It’s been one week since Live Nation announced plans to bring a three-day outdoor music festival to the area, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you know at least one of the massive headlining acts set to take the stage.
Jay-Z, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Nine Inch Nails, and Coldplay really need no introduction. All four are well-established groups with international followings, though they appeal to different demographics and are filed under entirely separate categories at your local music store.
While they may seem like a random group of performers, Shane Bourbonnais, President of North American Touring and Business Development for Live Nation, says selection of the lineup was deliberately diverse.
“We really wanted to go after a wide demo of artists, so from Tom Petty to Jay-Z and Coldplay, you’re all over the map,” said Bourbonnais, adding that they tried to include artists who had new records out, so they could incorporate their new material into their performance.
“I think the taste of the music is great — it’s a little bit of everything, but I think it suits the area,” said Bourbonnais.
They’ve also tried to bring in acts they think will appeal to locals.
“Coldplay, everyone listens to Coldplay — that worked out really well — and there are bands that we know that Coldplay people may like, like Death Cab For Cutie.”
Organizers took the somewhat unusual step of announcing the entire lineup at once when they made the big announcement last Thursday evening — perhaps to build the excitement — and Bourbonnais says they still have a few offers on the table to some larger acts overseas, who are trying to see if the festival dates will work with their scheduling.
Bourbonnais says they also plan to include some local bands in the festival, adding that they have already begun looking at local talent, and have their eyes on some specific acts. But up until now, organizers have been solely focused on securing the big headliners and obtaining the necessary approvals from government agencies to actually host the festival.
On top of the big names headlining for the festival, there are also a lot of Canadian bands in the lineup: The Tragically Hip, Wintersleep, Metric, Buck 65, Sam Roberts Band, and Vancouver-based Black Mountain, just to name a few.
Bourbonnais says one of the goals of the festival is to expose people to different types of music and performers.
“We hope we’re going to turn people on to a lot of new artists… and that’s one of the cool things about a festival: you go and see lots of bands and you get turned on to new things and you meet new people.”