The Dream Festival 2017


One of my favourite parts of the summer is going along to various music festivals. The live music industry thrives in – indeed it makes – the summer and it seems that almost every weekend there’s a major event happening somewhere in the UK.

Since I started the blog I’ve wanted to write a lot about festival line-up announcements and – on some occasions – haven’t been able to resist. But rather than simply commenting every time a few new bands are announced, I’ve decided to turn this into an entirely geeky and structured exercise.

Introducing the Dream Festival 2017. This isn’t a real festival, it lives only in my mind and on this blog. But it gives me a chance to select my own fantasy line up and to discuss the acts that are touring the various festivals this summer.

Over the next few months I’ll populate the festival line up graphic above with the bands that I think are the most exciting/appropriate/amazing. I appreciate that this is a fool’s errand; no festival line up ever pleases everybody, but I will do my best to explain why I choose the bands I do, and also to flag up the others that I’d love to see (oh, and those I’d avoid at all costs).

As always, I’ve set myself some rules for the exercise. The festival will be 3 days long. It has three stages. Main stage, new music/second stage, and a dance tent. The bands/acts have to be touring – and playing festivals – this year. Bands can’t be booked wildly out of place (Kings of Leon cannot open the new music stage, that’s just silly), but other than that, we’ll be ad-libbing.

It will also give me a chance to flag up some trends in festivals in recent years, and to highlight some of the brilliant events happening this summer. But, let’s be honest, it’ll mostly be a chance for you to send abuse my way as you struggle to work out how I could possibly leave band x or act y out. I’m prepared for the backlash.

The first thing we’ll do is pick ourselves the first headliner. Some major festivals haven’t announced their lineups yet, so I won’t be announcing all the headliners in one go – in case someone awesome comes along later – but at the moment the list of options currently looks a little like this:

  • The 1975 (Parklife)
  • A Tribe Called Quest (Bestival)
  • Aerosmith (Download)
  • Alt-J (Boardmasters)
  • Arcade Fire (Isle of Wight)
  • Beyonce (Coachella)
  • Biffy Clyro (Download)
  • Blink 182 (Rock Werchter)
  • Bon Jovi (Rock in Rio)
  • Brian Wilson (Camp Bestival)
  • Bryan Adams (Eden Sessions)
  • Crystal Fighters (Secret Garden Party)
  • David Guetta (Isle of Wight)
  • Deadmau5 (SW4)
  • Foals (Citadel)
  • Foo Fighters (Opener)
  • Frank Ocean (Parklife)
  • Franz Ferdinand (Kendal Calling)
  • Future Islands (Green Man)
  • Green Day (British Summer Time)
  • Jamiroquai (Boardmasters)
  • Justin Bieber (British Summer Time)
  • Kasabian (Leeds/Reading)
  • Kendrick Lamar (Coachella)
  • The Killers (British Summer Time)
  • Kings of Leon (British Summer Time)
  • Madness (Camp Bestival)
  • Manic Street Preachers (Kendal Calling)
  • Mark Ronson (Camp Bestival)
  • Maroon 5 (Rock in Rio)
  • Metronomy (Secret Garden Party)
  • Muse (Leeds/Reading)
  • P J Harvey (Green Man)
  • Pendulum (SW4)
  • Pet Shop Boys (Bestival)
  • Phil Collins (British Summer Time)
  • Pink (Summerfest)
  • Radiohead (Glastonbury)
  • Rammstein (Rock am Ring)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers (Benicassim)
  • Rod Stewart (Isle of Wight)
  • Royal Blood (Eden Sessions)
  • Run DMC (Isle of Wight)
  • Run the Jewels (Field Day)
  • Ryan Adams (Green Man)
  • Stereophonics (Kendal Calling)
  • System of a Down (Download)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (British Summer Time)
  • Toots & the Maytals (Secret Garden Party)
  • Two Door Cinema Club (Boardmasters)
  • The Weeknd (Opener)
  • The XX (Bestival)

[I should point out that some of the acts are headlining/playing more than one festival, I just listed the one I got to first.]

At some point over the next couple of weeks I’ll be back with some thoughts on the headliners, and make my first choice. And no, it won’t be Bieber.

Until then…


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