2018 Lineups Announced for Coachella, Bonnaroo, Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sloss + More

Posted January 18, 2018 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Heads up: During festival season, you’re gonna see lots of Eminem. Deservingly rounding out the rotation of repeats are The War on Drugs, Portugal. The Man, Jason Isbell and SZA

Festival season is right around the corner. And it looks like 2018 will be celebrating a little something old, something new and lots of stuff in between.

One of the top-tier earlier fests, Coachella’s massive double weekender (from April 13-22) is expected to be a riot. After being teased with mock-ups and fake posters from bored social media hacks, the official list on Coachella was announced at the top of the year.

Talks of booking Beyonce surfaced again in late 2017 after Queen Bey dropped her spring 2017 appearance due to doctor’s orders (Lady Gaga filled the void). But it now looks like Queen Bey will be putting her “love on top” of Coachella’s lineup this year. Expect to witness the “Drunk in Love” singer and her Beyhive swarm to the Indio, California fest on April 14 and 21. Those dates will also include performances from Fleet Foxes, buzzy synthpop trio HAIM, indie rapper Tyler, the Creator, EDM wiz Chromeo and Chic featuring hitmaker Nile Rodgers — quite possibly the last great disco band alive.

Recently inducted with a Musical Excellence Award in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rodgers, who recently headlined the 2017 New Years Eve celebration with band Chic in London and was broadcasted on the BBC1, is rumored to be releasing new music in 2018. Lucky for him, a survivor of cancer, the 40-year music veteran is now headlining music festivals in 2018. How ’bout that.

UK acid jazz sensation Jamiroquai, a rarity with American music festivals lately, will be bringing their “Cosmic Girl” sound to Coachella on April 13 and will repeat it again on April 20. No telling what creative hat the dancing frontman Jay Kay will be sporting for these rounds, but the crowds will be treated with a treasure trove of hits along with music from the band’s latest Automaton. The Weeknd also headlines those dates (April 13 and 20), along with breakout star SZA, St. Vincent, The War on Drugs and Vince Staples.

Closing out the fest on April 15 and 22 will be rap royalty Eminem. He will be shouldered by some swag-heavy talent, with Portugal.The Man (nominated for Best Rock Song for that delicious “Still Feel It”), neo-R&B crooner Miguel,  Atlanta group Migos and trending rap sensation Cardi B.














And this week, lineups for Birmingham, Ala’s Sloss Music & Arts Festival and Kentucky’s Forecastle are making their own headlines.

Sloss, a newbie in the music fest galaxy, is starting to spread its wings. And this year’s rollout (July 14-15) may be one of its finest. Now in its fourth installation, the two-day event held at the historic Sloss Furnaces — still co-produced by the guys behind Bonnaroo — will roll out a solid package featuring Chris Stapleton, The War on Drugs, Moon Taxi, Brent Cobb, Vance Joy and Arcade Fire. The latter, a Canadian band with a Grammy-winning Album of the Year on their hand and critically-acclaimed follow-ups, will be making their first-time debut in Birmingham according to recent memory.

As if the fest is giving allegiance to hometown heroes, Alabama-born Jason Isbell and St. Paul & the Broken Bones have also been added to the headlining package.

For Forecastle, the “music, arts and activism” fest held on the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, they will see a similar rollout during July 13-15. Chris Stapleton, Arcade Fire and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will serve as headliners. The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse, Father John Misty, T-Pain and Brent Cobb have also been added.

Other festivals to look forward to

Last week Bonnaroo debuted its lineup and will include Eminem, who will be working the midnight shift a lot during the festival season. Plus, The Killers, Paramore, Muse, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Bon Iver (with two different sets announced), Sheryl Crow, Chromeo, Moon Taxi, the Revivalists, Strugill Simpson, Future and EDM pro Bassnectar are headlining. Breakout star Dua Lipa is also in the list. And what a difference a few years make: avant-garde soul singer Anderson .Paak and St. Paul & the Broken Bones have been added to the fest’s top-tier of talent.

Further south, Hangout Music Festival — held on the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores — will offer a little mix of everything: Top 40 pop, arena rock favs and the cool kids’ hip-hop with the Chainsmokers, the Killers and Kendrick Lamar headlining the three-day event. From May 18-20, the fest will feature a roundup of acts including Portugal.The Man, Halsey, Anderson .Paak, St. Vincent, SZA, Odesza, Foster the People and Logic.

Now a gem in Atlanta’s festival scene, Shaky Knees Music Festival returns to Central Park with over 75 bands to explore. At the top of the ticket are headliners Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, the National, Fleet Foxes, The War on Drugs, Cake and Tenacious D. Others on deck include Franz Ferdinand, Matt and Kim, the Japandroids, David Byrne and Dixie soul act Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Revealing one of the most diverse lineups of late, Firefly Music Festival, held June 14-17 in the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware, impressed with their headlining rankers, including Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and Arctic Monkeys. And if you’re looking for a mini-Coachella experience without the big price tag, Firefly will also feature performances from SZA, Portugal. The Man and alt-J. Plus, MGMT and Foster the People will be featured. And for its seventh year in a row, they will be partnering with Children’s Research Hospital, where portions of the festival earnings will go to its Music Gives to St. Jude music program.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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