True to their nature, some of the year’s biggest music festivals have graciously dropped their lineups, and The Sherp cannot help but drool over the best ones.
Universally popular music festivals – yes, the big guns such as Coachella, Primavera Sound, Governors Ball, Awakenings, to name a few, characteristically release their lineups and open their tickets for sale well in advance. We can almost imagine the anticipation felt by those who have eagerly booked their tickets. But here at Festival Sherpa, we do what we’re most meant to, dissect the lineups, that is. And we’ve chronicled the most exciting lineups that await the music festival world this year.
When: June 9 to 12
The 2016 Governors Ball lineup is a cracker – what with Kanye West returning to the Gov Ball stage after his infamous 2014 headlining performance. What’s newsworthy also is Beck’s presence on the lineup, especially given the tension between Kanye and him, resurgent due to the 2015 Grammy Awards. But, in addition to this coup, the festival features, for ardent rock fans – The Strokes, The Killers, and Eagles of Death Metal, indie favourites such as Jamie XX, HAIM, Death Cab for Cutie, Of Monsters and Men, Father John Misty, Miike Snow, Chet Faker, Gary Clark Jr and Courtney Barnett, and for hip hop enthusiasts, it includes acts such as Vince Staples, Action Bronson, and Joey Bada$$, among other acts from the alternative circuit, making it easily, the best Governors Ball lineup in the last few years.
When: June 1 to 5
Sometimes you have an inkling of what is to be, and if our intuition is any indication, then Primavera Sound might just clinch the top spot in our list of the best lineups of the year – so brilliantly curated is Primavera Sound, that it is, legitimately, every music listener’s dream curation. To be fair, that would be the lineup The Sherp would come up with, and because Primavera managed to snag these acts, we’re more than excited to see how the festival comes around. Firstly, British alternative rock legends Radiohead are back to headlining festival, Primavera Sound being one of them. But Radiohead isn’t the only act returning to a mainstream festival stage, with LCD Soundsystem continuing their reunion tour all the way to Barcelona. With them, the festival also has in tow, post-rock geniuses Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky, psychedelic rock favourites Tame Impala and Animal Collective, indie supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets, baroque act Beirut, among a host of other musicians, counting to over 130 acts in all. That way, the Primavera Sound lineup might just be one of the most diverse ones we’ve seen.
When: May 27 to 30
Sasquatch! always manages to bring together the most qualitative acts of contemporary music, relevant to its edition, and this year too, they’ve managed the feat by putting out a homogeneously talented lineup, featuring emergent rock favourites Florence + The Machine, goth rock band The Cure, dance music chart-toppers Disclosure and Major Lazer, blues rock revivers Alabama Shakes, soulful crooners Sufjan Stevens and Noah Gundersen, indie sweethearts Jamie XX, Chet Faker, Grimes, Leon Bridges, Mac DeMarcco, alternative synthpop producers Caribou, Four Tet, Tycho, Todd Terje, and leading hip hop artists Vic Mensa, Vince Staples and A$ap Rocky. All this and more in the natural surroundings of the George Amphitheater make it a cracker of a show to witness.
When: April 15 to 17 and April 22 to 24
Yes, it’s been said multiple times over. Coachella is the festival that will witness the much awaited comeback of the original Guns N’ Roses lineup featuring Slash and Axl Rose together, and LCD Soundsystem, them of the electronic rock brilliance. But in addition to these two names, the world’s favourite indie-promoting music festival has a slate of underground acts that are worth the check. With mainstream names such as Calvin Harris, Major Lazer, Jack U, Disclosure and Sia, they also have performances by undergound, lesser known musicians such as George Fitzgerald, Vince Staples, Tchami, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Nosaj Thing and Soul Clap, among others, thereby retaining its position as the festival that credibly backs indie talent.
When: May 13 to 15
Easily Atlanta’s biggest indie music gathering, Shaky Knees has a 2016 solely dedicated to names that command impassioned indie following. Florence + The Machine is the Kendrick Lamar of 2016, featuring in almost every lineup, including this one, backed by names such as My Morning Jacket, Jane’s Addiction, The Decemberists, The Deftones, Walk The Moon, Young The Giant, The Foals, and Explosions in the Sky, among a host of other names. Indie lovers from Georgia, unite!
Lightning in a Bottle
When: May 25 to 30
The world’s most popular transformational festival, with its yogi leaving, transcendent healing practices and spirituality comes with its share of music that aims to project the festival’s underlying idea of profundity. Lightning in a Bottle also has a penchant for chillwave, dowtempo electronic acts that feature in their lineups in full measure. In come acts with strong range such as Chet Faker, Grimes, Jamie XX, Luscent Dossier Experience, Jamie XX, Big Gigantic, Moderat, Four Tet, Cashmere Cat, Emancipator Ensemble, Lee Burridge and Crying Over Porcelain, among others, making it the perfect mixtape to get you mental senses going.
Firefly Music Festival
When: June 16 to 19
A festival that manages to get the top billed acts, while remaining solely indie at heart is worth a mention, and that is how the Firefly Music Festival clinches popular votes every year. This year too, the festival features big names with notable indie origins, such as Florence + The Machine, Two Door Cinema Club, Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, Tame Impala, Death Cab for Cutie, Vince Staples, Tchami, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Blink – 182, Earth Wind and Fire, and the 1975, making it truly the festival to be for credible indie music lovers.
When: June 25 to 26
Techno giants, Awakenings is most well known for bringing the best of its genre to the Dutch music scene. Revered for its annual curation and the collectives it hosts at another events including Amsterdam Dance Event, where they bring the best of world’s techno talent to Netherlands. For 2016, their lineup features techno beatmakers such as Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati, AnD, Dave Clarke, Loco Dice, Joris Voorn, Edge of Motion, Jackmaster, Fatime Hajji, Nina Kraviz, Monkey Safari, among several other established and underground techno acts.