Hip-hop duo and married couple, Chaka Mandla Mhambi Mpeanaji and Qi Dada Ras, took to the Riders Against the Storm Facebook page on Friday afternoon to announce their decision to cut the second day of their Riders Against the Storm Day event, the outdoor portion of the festival scheduled for August 19 at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. They will still hold the first day of the of the event, scheduled for Friday, August 18 at Empire.
“Unfortunately, ticket sales have been very slow this year for RAS Day,” Mpeanaji said. He said that he and his wife are currently “working tirelessly” on other projects, including a European tour set for this fall and they, “don’t have the energy we need to pull the second day off.”
The couple has been celebrating RAS Day annually since the city declared August 29 Riders Against the Storm Day in 2013. The event was designed as a family-friendly music and wellness event in East Austin at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. This year the duo expanded it, adding the club night at Empire. When faced with slow ticket sales, it made sense to cut the family fest, which is much more logistically complicated to program, Mpeanaji said.
He added that they will reevaluate the best way to program RAS Day for next year.
“RAS Day is very close to our hearts, very important to us, but our personal well being is also very important to us,” he said.
The club event on August 18 includes performances from PJ Morton, Raul Midon, Riders Against the Storm and Jackie Venson. Saturday artist Nik West has also been added to the bill.
The group will be reaching out to all two day ticket holders individually to coordinate full refunds.