The U.S. festival landscape is wildly over-saturated, but Lovers & Friends, a new event announced this week by the major promotions company Goldenvoice, stands out. The lineup is particularly exciting for the undeserved demographic of die-hard R&B fans: Usher, Lauryn Hill, and TLC top the bill. Listeners who tuned in to hip-hop radio in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s have plenty to celebrate as well, with rappers like Ja Rule and Mase promising to show up and reprise their old singles.

But what happened after the announcement of the inaugural Lovers & Friends lineup showed that artists and fans remain on edge in the aftermath of recent high-profile festival missteps. The ink had barely dried on the Lovers & Friends flyer before several singers and rappers claimed publicly that they hadn’t been notified about the festival they were supposed to be performing at, hadn’t received a deposit payment, or otherwise signaled their displeasure with the lineup. Behind the scenes, promoters scrambled to make sure everything was in order — re-opening lines of communication, double-checking that contracts were signed and deposits were in bank accounts.

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