Lollapalooza announces its 2018 lineup | Bleader

Lollapalooza announces its 2018 lineup

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Chance the Rapper headlining Lollapalooza in 2017 - IMAGE VIA LOLLAPALOOZA'S FACEBOOK
  • Image via Lollapalooza's Facebook
  • Chance the Rapper headlining Lollapalooza in 2017

This morning Lollapalooza announced the lineup for its four-day Chicago festival in August. Headliners are the Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, and the Arctic Monkeys.

Tickets went on sale yesterday morning, before the fest had named any of the nearly 200 acts scheduled to play Grant Park. That timing is the norm for Lolla, but unlike in previous years, general-admission passes are still available this morning—they usually sell out within the hour, though last year it took nearly two and a half. Sales could be slowing because Lolla has already asked all it can of its fans—$335 for GA is a lot of money (at least that price hasn't risen in a couple years), and eight stages of music for four straight days is a lot for the human body to endure. I know I'd have a hard time seeing enough to get my money's worth out of a four-day pass. Last year's ho-hum lineup can't be helping this year's sales either—to my eyes, it featured one too many nostalgia-rock headliners who'd already played the festival.

I also see Lolla's struggles as part of a general downturn for music festivals, which might indicate that they've finally reached the saturation point. To pick some local examples, Reggae Fest Chicago cancelled its supposedly annual event in 2017 after debuting the previous year, and Common's on-again, off-again Aahh! Fest pulled its own plug last summer less than two weeks before it was scheduled to hit Union Park. The Aahh! Fest site currently asks visitors to save the date for September 15, 2018, but given that Mamby on the Beach just announced Common as a headliner, I suspect Aahh! Fest might stay gone for now. Earlier this month the Chicago Open Air Festival, which debuted at Toyota Park in 2016, announced it was going on hiatus this summer.

Yesterday Lollapalooza's organizers took over an Orange Line train in the Loop to promote ticket sales. The "Lolla train" played music over its loudspeakers, providing clues about this summer's lineup to anyone whose work or school schedule allowed them free time between 10 AM and 2 PM to, well, ride a CTA train. Some of the names that Lolla "commuters" shared online were Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches, Atlanta rap prince Playboi Carti, Brooklyn indie-rock veterans Vampire Weekend, and the self-described "best boy band since One Direction," Brockhampton.

Now that the lineup is confirmed, it feels underwhelming compared to past years. Three of the headliners are Lolla repeaters—this will be the Arctic Monkeys' fourth go-round since 2009. And while Bruno Mars can carry a Super Bowl halftime show, his catalog doesn't scream "festival headliner." Lolla has made some strides in booking women high on the bill, but this year's highest-ranking female-fronted acts—Chvrches and St. Vincent—appear three lines down from the headliners. Last year's Lolla was jammed with some of hip-hop's hottest names, but this year's bill is all over the place; when the top rap act is Travis Scott, whose biggest successes have been spots on other artists' great singles, something is awry.

Not that there isn't some good on the bill. I rarely share Lollapalooza's taste, but I'm quite fond of D.C. rapper Goldlink, British R&B singer Jessie Ware, trap king Gucci Mane, and the aforementioned Brockhampton. And the novelty of seeing LL Cool J at Lollapalooza in 2018 might be worth a trip to Grant Park all by itself.

Fortunately, the local acts on the bill include some of the best and brightest in Chicago hip-hop, including G Herbo, Supa Bwe, and Femdot. Unfortunately, the Chicago artists are thin on the ground and relegated to the bottom half of the bill. From a city overflowing with talent, why did Lolla book Virgil Abloh, the cofounder of Wicker Park streetwear boutique RSVP Gallery, founder of fashion line Off-White, and Kanye West's creative director? Yes, he also DJs, but I doubt his musical skills are why the MCA will display a retrospective of his work beginning in June 2019. But at least Lolla had the good sense to bring in DJ Taye; if memory serves, he's the first footwork producer to play the festival, which corrects a long-standing travesty of omission.

Below is the full lineup, including links on artists' names that direct you to the most relevant piece of Reader coverage.

The Weeknd
Bruno Mars
Jack White
Arctic Monkeys
Travis Scott
The National
Vampire Weekend
Odesza
Logic
Post Malone
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Portugal. The Man
Tyler, the Creator
Chvrches
St. Vincent
Zedd
Excision
Walk the Moon
Dua Lipa
LL Cool J
Dillon Francis
Galantis
Camila Cabello
Perry Farrell's Kind Heaven
Gucci Mane
James Bay
Brockhampton
Catfish & the Bottlemen
Borns
Greta Van Fleet
Tash Sultana
Illenium
Rezz
Rebelution
Lykke Li
Chromeo
Luke Combs
Tycho
Playboi Carti
Franz Ferdinand
Lil Pump
Malaa
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Manchester Orchestra
Daniel Caesar
The Neighbourhood
Blackbear
Jungle
Alina Baraz
Zomboy
Quinn XCII
Goldlink
Billie Eilish
Hippie Sabotage
A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
Kali Uchis
Bazzi
Nav
Lizzo
Daya
Jessie Ware
What So Not
All Time Low
Lany
Bebe Rexha
Rex Orange County
Cigarettes After Sex
Anderson East
Sabrina Claudio
Petit Biscuit
Wombats
Kayzo
Parquet Courts
Alan Walker
Stars
Arizona
The Vaccines
Bomba Estereo
Rusko
Dermot Kennedy
Troyboi
Big Wild
Lauv
Shiba San
Valentino Khan
Ghastly
Terror Jr
Lewis Capaldi
Autograf
Tank & the Bangas
Chris Lake
Herobust
G Herbo
Taylor Bennett
Knox Fortune
Gang of Youths
Tyler Childers
Frenship
Durand Jones & the Indications
Basement
Cuco
London on da Track
K?D
Two Feet
Ekali
Post Animal
Jessie Reyez
Welshly Arms
Goldfish
Alex Lahey
Pale Waves
Wallows
Yungblud
Loudpvck
Sir Sly
Charlotte Cardin
Madison Beer
Superorganism
Coronas
Regrettes
Curtis Harding
Allie X
48
Space Jesus
Slaves (UK)
Amy Shark
Sasha Sloan
Freya Ridings
Supa Bwe
Matt Maeson
The Him
Brohug
Nick Mulvey
Dream Wife
Clairo
Kuuro
Valee
Jesse Baez
LovelytheBand
Femdot
John Splithoff
Buddy
R.Lum.R
Chase Atlantic
Droeloe
Medasin
Melvv
Virgil Abloh
Oshi
Gashi
Vera Blue
Mikky Ekko
Noizu
Blackgummy
Lzrd
Davie
Nothing, Nowhere.
CKY
Cleopatrick
Wes Period
Morgxn
Bones (UK)
Tim Gunter
DJ Taye
Fletcher
Morgan Saint
Van William
The Wrecks
Aces
Mainland
Grace Weber
Larkin Poe
Emilia Ali
Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players
Mister G
KB Whirly
Big Don
Q Brothers
Aaron Nigel Smith
Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
School of Rock Allstars

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