With the release of Lollapalooza’s lineup on Tuesday night, all of the major festivals (with the exception of Austin City Limits) are set. And when you’re spending a sizeable amount of money to attend one of these bashes, you’re bound to have strong opinions on the lineup, as you should. The three major American festivals are Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL), Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN) and Coachella (Indio, CA). Let’s do a breakdown of just what is going on.
Ask just about anyone and they’ll say that Coachella won this year as far as the best lineup is concerned. In fact, it was so stacked that people nicknamed the festival Apocalypsechella. There was a healthy mix of genres including indie bands, rappers, folk, electronica and just about everything else. There was literally something for everyone.
Who was there: Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Cut Copy, Interpol, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons
Who should’ve been there: No one else. The lineup was virtually perfect.
View the full lineup here: Coachella Lineup
People were expecting something big from C3 Presents this year because it is Lolla’s 20th Anniversary (what is that wood, silver? Anything?). The general consensus was that people were banking on Daft Punk, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys headlining the bill. The speculation only increased as the festival organizers were remarkably tight-lipped this year regarding the lineup. One of the best things about Lolla is that they have aftershows throughout Chicago for bands that participate in the festival. So if you have a scheduling conflict during the day between bands, you have the opportunity to see some of them later on. When the lineup was announced, the headliners disappointed some, but the festival made up for it with the middle-tier and undercard acts.
Who’s showing up: Coldplay, Muse, Foo Fighters, Eminem, Deadmau5, Cage the Elephant, White Lies, The Kills, Phantogram, Kid Cudi
Who should be there: Kanye West, Justice, Smashing Pumpkins, Death Cab for Cutie
View the full lineup here: Lollapalooza Lineup
If the camping experience is what you’re into, Bonnaroo may be for you. While Lollapalooza offers the excitement of the city, Bonnaroo offers the laidback vibe of the countryside. The lineup is remarkably heavy-handed in rap and folk/jam-band acts (in my opinion). But this trend has been occurring for a little while. There are a few middle level alternative acts, but for the most part, it’s rap, folk or bust. However, Bonnaroo also offers a comedy lineup in addition to the musical lineup.
Who’s showing up: Eminem, Lil Wayne, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, The Strokes, Widespread Panic, Wiz Khalifa
Who should be there: Queens of the Stone Age, The Kills, TV On the Radio
View the full lineup here: Bonnaroo Lineup
So in conclusion, my ranking would be Coachella at the top, followed by Lollapalooza and then Bonnaroo. Coachella was unstoppable. And while Lolla’s lineup isn’t the dream lineup people were expecting, there is still a wide range of acts for everyone to see and enjoy. I feel as though Bonnaroo’s lineup is just a little to narrow and if you’re not into rap or folk as much, you’re paying $250 for a relatively small amount of bands you’d enjoy. But to each his own!