Wanted: 20 Acts to Shake Up Future Music Festivals

Here's our 2016 wishlist-of-sorts as we enter the early days of Hype Season


    It’s early September, which means we’re just about to enter Hype Season. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the time when undisclosed sources start to toss around names for next year’s festivals. Some are on-point, others not so much.

    Already we’ve heard rumblings about Guns N’ Roses, who reportedly will have a “big year” in 2016. They won’t be the last, rest assured. In the coming months, you’re wont to hear about a few more reunions and a number of comebacks. It’s just expected.

    In anticipation, we rounded up 20 acts that we’d like to see on lineups next year. Know that we crossed off a few of the obvious choices, namely Talking Heads, The Smiths, The White Stripes, and Daft Punk. Still, if you’ve been around, you know there’s a name missing there.


    A few of our choices will be obvious — in fact, a couple have even been touring lately — but we believe each one of these names would make any festival’s lineup sparkle and shine. Hell, some would sell them out instantaneously.

    So, what are you waiting for? Read, agree or disagree, and share your own Wanted lists below.

    –Michael Roffman

    20. Rage Against the Machine


    Ideal for: Governors Ball, Sweetlife (I’ll explain)

    Election season looms, and we all know what that means. It’s time to dust off that copy of Evil Empire, rehang that Che Guevara poster, and find some open real estate on a jacket or book bag for that “Free Mumia!” patch. Okay, okay. In hindsight, maybe we never quite changed the world during Rage Against the Machine’s first go-round – maybe we looked as ridiculous as nuns brandishing guns while practicing our teenage activism-lite – but the summer festival season leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election seems like the perfect time to put some politics back in mainstream rock. While new music or a full-on reunion tour seem unlikely at this point, RATM could perhaps be coaxed back as a festival headliner (à la Coachella 2007 or Lollapalooza 2008). Smaller festivals like Governors Ball and Sweetlife might seem like odd choices, but strategically speaking (near Wall Street and D.C.) they make all the sense in the world. Could 2016 be the year we really take the power back? Now where did I put that beret and armband? –Matt Melis