Official Virgin Festival Lineup, Vol. 1
Finally, some real news about
Virgin Festival 3.0 Virgin Mobile Festival 2008, which will be held Aug. 9 and 10 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The headliners, as announced today by Sir Richard Branson, will be Foo Fighters, a newly reunited Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West and Mr. Festival himself, Jack Johnson.
The Foos are the least surprising name in the group, given that DC101's Elliot Segal "accidentally" confirmed them on the air in late February. Even before then, Producer David made the Foos his first guess in the original Official VMoFest Predictions post.
I'd called the STP booking in the comments section of that same post. (Too bad I didn't do nearly as well with my March Madness bracket. Thanks a lot, Georgetown.) Scott Weiland hinted that the group might reunite when I interviewed him in advance of last year's festival.
The Nine Inch Nails buzz really began to heat up when they (he?) announced their (his?) US tour and there was no DC date - and nothing on Aug. 9 or 10, either. Last time I saw Nine Inch Nails at a festival, by the way, was 14 years ago at a little thing called Woodstock '94. NIN's ferocious, mud-covered set was the highlight of the weekend.
Jack Johnson is a little bit surprising since he's one of the headliners at the competing All Points West festival in New Jersey on the same weekend as VMoFest. (He's booked for Sunday there, meaning he'll be in Baltimore on Saturday. No word yet re when the other acts will be slotted.) Of course, Johnson just loves him some festivals. He seems to be following Matisyahu's lead and playing just about every big music gathering in North America this year, from Coachella and Bonnaroo to the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco and the Kokua Festival in Honolulu.
As for Kanye - can't say I saw that one coming. Especially since he'll be at Nissan in May with Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco. But I think he'll be an excellent addition to the lineup. Now let's see if he can convince Daft Punk to join him.
The full lineup and ticket price information will be out "in the coming weeks," according to a festival rep.
"When the rest of the artists are announced, everyone will see that we have remained true to form in our quest to provide nothing but the very best bands in the world from the start of the day through the final notes," VMoFest booker-producer-promoter-golf cart driver Seth Hurwitz says in the press release. "People have come to rely on us for this, and this year's Virgin Mobile Festival will feature the most solid and exciting lineup ever."
So what do you think? Are you inclined to go? To skip? To wait until the rest of the lineup is announced to make your decision? To see the weather forecast for that weekend? How would you divvy up the headliners if you were king (which is to say, Seth) for a day? Do tell.
ETA: Hurwitz is fully aware of the catcalls about the headliners being too mainstream. In fact, he was reading the comments here and the threads on the 9:30 club forum while I was on the phone with him Tuesday. In Wednesday's Style section, he says: "This show is for the people, not the self-congratulatory hipsters. It's for them, too, but not only for them." Fightin' words!
There wasn't room for this in Wednesday's story, but Hurwitz also says: "It's funny - by having mainstream acts like we always do, we've turned a lot of mainstream music fans on to very cool bands and we've turned some heads with the so-called hipsters. I can't tell you how many people who were complaining about Panic at the Disco [before last year's festival] told me how great they thought they were. I knew i would take a lot of heat from the ultra-hipsters, but I believe in my taste and my abilities to judge music, so I put them on."
Hurwitz also states the obvious: That the headliners announced Tuesday are just a sliver of the festival's lineup. "I didn't want people just to see those big names and think that's it. I'm still working on the lineup but I needed to reveal the top acts so people would have some idea of what we're doing. But it's by no means the whole picture. There's a lot more to come."
As always, the cool factor, whatever that is, will go way up the further down the lineup you look. But, of course, you can't see the full lineup yet. So...
As for the presence of All Points West this year, Hurwitz insists that having a competing festival on the same weekend, on the same coast, isn't an issue for VMoFest. "It's not like we lost any bands to them," he says. "They're doing their thing, we're doing ours. They have some of the same bands we have, but we certainly didn't lose any bands to them." So there will be more crossover than just Jack Johnson? "Not too much, but I don't want to punish bands just because they're playing up there. I'm not going to paint myself into a corner that way."
By the by, one act that was heavily rumored to be heading to VMoFest but ultimately won't be there: Oasis.
By J. Freedom du Lac |
April 1, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
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