Best Festival Lineups



The crowd at Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago.

Festival season is here, and it’s surprisingly better than ever. We all saw that Destiny’s Child reunion during Beyoncé’s set at Coachella or SZA’s toe touches on a trampoline while belting “Dark Knight Dummo.” Some of us even saw Cardi B reenacting how she got pregnant. Now, get ready to see four other festivals that are worthy of your consideration this summer. From New York to Spain and even Alabama, WSN’s staff has compiled a list of the best festival lineups this summer.

Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois)

Tyler Crews, Opinion Editor

Festival season was recently kicked off by Coachella, and with festival season comes the inevitable fight with my friends over which one we want to attend. The clear lineup winner in my eyes is Lollapalooza in Chicago, and I don’t understand how that isn’t apparent to everyone. You know it’s a good festival when you are incapable of choosing which day to attend — Lolla has a solid lineup each day, with Arctic Monkeys headlining on Thursday, Bruno Mars on Friday, The Weeknd on Saturday and Jack White on Sunday. However, the true beauty of Lolla isn’t the headliners but the depth of talent and recognizable names in each day’s lineup. Some of my favorites are Khalid, Galantis, Billie Eilish, Tyler, the Creator, Walk the Moon, Børns, The Neighbourhood, Lizzo, Lauv, Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, Dua Lipa, Hippie Sabotage, Portugal. The Man, Lykke Li, Kali Uchis and I just realized that if I keep going, I’m going to list the entire lineup. Plus, there’s diversity in the performers, making it a good festival for everyone’s music tastes.

Primavera Sound (Barcelona, Spain)

Connor Gatesman, Music Editor

The music festival scene has seen a meteoric rise in scale over the past several years. In such a saturated market, it can be hard for a festival to truly differentiate itself amongst a sea of similar lineups of artists traveling the festival circuit. A particular festival, Primavera Sound, by way of Barcelona Spain, is nonetheless a particular standout this summer. Primavera Sound includes a massive lineup featuring a hosts of acts, with a wide range of popularity and style. Big ticket sellers like Tyler the Creator and the Arctic Monkeys are featured in tandem with smaller acts like Alex G and Four Tet, making for a festival that has something for everyone in a city as vibrant as the artists it features.

Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, Alabama)

Ryan Mikel, Arts Editor

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, The Killers, The Chainsmokers, Foster The People, Halsey … I could go all day. And at the end of the day, Hangout Fest is one of the better festivals this year, with an unmatched lineup. Yes, I said it. It’s no Coachella, and it takes place in Alabama, but as someone who’s attended the festival, it is totally worth it. The festival’s two main stages are beachside –– there’s a ferris wheel and the southern comfort food is nothing short of transcendent, as expected. The open space of the beach, multiple entrances and bus services also make for a logistically satisfying experience. And as evidenced in the first sentence, its setlist goes hard. Be warned: the headliners for the past two years –– Frank Ocean and Calvin Harris –– backed out very last minute, but we won’t blame that on Hangout. Running from May 18 to 20, it is the perfect destination for that post-finals angst. And at $319 a wristband, it is the best valued festival as far as space and talent is concerned.

Panorama (New York, New York)

Pamela Jew, Deputy Managing Editor

I’ll admit Panorama is always a hit or miss for me whenever I have refreshed my memory of its past lineups. Usually Panorama only has a good five out of 70 artists I want to see, and they’re usually all on one day. But this year, although there’s still progress to be made, it has spread out the acts across the weekend so there might not be as many fluff days. After The Weeknd bailed on The Meadows two years ago, this is his chance to finally redeem himself with New York City festival goers. Janet Jackson rises from the ashes on Saturday after SZA and Cardi B set the stage — my voice will definitely be gone at that point in the weekend. The supporting acts still could be better since I only recognize five of the names or so, but this is the year of Panorama’s revival, considering it needs to size up with the newborn Meadows.

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