Whilst the festival circuit is ever growing, it is clear that there is a reliance on the same bands to regularly fulfil headlining status at larger festivals. When thinking of festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, TRNSMT, etc, only a small group of acts have the ability to draw massive, headlining crowds. We look at the bands who can claim such credentials in the coming years and go on to be major festival headliners.
Wolf Alice not only present a valid claim to being a future headliner as one of the most exciting new bands of our generation, but they also have the ability to restrict the growing gender imbalance at British music festivals where female fronted bands make up under 15% of line ups over the entire year.
Their debut album ‘My Love is Cool’ was released in June 2015 and was greeted by much critical acclaim, including nominations for the prestigious Mercury Awards. The album came in a year of much touring, it seems as if the band are constantly on the road; if any band deserve to be elevated to a headlining status purely based on hard work then it clearly should be the London based band.
As a live band, Wolf Alice are incredible; their sets were a constant highlight of last year’s festival season, they made headlines at Glastonbury for all the right reasons. If they can add density to their back catalogue with a few more successful albums, it’s certain that Wolf Alice would thrive at the top of a festival bill.
Their inclusion in such a list may be somewhat surprising, though with an upcoming sell out date at 50,000 capacity Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester it is clear that The Courteeners are a force to be reckoned with. The release of fifth studio album “Mapping The Rendezvous” just last year makes it obvious that the band have a back catalogue of anthems quite suited to festivals and stadiums alike.
With musical viewership boundaries becoming almost eradicated with the introduction of the internet it is somewhat surprising to see a band have such a northern based following. Whether the Manchester based band could sell out similar sized arenas in London and further into the south is somewhat debatable. Resultantly, do they have a suitable following to be a headline sized band?
However, it is their music that does the metaphorical talking. Songs such as “Bide Your Time” and “Not Nineteen Forever” are well known and define an era of indie rock. Recent releases including “Modern Love” and “Small Bones” are further demonstrative of their melodic sound, something which is entirely necessary for bands of headlining status.
You could argue that Kendrick Lamar already has the notoriety to headline festivals, especially following the release of fourth album ‘Damn.’ Already, Lamar is heralded as one of the greatest rappers in the world!
The next few weeks see the hip hop star headline Coachella, America’s highest grossing festival. With such experience behind him one could argue that he now has the ability to headline UK festivals such as Reading and Glastonbury. However, counter arguments suggest that he doesn’t have a broad pulling power, is he truly able to draw in crowds at a festival which promotes diverse genres? Would the average rock fan really diverge away from their trusted sound?
Lamar already boasts a back catalogue of historic anthems, many of which are politically charged and entirely relevant in times of modern uncertainty and discontent for the establishment. 2015’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ topped charts in the UK and US alike and features critically acclaimed tracks such as “King Kunta” and “Alright.” Matched by “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and recent release “Humble” it is already apparent that Kendrick Lamar has the ability to compose a setlist like no other.
They’re like marmite, attract a lot of love but at the same time are on the back end of hate and musical interrogation. Lead singer Matty Healy sure is charismatic but to many is a cliche, an over the top wannabe version of rockstars of old. However, like them or not they certainly have potential credentials to be future headliners.
With their debut album receiving much press and fan positivity, it’s follow up ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ truly entered the Manchester formed band into generic stardom. With crashing Brits performance alongside over indulgent interviews, it is clear that the band have likability and certainly bolster mass echelons of confidence.
Songs such as “The Sound” and “Love Me” already have the ability to gather great sing alongs and suit the festival sound. Despite this, their set still lacks depth and musical breadth though with further albums planned The 1975 will certainly be in contention for headline slots within the next few years!
Their sound is like a lovechild of Black Sabbath and Arctic Monkeys, already they’ve achieved a number one album and with the duo preparing for the release of second album “How Did We Get So Dark?” it is becoming more and more apparent that Royal Blood are growing into something which will be worthy of future headlining performances.
They are unique, bass and drums, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. Formed in Brighton, their rise to the top of the charts occurred relatively quickly, surely as a result of their intrinsic mix of instruments which ultimately create an intriguing sound. Such is apparent in tracks such as “Little Monster” and “Out Of The Black,” both fuelled through intense energy and adrenaline.
Their suspected rise to the top of the festival line up would be relatively iconic considering they are a duo. However, all this depends on the development of their sound, especially considering its limitations with just a bass and drum-set. Whilst the addition of new members may ultimately occur, Mike Kerr’s impressive use of bass and creation of a strong sound will most likely stand the test of time.
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Image By Brian Marks [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
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