Ranking the top five music festival lineups of 2017

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

The recent release of this year’s lineup for the Columbia River Gorge’s annual Sasquatch! Music Festival can only mean one thing: It’s time to look at which upcoming music festivals have the best lineups. 

There are over 100 music festivals that take place in the U.S. throughout the spring and summer, so this is obviously not a comprehensive list. Several popular music festivals that haven’t released their lineups yet, including Lollapalooza, Pemberton and Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).

This list only takes into account the quality of a festival’s lineup based on musical variety, the lineup’s depth of quality artists and headliners. Other factors such as ticket price, location and time of year are not taken into consideration.

  1. Governors Ball

Randall’s Island, New York, June 2-4

This festival could potentially have the best set of live performers of all the summer festivals. Although headliners Chance the Rapper, Tool, Phoenix and Childish Gambino don’t hold nearly the same level of popularity as other festival headliners do, they are widely known for their energetic live performances. Considering that EDM artist Marshmallow, rock group Cage the Elephant, rapper ScHoolboy Q, and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd will also be performing, it’s clear that Governors Ball will be the most energetic festival of 2017.

  1. Hangout Music Fest

Gulf Shores, Alabama, May 19-21

At first glance, Hangout’s lineup looks awfully similar to Sasquatch’s; however, once you look past the identical headliners, you realize that this festival not only has a ton of musical variety, it is also extremely deep. EDM artists Major Lazer, NGHTMRE, Dillon Francis and Marshmallow provide a nice contrast to the heavily stacked alternative rock lineup.

  1. Rolling Loud

Miami, Florida, May 5-7

This lesser-known music festival made it on the list because of its deep hip-hop lineup. The entire lineup exclusively features hip-hop artists, many of whom are at the height of their popularity. Grammy-award winner Kendrick Lamar, legendary rapper Lil’ Wayne and critically-acclaimed Atlanta artist Future will be the main headliners. Just to put how deep this lineup is into perspective, 2016 breakout artists Amine and Denzel Curry are seven lines down on the festival poster.

  1. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Manchester, Tennessee, June 8-11

This year, Bonnaroo’s lineup is definitely top heavy, but the headlining acts are good enough that it doesn’t really matter. Going to this festival will give you an opportunity to hear two of the most popular acts of all time with bands U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining. Considering Chance the Rapper and The Weeknd will also be performing, this is the most musically diverse set of headliners at any 2017 festival. Alternative band Car Seat Headrest, EDM artist Flume and pop singer Lorde are also set to perform.

  1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Indio, California, April 14-16, 21-23

No big surprise here. Once again, Coachella has provided its fans with an incredibly deep, diverse and extensive lineup. Each day of the festival has enough musical variety to be a strong festival lineup on its own. Headliners on Friday are Radiohead, The xx and Travis Scott; on Saturday Beyonce, Future, and Bon Iver will be performing; Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, and DJ duo Justice will be closing the weekend. Looking deeper into its lineup, Coachella has something for everyone with more than 150 artists performing. No matter what type of music you like, Coachella will be a weekend full of good times and great tunes.

Honorable Mentions

Jazz Fest

New Orleans, Louisiana, April 28-30, May 4-7

In past years, Jazz Fest has had extremely musically diverse lineups, but this year it seems to be relying heavily on blues/rock bands and the festival’s reputation to sell tickets. Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Dave Matthews and Kings of Leon are the featured headliners.

Ultra Music Festival

Miami, Florida, March 24-26

Pending the release of the EDC lineup which should be out in early Feburary, Ultra will have the best lineup out of any of the EDM music festivals this year. This comes as no surprise since it has featured the best headliners for the past several years. Justice, Major Lazer and the Prodigy will be this year’s headliners. Also rapper Ice Cube will be a special guest.

Dishonorable Mention

Sasquatch! Music Festival

The Gorge, Washington, May 26-28

After an underwhelming showing in 2016 and cutting an entire day from its festival, many fans speculated that this year’s Sasquatch! lineup would bring the festival back into the realm of relevance. Although it has the same headliners as Hangout Fest, Sasquatch! doesn’t have nearly the depth of diversity. Mac Miller is the only semi-intriguing rapper and Big Gigantic is the only EDM artist. Expect Sasquatch to have an even smaller turnout than last year’s all-time festival record low.

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