There is no greater an attraction at a music festival than the music itself! The Sherp looks back at some of the best lineup curations of 2015.
This year has thrown up a predictable list of performers, coinciding with their album releases, some impeccable artist performances, and some unparalleled stage moments. All this, ofcourse, follows the most important step to making a music festival tick – selecting the artists all slated to perform. They’re the ones who guarantee the tickets being sold, and the ones who manage to deliver a brilliant festival experience, even if there are some hiccups in sight.
Every year, festivals try to rope in the most talked about acts as part of their lineups. From the ones with recent album releases to others resurfacing with newfound career aspirations, the lineups every year can be more or less predictable. Still, some festivals go out of their way in bringing together an eclectic list of musicians. Artists, incredibly talents, from the sphere of popularity to the unknown were brought together for many of these festivals earning them the nod from The Sherp staff.
Watch our picks for the 10 best music festival lineups this year!
Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits, that celebrates America’s longest running musical series of the same name, proves year after year, a strong contender to the lineups of major music festivals. This year though, it ended up scoring a curation that sent us in a tizzy. From rock acts such as Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala, Of Monsters and Men to hip-hop artists such as Drake, Vince Staples, Run The Jewels and Chance The Rapper, to crooners Father John Misty, Alt-J, The Weeknd, George Ezra and Hozier to electronic acts Sylvan Esso, Disclosure, Glass Animals. This, in addition to Brandon Flowers, Gary Clark Jr., A$ap Rocky, Walk the Moon, TV on the Radio, Flosstradamus, and The Decemberists. And that isn’t even the entirety of it.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
Iceland has been the hub of a thriving music culture for a while now, with many of its artists and musicians pushing the envelope of alternative music styles. The sheer picturesque quality of the country notwithstanding, the general regard for good music makes it a viable option for festivals of a more modest, demure kind. That’s where All Tomorrow’s Parties comes in. An event that has keenly promoted a more intimate music culture. All Tomorrow’s Parties describes itself as ‘the ultimate mix tape’. And true to its nature, its artist selection has much to do with a credible song quality accompanying it. From punk emperor Iggy Pop to indie sweethearts Belle & Sebastian, the lineup included diverse acts such as Drive like Jehu, Public Enemy, Swans, Deafheaven, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and other thriving indie names.
Coachella is the rite of passage for any band on its way to claim fame. The festival, since time immemorial, has always packed in a balanced lineup, from mainstream pop icons to lesser known independent artists. And its 2015 lineup was no different. Featuring heavyweights Drake, Jack White, Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala, Caribou and Alabama Shakes and AC/DC, it also made space for emerging talent such as FKA Twigs, Milky Chance, and Jungle, among several others.
This debut festival featured some top of the line electronic acts, from dance worthy producers to the ambient experimental kind, in its two editions that took place this year. The spring edition of the festival kickstarted with acts like Empire of the Sun, Odesza, Maceo Plex, Justin Martin, Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler, but it was its second run that was even better. The fall edition of CRSSD easily has one of the better selected lineups of the year. Featuring acts like Bonobo, Kygo, Panda Bear, Nicolas Jaar, Claptone, Todd Terje, and even going the alternative route with acts like The Flaming Lips and TV On The Radio, it was easily one of the most well-balanced curatives of this year.
Eaux Claires was this year’s stunning indie package. Initiated by electronic producer extraordinaire, Bon Iver, the first edition of the festival was as aesthetically pleasing as it was musically brilliant. After six years, the festival saw Bon Iver return to the stage, as he said it would be his last in the foreseeable future. Apart from the epic Bon Iver act on the roster, Sufjan Stevens and The National also performed, with the National closing on Friday night and Sufjan Stevens playing the set leading up to Bon Iver’s performance on Saturday night! The festival also featured acts like Doomtree, Spoons, Elliot Moss, Sylvan Esso and Spooky Black.
A Summer’s Tale
A Summer’s Tale, from the periphery, looked like the perfect season offering. And was thus communicative in every activity that it has up its sleeve, right from the lineup featuring music that was perfect for a warm summer afternoon, to the wine and dine collection. Rarely does it happen that a festival scores the perfect lineup, just the right kind of musical stars that do full justice to its theme. In that space, A Summer’s Tale has, perhaps, brought together the best kind of musical offering. Featuring various establishing and up and coming artists from rock, folk and pop rock space, the music alone made the festival worth a visit.
Easily proving itself to be one of the most looked forward to festivals in the whole of USA, Sasquatch! gets it right every single time with an amazing line-up, show and attendance. What started off as a two-day two-weekend festival, now stands proudly sprawled across four days during the Memorial Day weekend. The 2015 Sasquatch! Walk of Fame, because there is no better way to describe the line-up for the festival this year, including not just musicians but superior comedy acts. Featuring hip-hop artist of the moment, Kendrick Lamar, the psychedelic band with that gradually releasing album, Tame Impala, queen of coolth, St. Vincent, crooner of trip-hop extraordinaire, James Blake, Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant, indie-folk crew Of Monster and Men along with other big names like Lana Del Ray, Ryan Adams, Flume, SBTRKT, The Decemberists, The Glitch Mob to name a few. It’s an exhaustively brilliant bunch of musicians on purpose, easily making Sasquatch! one of the better lined festivals of the season.
Texas’ Austin Psych Fest recently rechristened to Levitation, after The 13th Floor Floor Elevators Song has always been one of the more popular music festivals in the psychedelic landscape. And last June, the festival debuted on Canadian lands at Vancouver, bringing together the most interesting names from the psychedelic family of rock, experimental and electronic. At the 2015 edition, legendary psychedelic rock band, 13th Floor Elevators reunited at this year’s run, thereby earning the festival its name. This, in addition to psychedelic powerhouses such as Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Mac Demarco, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Thee Oh Sees.
Shaky Knees Festival
Now in its third year Shaky Knees has gone on to become one of the bigger indie music gatherings in the city of Atlanta. And most of that credit goes to the brilliant line-up that they manage to churn out year after year. For indie fans, a lineup such as Shaky Knees’ is one that is absolutely worth the hike. Featuring former indie sweethearts The Strokes, Pixies, James Blake, TV on the Radio, Wilco, Tame Impala and Ryan Adams to Panda Bear, Mini Mansions, Milky Chance, The Black Lips, Mac Demarco and Black Pistol Fire, among others, it was the alternative wet dream.
Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune / Delhi / Bangalore
The happiest music festival that is the Bacardi NH7 Weekender might have just completed its nascent stage but in 2015 edition, it combined some incredible acts such as A R Rahman, Flying Lotus, Mogwai, Mark Ronson, SBTRKT and L. Subramaniam, to indie talent such as Hidden Orchestra, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Erotic Market, and homegrown Indian talent such as Madboy/Mink, The Raghu Dixit Project, Arka and Maati Baani, among others.