This week festivals have started jockeying for your precious money by releasing lineups, or pieces of their 2017 lineups in an attempt to one up each other. Many festivals will look the same when all is said and done, with many similar headliners and middle card acts. Much of this is based on politics, album release cycles and behind the scenes action, but also who the bookers wanted a few months ago. We have a few ideas of our own about who should be at or close to the top of these bills in 2017 including Frank Ocean, Arcade Fire and a few more.
1. Frank Ocean - The cat is already partially out of the bag on Frank and his potentially large festival circuit this summer, having announced Lovebox, Hangout and NorthSide festivals yesterday and Primavera Sound this morning. Consequence of Sound is reporting he will do another two, Sasquatch and Panorama as well. This may be a pretty busy schedule, but for someone who hasn't done a proper tour in three years, Ocean should be at the top of the list for most festivals. He could combine Endless and Blonde with some classics from Channel Orange and make a lot of money in the process. If festivals were worried about not selling tickets, Frank would be their solution.
2. Arcade Fire - There aren't that many big rock bands that can consistently top a festival bill or arena show each year. Arcade Fire is one of those bands. However, the group has hinted at an album coming out in the spring of 2017, their first since 2013's Reflektor. If new music is on the way then they need to be doing the festival circuit this summer on the back of it.
3. Metallica - With their first studio album in eight years and tenth overall, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct going No. 1 this past week, Metallica are riding some serious momentum in 2017. The band has some festival gigs already lined up for next year and have performed a smattering of shows over the past several, but it would make sense to see them back on the road this summer.
4. The xx - The group is gearing up to release their first album in over four years on Jan. 13, I See You. The hype around their debut single "On Hold," is real and they already performed on SNL. The group has a world tour plotted and a summer open. Fans are clamoring to see the band after being dormant for the past several years. Jamie xx has been active, but they need the full band for a run of festivals this summer.
5. Aphex Twin - Could this be the year? He is doing his first US festival gig in eight years in Houston next month at Day for Night and has announced another festival gig at Primavera Sound in 2017. This could just be blips on the radar, but if he is finally going to tour some of his new material, notably Syro, and all of the various uploads he put out around it, bookers needs to be aware of just how important that would be.
6. Bon Iver - 22 in a Million will be one of the consensus top albums of 2016. He has been selling out theaters and concert halls on this subsequent tour in the fall and that won't stop. That momentum will continue into the summer and in between all of the high energy headliners you normally see at a festival, right before them, someone like Bon Iver will be a good person to set the mood.
7. Kings of Leon - Though Walls was not universally that well received, the band had enough festival-ready tracks on there to provide an update to their live sets. They also have a hit-filled discography and powerful live presence that has made them a popular booking in between albums for some festivals. With some new music, Kings of Leon would be a good choice to top off festivals this summer.