ACL Announced -- and pondering festival glut

SHARE ACL Announced -- and pondering festival glut

Todays announcement of the lineup for the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sept. 26-28 organized by C3 Presents, the same Texas promoters behind Lollapalooza in Grant Park offers new fodder to consider a question that many in the concert industry have been posing of late: Is there a festival glut?

The new model of a multi-day destination festival packed with more than 100 bands and presumably offering something for everybody at a bargain price has increasingly come to dominate the summer months in many markets.

But its resulting in a homogeneity of many of the lineups, which are starting to look all too similar and less special or distinct.

Consider the highlights from this recent article by Jeff Leeds in the New York Times:

In a slumping music business such events pack a box office punch: the top five American festivals generated a combined $60 million in ticket sales last year, according to Billboard magazines estimates At least four new festivals will make their debuts this summer, raising the total to more than a dozen. Various concert promoters are already warning of the dangers of oversaturation, and point to the clutch of stars headlining multiple festivals In general, rock festivals have built their reputations by offering fans the chance to pack months of club crawling into one weekend and discover new favorites. But some talent managers caution against the idea that emerging acts can build their names through playing the full complement of festivals, where artist sets are sometimes abbreviated, and fans can be distracted. Mike Martinovich, who manages the rock group My Morning Jacket, said the band had agreed to play the two most established festivals, Coachella and Bonnaroo, and turned down other offers to keep from seeming like too much of a commodity. Doing a whole tour of festivals would be disastrous, he said. And some promoters worry that similar talent lineups will limit the festivals collective appeal. [Coachella promoter Paul Tollett] said the fear was that it could become homogenized, and everyone have the same bill and the same sort of feel at the festival.

We are not at the point of all the festivals being the same quite yet, but there is a lot of duplication in the bills. Here is the lineup for Austin City Limits, with notes in parentheses if the artist is also performing at New Jerseys All Points West (A), Tennessees Bonnaroo (B), Californias Coachella (C) or our own Lollapalooza (L). (The full lineups for All Points West, Bonnaroo and Coachella follow after that.)

Foo Fighters


Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (B)

Manu Chao

John Fogerty

David Byrne

Alejandro Escovedo

Gnarls Barkley (L)

The Raconteurs (B, L, C)

The Mars Volta

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band


Erykah Badu

Drive-By Truckers (B)

Five Times August

Ingrid Michaelson

Langhorne Slim

Stars (C)


Eli Paper Boy Reed & the True Loves (L)

Jose Gonzales (B)

Bavu Blakes & the Extra Plairs

CSS (A, L)

AA Bondy

Del the Funky Homosapien

Christopher Denny

Man Man (C)

Mike Farris

Jamie Lidell (L)

The Lee Boys (B)

MGMT (B, L, C)

South Austin Jug Band

What Made Milwaukee Famous (L)

American Bang (C)

Jenny Lewis

Bobby Bare, Jr.

Robert Earl Keen

M. Ward


Patty Griffin

Asleep at the Wheel

Bellville Outfit

Tegan and Sara (B, C)

Mason Jennings (B, L)

We Go to 11 (L)

Iron & Wine (B)

Heartless Bastards

Band of Heathens

G. Love & Special Sauce (L)


City and Colour

Neko Case

The Nachito Herrera All Stars

Sunny Sweeney

Band of Horses

Shooter Jennings

Elizabeth Wills

The Swell Season (B, C)

Xavier Rudd


Silversun Pickups

Yeasayer (L)

Bonnie Bishop

Gogol Bordello (B, C, L)

Octopus Project (L)

Ben Sollee

Gillian Welch

Joe Bonamassa

Ben Cylus

Eli Young Band

The Kills (L)

The Concert Supremes

The Black Keys (L)

White Denim

River City Christionettes

Against Me! (B)

Louis XIV (L)

Shields of Faith

Jakob Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels (B)

Delta Spirit

The Jones Family Singers

Okkervil River (L)

Mates of State (A, L)

Nakia & His Southern Cousins


Nicole Atkins & the Sea (A, L)

Brotherly Luv

Kevin Fowler

Electric Touch (C, L)

The Hensley Ensemble

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (B, C, L)

Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears

School of Rock

Hot Chip (C)

Back Door Slam (B)


Vampire Weekend (B, C)

Tristan Prettyman

Q Brothers

Slightly Stoopid (C)

The Strange Boys

Buck Howdy with BB

Duffy Ryan


Uncle Rock

Flyleaf Scott


Big Don

Roky Erickson

The Freddy Jones Band

mr. RAY

Yonder Mountain String Band (B)

Colour Revolt

The Jimmies

ALL POINTS WEST (Liberty State Park, Jersey City, N.J., Aug. 8-10)

Radiohead (two nights); Underworld; Spearhead; the New Pornographers; the Go! Team; Girl Talk; CSS; Forro in the Dark; Juana Molina; Little Brother; Andrew Bird; Mates of State; Nicole Atkins; Kings of Leon; Animal Collective; Metric; Chromeo; the Roots; the Black Angels; the Virgins; the Felice Brothers; Alberta Cross; Sia; K’Naan; Duffy; Your Vegas; Jack Johnson; Cat Power; Rodrigo y Gabriela; Amadou & Mariam; Youssou N’Dour; Black Kids; Jason Isbell; Grace Potter and the Nocturnals; Rogue Wave and Neil Halstead.

BONNAROO (Manchester, TN, June 12-15)

Pearl Jam; Metallica; Jack Johnson; Kanye West; Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; Phil Lesh & Friends; My Morning Jacket; The Allman Brothers Band; The Raconteurs; Willie Nelson; Death Cab for Cutie; B.B. King; Sigur Ros; Levon Helm and the Ramble on the Road; Ben Folds; O.A.R.; The Bluegrass Allstars Feat. Luke Bulla, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton; M.I.A.; Umphrey’s McGee; Iron & Wine; Yonder Mountain String Band; Swell Season; Talib Kweli; Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival; Gogol Bordello; Broken Social Scene; Robert Randolph’s Revival; Rilo Kiley; Mastodon; Lupe Fiasco; Against Me!; Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings; Pat Green; Ozomatli; Tegan & Sara; Solomon Burke; Drive-By Truckers; !!!; The Avett Brothers; Israel Vibration; Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck; Phil Lesh / Larry Campbell / Jackie Greene; Aimee Mann; Ladytron; The Fiery Furnaces; Orchestra Baobab; Ghostland Observatory; Jose Gonzalez; Dark Star Orchestra; Minus the Bear; Donavon Frankenreiter; Lez Zeppelin; State Radio; Battles; Jakob Dylan; Two Gallants; The Sword; Vampire Weekend; Little Feat; Nicole Atkins; The Felice Brothers; Mason Jennings; MGMT; The Lee Boys; Black Kids; Serena Ryder; Steel Train; Grupo Fantasma and Back Door Slam.

COACHELLA (Indio, CA, April 25-27)

Jack Johnson; the Verve; the Raconteurs; the Breeders; Aphex Twin; Fatboy Slim; Tegan and Sara; Serj Tankian; Goldfrapp; the Swell Season; the National; Slightly Stoopid; Mum; Pendulum; Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings; Battles; Aesop Rock; Les Savy Fav; Midnight Juggernauts; Spank Rock; dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip; Diplo; Redd Kross; Adam Freeland; Santogold; Jens Lekman; John Butler Trio; Vampire Weekend; Dan Deacon; Black Kids; Architecture in Helsinki; Sandra Collins; Busy P; Cut Copy; Black Lips; Datarock; Professor Murder; Porter; Rogue Wave; American Bang; Luckyiam; Prince; Portishead; Kraftwerk; Death Cab for Cutie; Cafe Tacvba; Sasha & John Digweed; Rilo Kiley; Dwight Yoakam; M.I.A.; Hot Chip; Cold War Kids; Animal Collective; Kate Nash; Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks; DeVotchKa; Flogging Molly; Mark Ronson; Scars on Broadway; Islands; Does it Offend You, Yeah?; Above & Beyond; Enter Shikari; Calvin Harris; Boys Noize; Junkie XL; Cinematic Orchestra; the Teenagers; VHS or Beta; CarbonSilicon; Erol Alkan; Man Man; Yo! Majesty; Little Brother; Bonde Do Role; St. Vincent; AkronFamily; MGMT; Surkin; Curses!; Para One; Orgasmic; James Zabiela; SebastiAn; Kavinsky; Minus the Bear; Dredg; the Bird and the Bee; 120 Days; Yoav; Electric Touch; Yelle; Uffie featuring DJ Mehdi; Jesse Murphy; Roger Waters; Love and Rockets; My Morning Jacket; Spiritualized; Justice; Gogol Bordello; Chromeo; Metric; Danny Tenaglia; Simian Mobile Disco; Booka Shade; Murs; Dimitri from Paris; Autolux; Stars; the Field; Linton Kwesi Johnson; the Cool Kids; Sons & Daughters; Sia; Holy F*ck; Black Mountain; Annuals; Kid Sister with A-Trak; Modeselektor; Duffy; I’m from Barcelona; Manchester Orchestra; Deadmau5; AUSTIN TV; Swervedriver; Grand Ole Party; Shout Out Louds; Plasticines; Vas DeFrans and Brett Dennen.

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