Wale, Anderson .Paak and Lecrae.

Cohen said that the festival’s previous big-name artists made it easy to recruit high-profile rappers to perform in Calgary.

“It is incredibly important for us to bring today’s hottest artists like Migos along with legends like Ms. Lauryn Hill and RZA to the city to perform as part of One Love,” Cohen says. “Artists love touring Canada and the reputation of One Love makes it easier to convince those top names to travel north to perform.”

For Cohen, the highlight of the festival will be headliner Ms. Lauryn Hill. The notoriously elusive rapper was a member of the influential Fugees group, but also made a significant mark on hip-hop with her only solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

“This isn’t an easy question, but I’d have to say that having Ms. Lauryn Hill back in the city is one of many highlights of the festival,” he says. “She is a legend that has continued to draw thousands upon thousands to her epic live performances.”

One Love Music Festival takes place Aug. 4 at Max Bell Centre festival grounds.

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