Music Festival Lineup Survival Guide

  1. Coachella

Location:Empire polo clubs, Indio, CA

Dates: Weekend one: April 13-15 Weekend two: 20-22

Cost: GA 3-Day Pass: $429

Headliners: The Weeknd, Beyonce, Eminem

If you haven’t listened to My Dear Melancholy, then do it right now. For anyone who gets to see The Weeknd perform this summer, you are definitely in for a treat considering he just released a six-track album reminiscent of old Weeknd Vibes.

The queen makes her triumphant return after bailing on Coachella last year to give birth to her gorgeous twins, Rumi and Sir. Holding true to the promise she made last year, get excited for a show-stopping, one-of-a-kind performance by Bey. Rumor has it that she hired 100 back-up dancers instead of the originally planned 36, so this will be a Formation to remember.

Eminem will return to Indio after his legendary 2012 guest performance with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and yes, the Tupac hologram. Being one of the biggest Grammy-award winning rap artists of our time, you can be sure Eminem will rock Coachella on Sunday night. If you’re lucky, Eminem will perform some of his classic, older songs to follow the new emphasis on hip-hop and R&B that Coachella has put in place this year.

Big Names: SZA, Post Malone, Migos, Odesza, Cardi B, Tyler the Creator, Kygo


Sleepers: Priests, A Perfect Circle, The Delirians

Priests created one of the best rock albums of 2017, but what’s even more exciting, is that they aren’t your typical Coachella aesthetic band. This group of injustice-fighting punks fuses hardcore, surf rock and jazz for a sweet and totally rocking melody you can jam to. If I can give you any suggestion, go see Priests.

Frontman Maynard James Keenan, also the lead singer from Tool,  is prepping the band’s first studio album since their project Emotive was released in 2004. Tool headlined Coachella twice in its history, showing the festival is offering some pretty heavy rock bands. I can tell you giving this band a shot wouldn’t be a mistake considering James Iha, founding Smashing Pumpkins guitarist, will also grace the stage with Keenan.

The Delirians are a seven piece band that has been spreading their reggae and ska sounds all over their hometown of Los Angeles. The band has performed up and down California, but also had two successful European tours. The band will supposedly release their follow up album to their 2014 piece, Get Up!


  1. Outside Lands

Location: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA

Dates: August 10-12

Cost: 3-Day GA Pass: $375

Headliners: The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson

The Weeknd is blessing us this summer and hitting a few different music festivals, Outside Lands being one of them. We can thank Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez for a killer album from our favorite Star Boy. Trilogy changed music for years, and this new album may have the same powerful influence we saw work its magic back in 2012.

This is the first appearance at Outside Lands for Florence + The Machine, so I would expect the group the make their mark at Golden Gate Park. Fun fact? This is also the first year this festival has had a female artist, or female-led band, as a headliner in its history. Expect Florence Welch’s voice to take over the park with hit songs like “Dog Days are Over” and “Ship to Wreck”.

Another big shoutout to female artists this summer. Janet Jackson is one of the most iconic pop stars of all time as she exhibits sexiness and sass through her hits like “Nasty” and “Rhythm Nation”. Jackson and Florence + The Machine are also set to headline FYF Fest in Los Angeles as well.

Big Names: Future, Odesza, Bon Iver, Mac DeMarco, Big Gigantic, DJ Snake


Sleepers: Margo Price, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, SOB x RBE

Margo Price may restore your faith in the future of country music. As one of the best singer-songwriters in the genre today, Price demonstrated why she’s a force to be reckoned with during a set in San Francisco on May 11. Her sparkling vocals emphasize her ever better lyrics, making Margo price and act you should give a shot this year at Golden Gate Park.

Although this band’s name appears last in the medium-sized type section, this band may actually be one of the best band names on the entire lineup. The band makes indie-folk-rock-hip-hop music, and you won’t want to miss out on their performance. With a few Spotify hits like “Cocaine Jesus” and “Devil Like Me” , this band exudes such a distinct sound that is guaranteed to make you get up off your feet and groove. The band will also make an appearance at Lollapalooza.

The Vallejo hip-hop group might be the Bay Area’s hottest act right now, and some of us have been able to see a preview while he’s partially on tour with Post Malone. After an incredible performance for the Black Panther album, SOB x RBE is back with their 2017 mixtape “GANGIN”. This group is tough and unapologetically reckless with different EDM and hip-hop influences intertwined throughout their work. Give these artists some love as they finally get to perform in Golden Gate Park.

  1. Lollapalooza

Location: Grant Park, Chicago, IL

Dates: August 2-5

Cost: 4-Day GA Pass: $335

Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Jack White

Even though we did not get the anticipated album we wanted from these boys in 2017, I think 2018 will be the year the release something since AM. If you don’t believe me, this was also basically confirmed Nick O’Malley, the band’s bassist. With a big summer ahead of them, you should expect a life-changing performance from the Arctic Monkeys.

Not only is Bruno a wonderful sight to look at, this 20-time Grammy nominee is just as exciting to listen to on the stage. 24k Magic, his most recent and critically-acclaimed album, made an impressive debut in the music world, landing its lead single “24k Magic” a spot at No. 1 for a few weeks. I don’t think I need to convince you to see Bruno Mars, so make the right decision.

The Weeknd hits a big stage once again this summer as he headlines the third day of Lollapalooza. I can rave more about seeing him perform live, but instead, I’ll rave about his new album. Lyrically, The Weeknd moves beyond emotional numbness towards a self-disgust that slightly verges on masochism. My Dear Melancholy, beautifully and tragically connects his sex and substance abuse to the pain felt from his romantic sacrifices. I can only reemphasize how emotional and personal this performance will be, so I don’t recommend missing it.

After a slight hiatus in 2015, Jack White released his new single Connected by Love right before announcing his big plans for 2018. Jack White will hit the road very soon here which follows the release of his third solo LP “Boarding House Reach”. If you’re already a Jack White fan, you know he can and will sell out venues he is performing out. If you’re not, I would try to find a way to see him ASAP.

Big Names: Travis Scott, Khalid, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, Odesza, Tyler the Creator, Logic, Galantis, Zedd, Lil Uzi Vert


Sleepers: LL Cool J, Hippie Sabotage, Two Feet

Entertainment Icon LL Cool J will be making an appearance at Lollapalooza this year, and even if you aren’t a fan of his music, this is something you wouldn't want to miss. I mean honestly, how many chances will you get to see LL Cool J ever? Exactly.

Although Hippie Sabotage is a bit of a bigger name, Lollapalooza did not do the band justice in their lineup ranking, so I had to give the band the credit they deserve. The pair of siblings started making music when they were twelve and reached over 1 billion streams during their most recent tour. Although it has been two years since their last full album, these boys are not a sight to miss.

Two Feet’s uprising was just as rapid as it was mysterious. A young singer in his early 20s, who was also a multi-instrumentalist and producer, effortlessly blends different genres to create a unique and infectious sound. After releasing First Steps in 2016, his song “Go F*ck Yourself” quickly gained over 8 million plays and a lot of attention. He’s performed at music festivals before and definitely knows the ropes of the show. This wouldn’t be a performance I would miss.

  1. Bonnaroo

Location: Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN

Dates: June 7-10

Cost: 4-Day GA Pass: $337.50

Headliners: Eminem, The Killers, Muse

Another shot at seeing the legend perform, potentially for one of the last times ever. Eminem is having one of his biggest summers in a long time, which only makes us wonder how much longer he will grace the music world with his presence. He is a true poet of our generation that touches light on taboo subjects through his music. Eminem helps us see the good and bad of the world, so I doubt seeing his performance would ever be a mistake. Honestly, not seeing him may haunt you forever.

The Killers are also making their rounds this summer and I bet they will definitely be putting on a show. So far in 2018, The Killers have, well, killed all of their performances and left their audiences in shock. They haven’t performed since 2013, so you can bet these boys are working hard to put on the show of their lives.

Muse will be making their debut at Bonnaroo this summer. The band is very into performing, and I guarantee their live show will definitely be a spectacle to see. The artists get very into their music which allows the entire crowd to really feel their energy. I believe this will be one of the most touching performances of the summer.

Big Names: Future, Bassnectar, Bon Iver, Khalid, Anderson .Paak, Paramore


Sleepers: Space Jesus, GoGo Penguin, Elohim

Space Jesus is a pretty heavy EDM artist, but I believe he will surprise a lot of people that claim to “hate” electronic music. His name may not ring a bell just yet, but don’t be surprised if you see his name popping up in a lot of underground and bass music festivals, Bonnaroo being one of them. Space Jesus has made his name through his live epic sets that perfectly pair with his dubstep infused sounds and futuristic space vibes. Plus, he’s a Boulder resident, so get out their and show your support!

As an instrumental jazz trio, the group infuses jazz with classical influences and repetitive electronic beats. But, get this. The boys accomplish this sound with an acoustic piano, a stand-up double bass and drums. GoGo Penguin released their fourth album, A Humdrum Star in early February and the album featured a lot more electronica sound than before. But don’t worry, it really works for them.

This mysterious singer and songwriter from Los Angeles has become one of the brightest names in electronic music. Back in 2015, her singles “She Talks Too Much” and “Xanax” caught a lot of attention, making Elohim an artist to watch. She has collaborated with a few bigger artists like L.A. rapper Casey Veggies (“All That Gold”) and even the legendary Chicago pair Louis the Child (“Love is Alive”). Her fans are on the edge of their seat awaiting her next move, so I wouldn’t miss your chance to see Elohim perform.

  1. Governors Ball

Location: Randall’s Island Park, New York City, NY

Dates: June 1-3

Cost: 3-Day GA: $305

Headliners: Jack White, Travis Scott, Eminem

Jack White released his third solo album on March 23. Since this is his first album in four years, White is extremely experimental and pushes limits he has never gone near before. And, it works. The lyrics are timeless, but the sound of this album is what strikes the most interest in his fans. He explores an incredible range of sonic terrain while dabbing his feet in hip hop, electro and hard funk, proto punk, rock n’ roll, gospel blues, and yes, even a little country. Don’t miss your chance to have Jack White take your ears on a wild, beautiful ride.

Travis Scott dropped one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2017, so there is no question as to why he is getting ready for festival season. With Scott, I can almost guarantee you an exciting performance. Like his mentor Kanye West, Scott is trying to compose his music to fit one single vision and his hard work will definitely reward his fans. In a sense, Scott was able to grow up listening to West’s music, so now he has the ability to adapt to the music scene and make the next moves for where Kanye’s music dropped off.

This performance will be Eminem’s first time headlining in New York since 2010. This summer contains Eminem’s first performances since his 2014 tour with Rihanna. So, after not performing in four years, why is Slim Shady doing so much this summer? This is just a personal theory, but I believe Eminem will make his rounds this summer and then be done performing. If not now, the time will be soon. So go see this Rap god while you still can.

Big Names: Post Malone, Halsey, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, James Blake, Galantis, 6lack


Sleepers: Goldlink, Kelela, Alvvays

Goldlink, also known as D’Anthony Carlos, released his most recent album At What Cost in May of 2017. On his first major label album debut, This D.C. rapper intertwines historical influences from his city including Wale and Kaytranada. He uses go-go elements to give his music this edge over other rappers of his time. Goldlink will absolutely put on a one of a kind show.

Kelela: a child of R&B who aims to show you just how important this genre of music is. This artist understands that the music industry is evolving, and she has chosen to take advantage of it while intersecting electronica and and R&B music. Her first mixtape back in 2013 put Kelela on the map as her sweet, but strong voice cut right through the most aggressive of beats. But, what I personally love about her, is how much her music means to her. Watch her sing the vulnerable, real lyrics in her songs and you won’t be disappointed.

As an indie pop group from Canada, Alvvays has done nothing but climb the ladder of success which landed them a performance spot at Governor’s Ball this year. Their second album Antisocialites (released in 2017) is a testament to the band’s accomplishments. I would let Alvvays have the chance to change your music appreciation, like they have done for all of their fans thus far.

  1. Grandoozy

Location: Overland Park, Denver, CO

Dates: September 14-16

Cost: $224.50 (cheapest ticket)

Headliners: Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, Stevie Wonder

Hip-hop and rock make up the majority of this festival’s bill, so of course Hip-hop’s king of the hill is headlining. Aside from his intense and powerful lyrics, Kendrick brings insane energy to each and every stage he steps foot on. From “Swimming Pools” to “Backstreet Freestyle”, Kendrick is bound to take over the festival. Don’t miss out on your chance to see a legend.

Florence + The Machine may not have all the glitz and glam of your average artist today, but they entertain millions while keeping everything simple and classy. The band doesn’t go through extensive outfit changes and crazy on set special effects, but they always put on a mouth-dropping performance. Plus, lead singer Florence Welch is an absolute badass.

Yes, I thought this was really weird too, but Superfly’s (the company that hosts Grandoozy) co-founder stated, “Stevie’s music is unifying and positive. The selection of music is inspired by that idea.” Stevie Wonder caught a lot of attention when he took a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick at Global Citizen Festival in 2017, but his 80-minute closing performance deserves some attention as well. I believe he will have some tricks up his sleeve for Denver.

Big Names: The Chainsmokers, Logic, Miguel, 6lack, Daniel Caesar


Sleepers: Lost Lakes, Bishop Briggs, Flaural

This band from Madison, Wisconsin has almost perfected “Wisconsana”, a version of pop-infused folk music. Their music is very comforting and will always hit home no matter where they are performing. Their self-titled album “Lost Lakes” was released in 2017, but the band has been winning awards since 2016. Give this band a chance to warm your heart and rock your world.

Although she calls Los Angeles home, this England native took YouTube by storm when her hit single, “The River”, got 30 million views. Bishop Briggs crossover pop was inspired through her dads love of Frank Sinatra which taught Briggs to chase after those big, Whitney Houston-esque sounds. Her album, Church of Scars, is set to release April 20th, and I can guarantee this isn’t a set to miss.

This Denver rock band is part of the many extensive psychedelic rock records this great city has been releasing since the 90s. With all these bands, it can be difficult to pick out the amazing artists from the local Denver sounds, but Flaural is going to be the city’s next big psych band. In March of 2017, Flaural opened for Dan Deacon and got a pretty heavy fan base from this performance. Now, they have been working on their music relentlessly and are ready to rock the stage at Grandoozy. I’d suggest you check out what the Denver psych-rock scene is all about.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I was able to debug some of the upcoming festivals for you. Have fun this summer buffs and don’t forget to listen to all the music you can!