Festival season 2018 might be largely done and dusted but you can always console yourself by looking ahead to next year. If you were drawing up your wishlists, who would be your headliners? We’ve had a think of ours, from the big acts who are almost guaranteed to be topping bills next year to the smaller artists we reckon deserve a shot. Here’s 19 artists who should headline festivals in 2018.
- Read more: Got the post-Reading & Leeds blues? Here are nine festivals you can still go to before the year is out
Why: They’ve promised their live return will be a “spectacle” – where better to blow people’s minds than in a festival field?
Where they could headline: They can take their pick, basically. Unless they severely veer off-track then not even Glastonbury will be out of bounds for them soon.
Why: They’re the best band to come out of Britain in ages and have been steadfastly working their way up the bill every summer for the past six years. Over that time, they’ve become fully-fledged stars – what better way to reward them than with a headline slot?
Where they could headline: Latitude, Reading & Leeds, a smaller festival like Truck or Standon Calling – the possibilities are many.
Why: She’s Rihanna, do you really need more of a reason than that?
Where they could headline: Wireless is always a strong shout for Rihanna, but it would also be exciting to see her at somewhere like Rize, where there’s a little more variety on offer.
Why: He’s made one of 2018’s best rap albums and backed up his power with headline sets at festivals in the US this summer. Conquering UK festies’ upper echelons will be a doddle.
Where they could headline: A Travis Scott headline at Parklife seems like a pretty natural fit to us.
Why: It’s about time a grime artist headlined a major festival and, as the genre’s biggest crossover act so far, it makes sense for Stormzy to lead the way. Oh, and he’ll obviously put on a hard-hitting, dazzling show.
Where they could headline: He’s rumoured to be in the running for a Glastonbury top spot, but he could also do something like Rize with ease.
Why: There aren’t many better ways to close out a weekend then with the woozy, euphoric bangers Tame produce. Yes, they headlined Citadel this year, but it would be nice to see them topping bills in 2019 with a new album in tow.
Where they could headline: Bestival, Sound City, Field Day, and many more could work for Kevin Parker and his crew.
Why: Brockhampton are easily the band of the summer. Why not let them capitalise on that and give them a shot at topping the bill at a smaller festival in 2019?
Where they could headline: Parklife, Field Day, or Lovebox.
Why: She had to pull out of her festival commitments this year due to becoming a mum, but in that time Cardi’s become one of the biggest names in the game. By the time next summer rolls around, she should be even stronger and, therefore, able to pull off even more surprises.
Where they could headline: Considering she reportedly doesn’t perform for less than $300,000, it would have to be one of the big ones.
Why: Let’s prove the argument that there’s no new bands who could headline festivals wrong. Shame could use next summer to tease songs from their second album – they’ve already been playing two live this year, as it is.
Where they could headline: Kendal Calling or Camp Bestival seem about the right size.
10Nine Inch Nails
Why: Nine Inch Nails’ sets this summer were blistering, incendiary performances that made us wish Trent and the band were a permanent fixture on the festival circuit.
Where they could headline: Again, they’re at that level where they could do pretty much anywhere, apart from perhaps Glastonbury.
Why: She’s the undisputed Queen Of Pop with a little something for everyone.
Where they could headline: We’d love to see Madge down Hyde Park for the British Summer Time series, but, in reality, anywhere would be lucky to get her.
Why: It’s been a long wait for The Distillers to be back in lives, but their reunion announcement has been bittersweet so far with them only playing a handful of dates in the US. The UK needs you too, Brody and co!
Where they could headline: Slam Dunk would be a great fit, or somewhere with more of a crossover interest like Boardmasters.
Why: Headlining festivals isn’t just about having bangers in your arsenal. Our bill-toppers should be able to move us and Angel is one of the best when it comes to beautiful, emotive songwriting. Sometimes you need a little weep into your cider cup on a summer Sunday.
Where they could headline: Festivals like End Of The Road, Larmer Tree, or Green Man could give Angel a shot at the big slot.
Why: There are few things in life that are better than dancing and singing along to ‘Dancing On My Own’ with a bunch of strangers, and we bet Robyn will provide us with even more unifying, euphoric experiences on her upcoming album.
Where they could headline: We could see Bestival happening. Otherwise, she seems like a shoe in for a Field Day or Lovebox-type event.
Why: Their US tour with the reunited classic line-up (minus bassist D’Arcy Wretzky) was an absolute joy to witness. They’ll bring that show to the UK for one date this October, but that’s nowhere near enough Pumpkins time.
Where they could headline: Massive festivals only, and rightly so.
Why: Her Coachella set was one of the greatest in that festival’s history. Can we get the British equivalent next summer please, Bey?
Where they could headline: You’re not going to see her playing at Bestival, let’s be real. She could do British Summer Time in Hyde Park if she fancied doing something that felt more like her own show, but we reckon she’d be up for revisiting the Pyramid Stage.
18Let’s Eat Grandma
Why: They’re a truly interesting band who deserve to begin making their way up the festival line-up hierarchy. It would be great to see something a bit more boundary-pushing in the big slots too.
Where they could headline: They’d have to start off somewhere small, but the Norwich ladies could easily handle the likes of Neighbourhood or Dot 2 Dot come next year.
19Carly Rae Jepsen
Why: Her last album ‘EMOTION’ was slick pop at its best and the sheer love her fanbase has for her would make any festival that booked her one filled with an incredible atmosphere.
Where they could headline: Mighty Hoopla is an obvious one, or British Summer Time.