The rumor mill for next years Coachella Valley Music Festival has already begun. There are so many possibilities for festival organizers to choose from that the event is sure to yet again be a massive success. The current list of possible headliners are based on new albums, wish lists and touring schedules. While these are just my thoughts I would love to hear who you think or would like to see headline California’s most popular music festival.
It has been some time since Coachella booked a notable U.S. marquee act to headline and Fleetwood Mac would be a wonderful addition. The band has never played before and has currently reunited with original member Christine McVie. With numerous singles and timeless energy on stage, there should be a mad scramble to book these legends. At this time the band is at its strongest and could make a fantastic debut by playing numerous hit classics on one of the most popular stages in the U.S.
Earlier this year there were rumors of Coachella festival organizers expressing interest in a headlining slot by Irish stadium rock band U2. Having never played Coachella and being one of the most popular bands in the world, it would make sense for U2 to headline their first major U.S. music festival in years at the Polo Fields. The band has only played at one festival in the last four or so years (Glastonbury 2011) and with history behind America’s most popular multi-genre festival it could very well happen. With their newly released album, Songs Of Innocence, the band is itching to tour their new material. What better way to celebrate their new album with a massive set at Coachella.
The guitar wielding king of side projects, Jack White, is still touring his most recent album Lazaretto and it would not be too surprising to see him headline the festival. His numerous side projects include The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. While all three projects have graced the stage at the annual event, his tenure as a solo artist has not yet been given the opportunity to headline Coachella. Having already headlined almost every major music festival in the country, this would be the perfect final step for the bluesy alt rocker.
Having already headlined Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Festival, Slim Shady AKA Eminem would be a shoo in for the mainstream hip-hop headliner slot. In the past four years Coachella has managed to nab chart topping hip-hop acts in the form of Kanye West, Jay Z, Outkast and Dr. Dre with Snoop Dogg. Readying the release of a compilation album that highlights his rise to the top, Eminem is already preparing for a big year. As one of the only top tier rappers left that has not headlined the event (he did make a guest appearance in 2012), 2015 could be the year of Slim Shady.
Classic rock headliners do not seem to be a high priority on recent Coachella line-ups. However, with the fairly recent announcement of a brand new album and world tour in the works, AC/DC might make an appearance. Some good old fashioned rock and roll would feel very refreshing on the main stage as alternative rock giants and hip-hop stars have been the main focus in the last four years. Plus, this world tour could be the last time anyone will see the energetic Australian outfit live and would be a huge accomplishment if booked.
Industrial grunge rock has been slowly being revived by the combined efforts of hard rock pioneers Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. They have both released new albums in the last year or so and even toured together for one of the most anticipated collaboration tours in recent memory. While it would be a little hard to see Soundgarden as a headliner for Coachella, it would not be an unattainable goal for frontman and mastermind Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Having toured consistently throughout the last two years, NIN has surprisingly not been given the opportunity to headline many of the massive multi-genre festivals in America. Come next year this could all change if the band is finally offered the chance and you can be sure it will be an intense and hit filled set.
7. Coldplay Love them or hate them, UK alternative rock band Coldplay is one of the most successful bands in the music industry and has the on-stage chops to prove it. Having won numerous awards throughout their career the chart topping group have played Coachella in the past. While they have not officially announced a tour to support their most recent album Ghost Stories the band is expected to tour the world in 2015. It was 2011-2012 where the band headlined several massive music festivals in the U.S. but Coachella was not one of them. If booked there would be a large group of dissenters, but with a discography chock full of number one singles and anthemic tracks it is hard to go wrong with the English four piece.
One of the more questionable choices for a headliner, Justin Timberlake would be the most pop oriented headliner in Coachella history if selected. Not that this is a bad thing, but many people might see this as the final straw towards the festivals mainstream music leanings. The pop crooner is not unqualified to headline and has several huge singles and a large amount of crowd favorites to put on one heck of a show. JT was rumored to be headlining Lollapalooza last year and if another one of the largest festivals can make a potential grab for pops reigning king, why not Coachella? Nabbing JT would bring in a huge crowd and do not forget the collaborations that could ensue on stage (looking at you Jay Z).
9. The Cure Seasoned English shock rockers, The Cure have been headlining festivals around the world on and off for years. Instead of going on long full length tours the band enjoys selecting various festival destinations to perform at. The lords of Gothic Rock have not made an appearance at Coachella since they headlined the festival in 2009. Fans of all ages would welcome their return and with promised new material on the way a new age for the band is about to begin. Booking The Cure would be for pure nostalgia’s sake and I can’t think of a better way to end the night in the desert with tracks like “Friday I’m In Love”, “Love Song” and “Pictures Of You”. The chances of the band being chosen to headline is not necessarily high, but The Cure have proven to be a solid choice as a headliner for festivals around the world and would be a wise addition if the festival is aiming for other riskier headliner options.
One of the more left-field rumors is the return of popular New York indie rockers, Vampire Weekend. The band last played in the Polo Fields in 2013, but many people are convinced that they will make their return at next years event. You may think that this would be unrealistic due to the short amount of time in between, but if you remember how The Black Keys played in 2011 and then headlined in 2012 this lends more strength to the rumor. Not only that, but VW has slowly climbed the festival line-up ladder over the years and is now either co-headlining or just one name under the main event on posters. Coachella gave French electronic pop band Phoenix it’s big break in 2013 and could do the same with VW. With three albums of insanely catchy tracks that go well in any setting a VW headlining set could easily attract festival-goers.
It is slightly surprising that heavy metal titans Metallica have not yet played Coachella since the festivals formation in 1999. The metal icons have been decimating crowds all around the world for years. Metallica was formed in Los Angeles and have continued to have a strong presence in California, but have not played too many major festivals in the area besides San Francisco’s Outside Lands. They are one of the most beloved metal acts in history and it is about time Coachella added a metal headliner to its already formidable headliner list. This may seem like a random selection from organizers, but it could be just what the festival needs to keep its reputation for bringing in diverse acts that span all genres. Hell, people who have never seen Metallica will be in for a treat as the band is well known for their explosive live shows and in your face attitude.
The English folk rockers Mumford & Sons have been taking a break from touring in 2014 to work on their upcoming third studio album. However, this could all change next year as the band cannot stay put for too long and you can bet that they will announce a tour in the coming months. They last played the Polo Fields in 2011 as support to Arcade Fire, but since then they have topped festival bills around the world. A Bonnaroo festival date looks likely in 2015 (the band was supposed to play in 2013, but they had personal issues and were forced to cancel) along with a tour so an early stop at California’s largest festival event would make sense. One of the few alternative folk rock acts that are popular enough to headline massive festivals, the band will be one of the most sought after acts on their next big tour.