meta-scriptMusic Festivals 2024 Guide: Lineups & Dates For Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo & Much More | GRAMMY.com
The crowd at Coachella
A crowd of Coachella festival goers on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California.

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella

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Music Festivals 2024 Guide: Lineups & Dates For Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo & Much More

Festival season is officially upon us, and 2024 is jam-packed with events to remember. Here's a breakdown of the biggest music festivals happening near you, spanning every genre and vibe.

GRAMMYs/Mar 12, 2024 - 09:56 pm

Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 19 to reflect Lollapalooza’s announced lineup.

Down in Austin, South by Southwest has returned — and it's a harbinger of so much to come. SXSW 2024 is the unofficial start of festival season, which kicks off in earnest with Coachella on April 12 in California.

If you're not west of the Mississippi, fear not. Spring, summer and beyond will bring a plethora of can't-miss music bashes, all over the country.

Obviously, it's impossible to cover them all in one post. But GRAMMY.com can provide a cross section, demonstrative of the sheer range of genres at play. So let this list spur you to find all the festivals near you!

Check it out below — and we'll see you stagefront, under the sun! (This list will be continually updated once more info comes out.)

Rolling Loud 

Inglewood, California (Mar. 14–17)

All rap fans know Rolling Loud as the summit of hyped — as Billboard once declared, they're "the be-all of hip-hop." The lineup for Miami hasn't been announced yet, but Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert are confirmed to rock the mic.

Tortuga Music Festival

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Apr. 5–7)

From incredible, cross-genre tunes to important ocean conservation work, Tortuga Music Festival has got it all! This year, don’t miss artists like Lainey Wilson, Hardy, Jason Aldean, and many more.

Coachella

Indio, California (Apr. 12–13 & Apr. 20–21)

Coachella is arguably the mother of them all — and it's coming right up! (Exactly a month from now, at press time.)

Coachella 2024 offers two major reunions, in No Doubt and Sublime — for the latter, Jakob Nowell, son of Bradley, has taken the helm — and attention-grabbing headliners in Lana Del Rey; Tyler, the Creator; and Doja Cat.

Read More: Official Coachella 2024 Lineup: Headliners Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator And Doja Cat To Lead A Pack of Performers Including No Doubt & Others

Ultra Music Festival

Miami, Florida (Mar. 22–24)

This preeminent haven for electronic music is back, with the cream of the crop from the DJ world — everyone from David Guetta to Elderbrook and beyond will be bringing the heat!

Stagecoach 

Indio, California (Apr. 26–28)

Of course, Coachella is a multi-genre festival. But if country is specifically your cup of tea — well, there's another reason to bomb out to the desert.

A week after Coachella's second weekend, Stagecoach will throw down with headliners Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Morgan Wallen. The rest of the lineup is highly rangey, with a country essence: Jelly Roll, Post Malone, Willie Nelson, and many more will grace the stage.

Breakaway Music Festival

Nationwide (April-October)

Pop, dance, EDM — Breakaway Music Festival has got it all. And it’s probably coming to a city near you; it hits the Midwest, the South and the West Coast.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 

New Orleans, Louisiana (Apr. 25–May 5)

A massive swath of music contains jazz, and NOLA Jazz Fest underlines this reality every year. The Rolling Stones? Neil Young and Crazy Horse? Doo-wop is baked into them. So on and so forth.

Outside of dyed-in-the-wool jazzers like Samara Joy, Nicholas Payton and Jon Batiste, this year's two-weekend lineup will also feature Foo Fighters, the Revivalists, Queen Latifah, and other greats — as well as Mardi Gras Indians "Big Chief" Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, and a slew of local talent.

Head In The Clouds 

Queens New York (May 11–12)

As spring drifts into the summer, don't miss Head in the Clouds if you're in the Northeast; it's chock full of Asian American music and heritage, across a multitude of genres, just in time for AAPI Heritage Month.

Held at Queens' Forest Hills Stadium, Head In The Clouds features (G)I-DLE to Balming Tiger to Spence Lee and others.

Lightning in a Bottle

Buena Vista Lake, California (May 22-27)

Central Valley, represent! The California region is proud to announce the lineup for the electronic-focused festival Lightning in a Bottle, with special performances by Skrillex, James Blake and many more. Head over here for the lineup.

BottleRock Napa Valley 

Napa, California (May 24–26)

This three-day music, wine, food, and brew fest in the heart of wine country will feature headliners Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam and Ed Sheeran, rounded out by giants like St. Vincent, Queens of the Stone Age, Norah Jones, and many more.

Outlaw Music Festival

Nationwide (June-September 2024)

With the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour in the rearview, Bob Dylan is rolling around the Willie Nelson & Family, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and Celisse for what will be an unforgettable, legend-stuffed night of music for all.

SummerStage

New York City (June-August 2024)

New York’s favorite outdoor concert series has come roaring back! Don’t miss performances by Kim Gordon, Sun Ra Arkestra, Snail Mail, and many more — info and full lineup here.

Bonnaroo 

Manchester, Tennessee (June 13–16)

This world-renowned fest outside of Nashville boasts an incredibly vibey lineup for 2024; if you'd like to party to the sounds of Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fred Again.., and dozens more, make a beeline down south this June.

Glastonbury

Somerset, England (June 26–30)

No, it’s not in the United States, but it’s momentous enough to mention anyway. This year, Dua Lipa, Coldplay, SZA, and so many more will perform at the epic Brit blowout.

Essence Festival 2024 

New Orleans, Louisiana (July 4–7)

Essence Festival is turning 30! This bastion of Black music, culture and identity will ring in three decades with what's sure to be an outstanding lineup of artists.

Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, Illinois (July 19–21)

Artists as varied as Black Pumas, 100 Gecs, Alanis Morrissette, and Brittany Howard will headline the biggest day for the massively influential music site’s in-house fest.

Lollapalooza 

Grant Park, Chicago (Aug. 1–4)

The lineup for Lollapalooza has been announced! SZA; Tyler, the Creator; Blink-182, the Killers, Skrillex, and more will headline. Check out the full lineup below.

Hinterland Music Festival

St. Charles, Iowa (Aug. 4-6)

Hinterland won’t just feature some serious indie heavyweights, like Vampire Weekend, Noah Kahan and Orville Peck; it features curiosity-piquing arts and crafts vendors and spectacular camping.

Outside Lands 

San Francisco, California (Aug. 9–11)

Ditto the Bay Area favorite — but we do know it's happening from August 9 to 11. Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion and other mighty artists performed last year. The full lineup has been announced — visit here for the scoop.

North Coast Music Festival

Chicago, Illinois (Aug. 30–Sept. 1)

Calling all EDM fans: North Coast is bringing Above & Beyond, Subtronics, Sullivan King, and many more to the Windy City in 2024.

Austin City Limits 

Austin, Texas (Oct. 4–8, & Oct. 11–13)

No lineup yet for the longest-running music series in TV history — but you can sign up to be the first to know about it.

Aftershock Fest

Real rockers only: Aftershock Festival has been rolling for more than a decade, and its momentum is only building. Topping the bill in 2024 are Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Slipknot, a reunited Slayer… and that's just for starters.

III Points

Miami, Florida (Oct. 18-19)

This unforgettable Miami bash just added some muscular dance/electronic talent to its lineup: Arca, Cloonee, Justice, and so much more. Click here for details.

Golden Sky

Sacramento, California (Oct.18–20)

Country music and beer are two of America's pastimes, and Golden Sky will feature the best of both. Come for Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, and so many more, and stay for the brews!

When We Were Young

Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct.19–20)

It's always momentous when the emo kids of yesteryear come back out to play — and if you can believe it, it's almost time for another When We Were Young.

My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Coheed and Cambria, and many more will be there for another helping of Myspace-era sounds — and long-dormant emotions. And they'll be playing the full albums you know and love — just check the poster!

Artists Who Are Going On Tour In 2024: The Rolling Stones, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo & More

Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction on stage at Lollapalooza 2003.
Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction at Lollapalooza 2003.

Photo: J. Shearer/WireImage/GettyImages

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'Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza' Recounts How An Alt Rock Fest Laid The Blueprint For Bonnaroo & More

A new three-part documentary on Paramount+ traces the origin of Lollapalooza from its early days as a traveling alt-rock showcase initially conceived as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction, to the three-day Chicago-based festival that exists today.

GRAMMYs/May 22, 2024 - 09:27 pm

Few music festivals have had the cultural impact of Lollapalooza. 

Conceived in 1991 as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction by lead singer Perry Farrell, the festival quickly became a traveling showcase for alt-rock and counterculture. Its eclectic lineups, which also included punk, metal, and hip-hop acts, helped define a generation's musical tastes. 

A new, three-episode documentary, "Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza," takes an in-depth look at the festival's journey over three decades. From its early days of bringing together alt acts including Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Pearl Jam, and the Beastie Boys, Lollapalooza has evolved into what it is today: a three-day festival based in Chicago's Grant Park since 2005. The festival remains an enduring celebration of alternative music.

"Lolla" explores how Lollapalooza defied expectations by both embracing and helping shape the emerging youth culture of the '90s — a rebellious, introspective shift from the flashy excess of the '80s. The docuseries highlights the festival's influence through a trove of archival footage and exclusive interviews with Lollapalooza co-founders, show promoters, bookers, MTV hosts. Of course, "Lolla" features a who's who of '90s-era rockers — including Farrell himself, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, Donita Sparks from L7, Ice-T

To watch "Lolla" is to open a time capsule for alternative culture, one where the stage becomes a symbol of generational change. Read on for five takeaways from the documentary, which is now streaming on Paramount+. 

The Reading Festival Served As Inspiration

For their farewell tour, Jane's Addiction decided to emulate the UK Reading Festival's approach to curating live music and alternative acts in a multi-day, open-air forum (where bands like the Buzzcocks and Pixies played to crowds of 40,000). 

Jane's Addiction had been scheduled to play the 1990 Reading Festival, but Farrell partied too much the night before after a club gig and lost his voice, and the band had to cancel. Drummer Stephen Perkins and future Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger decided to check out the event anyway, which planted the seed for the future tour. 

"Reading was a cornucopia of artists, and scenes, and curation, and it was such a vibe," recalled Geiger in an interview scene from the doc. "I remember saying, 'Perry, we have to do it.'"

Farrell was game after missing his chance to see Reading first-hand. So Lollapalooza co-founders Geiger, Don Muller and Ted Gardner, who was also Jane's Addiction band manager, got to work emulating the Reading model. In addition to live music, Farrell wanted something "completely subversive" with booths to engage festival goers with everything from henna tattoos and art galleries, to nonprofit and political organizations like Greenpeace, PETA, the Surfrider Foundation, and even voter registration for the Rock The Vote campaign. The result was art and activism combined with commerce.

Lolla Was Born From The Death Of Jane's Addiction

Although Jane's Addiction had a big buzz with their third album, Ritual de lo Habitual, the band was on the edge of  dissolution. "We really couldn't stand each other," admitted Farrell. Ready for his next act, Farrell saw the opportunity to end on a high note with Jane's Addiction. "The best work we did, we left on the stage at Lolla," he said in the doc. 

In the early '90s, alternative acts were not selling out massive venues. Organizers were on edge, hoping fans would buy tickets and show up to not one, but 28 U.S. tour dates featuring the seven-act lineup for the first-ever Lollapalooza.

What nobody expected was the watershed success. The first show saw fans sweat it out to see their favorite acts in Phoenix, on a day with temperatures well over 100 degrees. Nine Inch Nails' equipment melted in the heat, leading the band to destroy their failing gear before walking off the stage. 

Despite initial hiccups, the tour wasn't hindered. Lollapalooza's first year sold out in a majority of venues holding 15-18,000 people, driven largely by word-of-mouth and favorable coverage by MTV.  

"I think everybody knew and ultimately felt, 'wow, I'm sort of lucky to be here — I'm part of something,'" recalled Geiger in the doc. "It was bigger than anything these artists or fans had seen at that time."

Lollapalooza '92 further mixed genres on the main stage — like gangsta rap (Ice Cube), grunge (Pearl Jam) and shoegaze (Lush) — while greatly expanding the line-up on a side stage upon which Farrell and Perkins introduced their new band Porno For Pyros, alongside many other acts. Lollapalooza's model was born. 

Early Years Embraced Racial Inclusivity, But Lagged Gender-Wise

Right from the start, Lollapalooza organizers mixed up the bill beyond white artists that traditionally headlined rock concerts long before and after Jimi Hendrix performed at Woodstock and Monterey Pop. Part of why Lollapalooza thrived is the inclusion of bands like Ice-T's Body Count, Fishbone, and Living Colour — favorite headliners during the early tours.

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello credited Living Colour with helping build "the alternative arc" and opening doors for Rage. "Without Living Colour, Rage Against The Machine doesn't get a record deal. Ever," Morello said. 

A big moment came near the end of the '91 tour when Ice-T and Farrell squared off to cover Sly and the Family Stone's "Don't Call Me ******, Whitey" in which they tersely trade verses, then end up tangoing across the stage. It was a provocative performance that grabbed headlines and the audience's attention months after the high profile police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles. In '92, Soundgarden showed solidarity with Body Count by performing their controversial track "Cop Killer" with their guitarist Ernie C onstage in Miami. 

While Lolla embraced racial diversity, the early line-ups were male-dominated. Lone female act Siouxsie and the Banshees were a favorite in '91 and later Lollapalooza main stage artists, like Sonic Youth, Babes In Toyland, Lush, and the Breeders — which had more if not all female members — were outnumbered by their male counterparts.

Read more: 6 Female-Fronted Acts Reviving Rock: Wet Leg, Larkin Poe, Gretel Hänlyn & More

Donita Sparks noted that L7 got booked in '94 only after they fired off a bluntly worded fax to the organizers. "We got the offer," Sparks said, "but we had to push the issue. And we had to fight for it. 'Cause that's how much we wanted to be on Lollapalooza, and more importantly, that's how much we felt we deserved to be on Lollapalooza.

Female artists would eventually receive their Lolla dues, with Billie Eilish, Lorde, HAIM, Miley Cyrus and Karol G performing as festival headliners, and artists like Lady Gaga starting out as side stage artists before exploding in popularity and returning to headline the fest a few short years later. 

It Became A Victim Of Its Own Success

Lollapalooza from years '91 to '93 were the purest in terms of alt-rock acts, but as the event drew a wider range of talent and demand, it began to suffer a bit of an identity crisis. After all, it's hard to be a beacon for the underground scene once that culture is above ground.

By Lolla '94, attendance set records and alt-rock had hit the mainstream while grunge peaked and critics bemoaned its growing conventional status. Former second stage booker John Rubeli revealed that Nirvana turned down a $6 million offer to headline the '94 tour because of frontman Kurt Cobain's fear of selling out. Cobain's suicide a few short weeks later changed the scene. 

In '95, the festival returned with more indie bands on the mainstage, but some were eclipsed by bigger artists like Coolio, who drew a bigger crowd to the parking lot side stage. Increased popularity drove commercial sponsorship, and the event became more expensive. Ticket sales dropped. Then in '96, Farrell quit his involvement with the festival for a year in protest over the booking of Metallica, whose aggressive music and audience he felt were out of step with his vision.

"I felt disrespected," Farrell said. "I'm not putting this thing together to make the most money. I'm putting this thing together to make the most joy."

Upon his return in 1997, Farrell's inclusion of electronic acts like the Orbital and the Prodigy were, to some ears, ahead of the curve. The festival then went on a six-year hiatus. 

Lollapalooza returned on shaky legs for its 2003 tour, which included Audioslave, Incubus, the Donnas, and the reunion of Jane's Addiction. But it was truly reborn in 2005 as a three-day event in Chicago through concert promoters C3 Presents (who co-executive produced the "Lolla" doc).  Admittedly, some of the 21st century headliners like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Journey, and Paul McCartney would never have fit the '90s festival bill. 

Times have changed and, today, the festival has embraced its conventional success while retaining its original genre-spanning reach with the Killers, Melanie Martinez, Skrillex, and Tyler, the Creator included on this summer's lineup.

Lolla Was A Model For Coachella, Bonnaroo, And Beyond

Prior to the arrival of Lollapalooza, rock festivals were usually single weekend events that took place in a fixed location, like Woodstock in '69, Steve Wozniak's US Festival in '82 and '83, and European festivals like Reading. "I just think it's the first American, truly eclectic concert series since Woodstock," said Ice-T. "And even Woodstock wasn't as eclectic because Woodstock was pretty much all rock."

Lollapalooza's successful tour format inspired other popular tours and live events, especially in the mid-'90s. During the festival's break during the late '90s and early 00's, niche festivals like Ozzfest, Vans Warped Tour, and Lilith Fair stole the show. These festivals not only continued Lollapalooza's legacy by bringing diverse genres to cities across the country, but transformed the live music scene into a cultural phenomenon. 

While epic, genre-spanning weekend festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo have been raging since the early aughts, Lollapalooza first proved that a seemingly radical idea could grow and thrive. Incorporating a mix of rock, hip-hop, electronic, and alternative acts, inclusivity and mobility became a festival blueprint. Today, Lollapalooza is tapping into international audiences and local music scenes with versions of the festival in Argentina, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, and even Mumbai. 

Lollapalooza's success proves that the media and music industry often don't realize the size and passion of certain scenes and subcultures until they're brought together in the right setting. By uniting diverse musical acts and their fans, Lollapalooza highlights eclectic talent but also shows just how much people crave that representation and diversity.

Music Festivals 2024 Guide: Lineups & Dates For Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo & Much More

Wyatt Flores Press Photo 2024
Wyatt Flores

Photo: Matt Paskert

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Wyatt Flores On Speaking His Truth & Using Fame For Good: "I Want People To See That I've Gone Through It"

On his new EP, 'Half Life,' Wyatt Flores tackles everything from mental health to his complicated relationship with fame and religion. Ahead of his Stagecoach Festival debut, the rising country star discusses expressing "wherever I am in my heart."

GRAMMYs/Apr 26, 2024 - 03:42 pm

When Wyatt Flores released his second EP, Half Life, on April 19, he ended his celebratory Instagram post with one simple wish: "I hope these songs make you feel something."

That's been Flores' mantra since the rising country singer first began releasing music just three years ago. Hailed as one of the genre's most honest new stars, Flores speaks his truth in his red dirt music, on stage, and on social media. As Half Life showcases, he's unafraid to broach life's toughest topics, from suicidal thoughts on "Devil" to a complicated relationship with religion on "I Believe In God."

"I like to keep it very based on what I felt, and just try and go for that emotion," Flores says of his music. "If you can somehow captivate [listeners] in the story and make them feel the emotion through the song, then you've done your job. I guess that's all I'm after."

His unabashed vulnerability has made his music resonate widely — and fast. In 2023, Flores went from playing for hundreds to thousands in a matter of months, garnering more than 325 million global streams and more than 13 million TikTok likes along the way. He consistently uses his rapidly growing platform to champion self-care and mental health, even taking a brief tour hiatus in February to get himself back on track.

Two months later, Flores assures that he's feeling rejuvenated and healthier than ever, sparking some happier tunes that even caught him by surprise (more on that later). He'll spend the summer playing a mix of headlining shows, festival stages and a few supporting slots for Mitski, first kicking things off with his debut at Stagecoach on April 26.

As Flores gears up for tour, he sat down with GRAMMY.com during some time off in his native Oklahoma to chat about his remarkable rise, the complexities of being so vulnerable, and how he feels like he's getting the "best of both worlds."

Do you remember the first show that you were like, "What is happening?"

Yeah, it was Asheville, North Carolina. It was either the last week of April last year or the first week of May, I can't quite remember. But that was my first ever sold-out headline show. I think the venue cap was like 550, and they were screaming so loud that I got off stage and I was like, "Did anyone feel like there was a trash can going off in their ear?" And then my bass player, Bill, was like, "No, that's the last time you'll hear that frequency." 

That was where everything changed. It kind of started making me realize how real this was getting. Then, everywhere we went, [it was a] sold-out crowd, and they're excited as all get out. I literally thought that I was living a dream. 

I played at, you know, the s—iest hole in the walls you could ever imagine. I just thought I was gonna be there forever. Honestly, I was still having fun doing that. But I just couldn't believe the dramatic change that happened.

At what point did it actually feel real?

It was probably when we played Dallas [in December of] last year. That was the biggest room that we'd ever played. I was like, 3,000 people bought tickets to show up to my show. And then I just kind of had to kind of process like what was actually going on. I kept questioning it for the longest time, but that night it was just different.

We had just played in Fort Worth, like, three months [before that], and that was 600 people. So when we played Dallas, that was when I just looked at the crowd and I was like, Okay, this is it.

That's interesting, because you had to cancel a stretch of shows not long after that. Was that kind of all correlating — taking it in, but being overwhelmed from all of it?

Yeah, because there's a lot of things that went on in my life that I never took the time to process, and that was one of the first things — being like, This is my life from now on. And I think that's what I liked about the Life Lessons project so much, was giving listeners an inside view on what it looks like to be on this side of the fence. Because everyone thinks that it's gotta be the most wild thing to be an artist, but I don't think they realize what comes with it. 

I'm still sitting here going, I shouldn't be on this interview with you. I don't deserve it. Like, I don't have the cool style, I show up in sweatshirts and s—ty Adidas shoes. I don't put myself on a pedestal.

I've never wanted to become something I'm not, and that's kind of been the hard point. Because, you know, you got folks from the hometown [saying], "Don't forget who you are!" And then all of a sudden you get lost in all of it. And then you're sitting there going, Do I even know who I am? 

Making some healthier changes kind of opened up some other wounds that I bottled up. I never processed my grandpa's death, and at the same time that that was all going down, I was also firing management — which, they say in Nashville, the manager should be the one person that you do trust. 

I took one week off so I could come back for [my grandpa's] funeral, and had to delay some shows there. And then I was homeless for two weeks from another situation. But I was like, Nope, I'm just gonna work my ass off. I'm just gonna show up, do what I need to do. And I never took the time to actually look at anything that had happened. And that's kind of where the falloff went, because I was just trying to survive the chaos.

I'm sure it's hard being in the spotlight period while  going through so much  at the same time.

For a while, there were certain things that I did not like about myself. [I felt like I was] changing personalities. I know most people can't see it, but that was something that I was struggling with. Everyone was seeing how happy I was through social media — because I'm not afraid to post the silly s— that goes down on the road; me being a jackass in the van or something like that — but then people expected that from me. 

I had to fully come to terms with, wherever I am in my heart, that's who I am right there in that moment. I don't have to portray this image that people see just because we post it on social media.

I also think it's amazing to have the platform you do and be so honest about how you're feeling. Because it's probably healing for you, but also going to be healing for the people who see it — even if it's challenging and really personal to admit.

I put down my phone for a really long time, which was one of the best things ever. [Laughs.] I came back and I went through my DMs. People were like, "Thank you for saying something because I finally had the encouragement to say something to my wife" or something else. I'm glad that it gave people the encouragement to speak up, because if I don't, then how will they? 

I look at my fans, and I'm blessed. There's no better fan base, they're the sweetest people ever. They are diehard fans, but they talk to me like I'm their friend, like they've known me forever. For them to trust someone enough to say something [about] how they feel or what's going on in their lives, that means the absolute world to me.

Clearly that means that what you bring to the table is what your fans are also going to bring to the table for you.

One of the things that I've been trying to work through, is realizing that I can listen to their problems, but I can't take their problems with me. And that was something that I had to learn. I was like, I can't do that to myself, or I'm gonna plummet.

There was a time when we were in Colorado, and someone had sent me these messages [about this girl], and I ended up looking [her] up. She was an eighth grade girl, and the last video she had posted on TikTok was of "Please Don't Go." She'd committed suicide a month after she had posted that. Her mom was trying to raise attention towards bullying and things like that. 

It was hard for us. But we had to look at it through a new perspective. And it's like, we can't change someone's decision, as badly as you want to. And we try and look at it from this perspective of, How long did that song keep them here? Time is valuable, and even if it was for another month, at least it kept them here just a little bit longer, kept them through the fight. Even though you don't always win.

We're not just out here playing music. I still love the party songs. "West of Tulsa" is always fun to look out in the crowd, and they're having a great time. But we're not just playing music because we're here to distract people from their problems. We're lucky enough that we do get to save lives, and we get to do it through music. But it's also one of those things where I'm sitting there going, I'm a 22-year-old kid from Oklahoma, and I have this power. Am I going to use it correctly?

Now that you know that your music is so powerful to so many people, has it changed the way that you approach your songwriting?

A little bit. You know, the songs that I write are songs that I feel. I'm ADHD as all get out, so when I show up to write, it's whatever I'm feeling that day. But yeah, there's a little bit in the back of my head that says, Watch out for something like this, you don't want to say the wrong message here

I want to write these songs that are sad, that are very dark, and lost is kind of the feeling. Because I want people to see that I've gone through it, so that way, they can get a better understanding that they're not the only one. 

My inspiration was to be the artist that had those songs that kind of pulled me through my stuff. There's all sorts of jokes and like memes about when the song doesn't hit you hard enough the first time so you play it again, or, like, when you're sitting in a vehicle after you've already gotten home but you sit there until the song ends. That was always kind of a goal for me. I was like, I want to be that song that kind of helps them get through the next day. 

That's the way I kind of look at it when I play these shows. And I sit back and I look at the crowd, and I'm like, I get to be a part of y'all's lives every single day, and that is the coolest thing that I've ever done.

It's funny, there's always that interview question like, "What are your goals?" but it sounds like you've already accomplished the main one. 

Oh, absolutely. I've been having to find new goals because I've lived my dream. Like, if I died tomorrow, I'd hang my hat proudly. I've helped people, I've played all the venues — well, I guess I haven't played Red Rocks yet. That's coming up, though.

I'm still thinking, because it's just now finally hit me that, like, You've kind of done the damn thing. So it's like, What do you want to do now? I have all these wild ideas. I usually throw out some out of pocket s— and then I let someone else come up with if it's gonna work or not. My business manager hates me. [Laughs.]

Were you raised to be so connected with your feelings, or was it just kind of an innate thing for you?

I think I always felt out of place wherever I was. I was always kind of the weird kid. My friends hated me because I started talking about sappy s—. I'd want to have deep, meaningful conversations and sometimes they'd be like, "Would you just shut up?" [Laughs.]

But what I realized is that I'm very big on connection. At some point, not fitting in and being different kind of all changed for me. I was like, I can't change it, so I might as well be it.

Have you ever questioned how honest you're being in your music? 

For the most part, I don't try and hold back. In some ways, it is scary, but in other ways, it's kind of just telling your truth so people don't get shocked by something that you do.

For the first time, I'm writing happier songs. And I'm skeptical to see how people take that. I mean, I've had Life Lessons and stuff like that, but yeah, this is definitely a weird time in my life where I'm like, I'm writing happy songs, and I don't even know how to feel about it. Now, I'm like, How do I share happiness? How do I contain that idea, and that emotion, and put it into a song so it comes out to the listener and they feel it?

You're allowed to be happy! And with everything that's been happening for you lately, I'm not surprised you're happy.

[Fans] always say "We made the right person famous." It's been two short years of really doing this thing. And we're blessed.

I freakin' love playing live, I just had other things going on in the background that I never took time [to process]. For a while, I wanted to blame a lot of things that wasn't it. And then, I went to Onsite [Workshops, a therapy, counseling and wellness retreat center in Tennessee] for like a week and got my head back to normal. 

Playing live is what makes it all worth it. I knew that I was going to have to work for this, and I'm getting to see the fruits of my labor. I'm finally getting some time off. I'm getting to actually spend some quality time, but I at least now know how to have quality time in the healthiest way. Because for a while, I couldn't shut the other brain off. I'd come home and I was still somewhere else. 

I can't believe that I get the best of both worlds. That usually doesn't happen where you get your cake and eat it too. S—, I might go fishing later! I get to be on the road, play to thousands of people, and then I get to go fishing? I think the only thing that's missing is I don't have a boat. Man, I just might have to weld me one.  

Meet Charles Wesley Godwin, The Rising Country Singer Who's Turning "A Very Human Story" Into Stardom

Blur in Tokyo in November 1994
Blur in Tokyo in November 1994.

Photo: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images

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7 Ways Blur's 'Parklife' Served As The Genesis Of Britpop

On the heels of their Coachella return, Blur celebrates the 30th anniversary of their opus, 'Parklife,' on April 25. Take a look at how the album helped bring Britpop to the mainstream.

GRAMMYs/Apr 25, 2024 - 02:33 pm

In April 1993, journalist Stuart Maconie coined the term Britpop for a Select magazine article celebrating the UK's fight back against the dominance of American rock. Remarkably, London four-piece Blur weren't even mentioned in the story. And yet, frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James, and drummer Dave Rowntree would provide the catalyst for the scene's mainstream breakthrough.

Just a year later, Blur released what many consider to be Britpop's defining statement. Parklife served as a colorful, vibrant, and incredibly infectious love letter to all things Anglocentric, drawing upon the nation's great cultural heritage while also foreshadowing what was to come. And it instantly struck a chord with homegrown audiences desperate for guitar music that wasn't drowning in abject misery, and better reflected their day-to-day lives.

Remarkably, Albarn had predicted Parklife's success four years earlier. As he declared to music writer David Cavanagh in 1990, "When our third album comes out, our place as the quintessential English band of the '90s will be assured. That is a simple statement of fact."

Three decades after its game-changing release, here's a look at how Parklife forever changed both Blur's career trajectory and the history of British rock.

It Kickstarted Britpop's Greatest Rivalry

In one of those great rock coincidences, Blur's third LP hit the shelves just 24 hours after "Supersonic" gave a then-relative unknown Manchester outfit named Oasis their first ever UK Top 40 single. And the two bands would remain intertwined (perhaps begrudgingly so) from then on, culminating in the most high-profile chart battle in British music history.

You could argue that Oasis' Noel Gallagher threw the first stone, describing Parklife as "Southern England personified" in a manner that suggested it wasn't exactly complimentary. And according to his manager Alan McGee, Definitely Maybe cut "Digsy's Dinner" was written as a deliberate "piss-take of Blur."

An increasingly bitter war of words then broke out in the summer of 1995 as the "Country House" versus "Roll With It" war swept the nation. Blur emerged victorious, although Oasis had the last laugh when (What's The Story) Morning Glory spent 10 weeks atop the UK album chart.

It Brought Storytelling Back To Indie Pop

Heavily inspired by Martin Amis novel London Fields, Parklife was inhabited by a cast of intriguing fictional characters, essentially doubling up as a series of short stories. "Tracy Jacks," for example, is about a golf-obsessed civil servant who ends up getting arrested for public indecency before bulldozing his own house.

"Magic America" is the tale of Bill Barret, a Brit who commits to a life of excess during a Stateside holiday ("Took a cab to the shopping malls/ Bought and ate until he could do neither anymore"), while "Clover Over Dover" explores the mindset of a manipulative boyfriend threatening to jumping off the titular white cliffs.

Over the following 18 months, everything from Pulp's "Common People" and Space's "Neighbourhood" to Supergrass' "Caught by the Fuzz" and The Boo Radleys' "It's Lulu" were combining classic British guitar pop with witty Mike Leigh-esque vignettes of modern life.

It Originated The Big Indie Ballad

Dramatic ballads aren't necessarily the first thing that come to mind with Parklife, a record famed for its jaunty, "knees-up Mother Brown" ditties. But it boasts two examples: "To The End," an alternate Bond theme featuring a burst of Gallic flair from Stereolab's Laetitia Sadler, and the swoonsome "This Is A Low." Turns out the "mystical lager-eater" the record was designed to embody could also get a little vulnerable from time to time.

This appeared to give all of their laddish peers some pause for thought. Oasis, the most fervent advocates of the "cigarettes and alcohol" lifestyle, later scored their biggest hit with acoustic ballad "Wonderwall." And bands including Cast ("Walkaway"), Shed Seven ("Chasing Rainbows") and Menswear ("Being Brave") all enjoyed UK hits revealing their softer sides. No doubt Coldplay, Travis, and every other sensitive post-Britpop outfit that emerged in the late 1990s were taking notes, too.

It Paid Respect To The Greats

The Britpop scene was renowned for its slavish devotion to the first time British guitar bands ruled the airwaves, the Swinging Sixties. Oasis freely admitted they modeled themselves on the Beatles, while the likes of Ocean Colour Scene, Kula Shaker and The Paul Weller all released albums that sounded like they'd been discovered in a vintage record shop.

And while Blur would later distance themselves from the past with a sense of invention (which Albarn would also parlay into his various side projects, including the virtual band Gorillaz), they were more than happy to get all nostalgic on Parklife. See "Far Out," their only track to feature James on lead vocal, which resembled the trippy psychedelia of Pink Floyd in their Syd Barrett era, and the Sgt. Pepper-esque brassy instrumental "The Debt Collector," while there are also echoes of the Walker Brothers, The Kinks, and Small Faces. Suddenly, retro was the new cool.

It Turned Blur Into Britain's Biggest Guitar Band

The UK Top 10 success of 1991's "There's No Other Way" proved to be something of a false start for Blur, with the band soon falling by the wayside like every other baggy pop outfit that emerged at the turn of the decade. "Popscene," the 1992 single intended to revolutionize both their career and British guitar music in general, stalled at No. 32, while 1993 sophomore Modern Life is Rubbish sold just 40,000 copies.

But Parklife single-handedly turned Blur into Britain's biggest guitar band, reaching No. 1 in their homeland, spending 82 weeks in the Top 40, and eventually becoming a million-seller. It went on to pick up four BRITs, a Mercury Prize nomination, and has been recognized as an all-time great by Spin, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. Further proof of its glowing reputation came in 2009 when Royal Mail selected it as one of 10 albums worthy of commemorating on a postage stamp.

It Spawned A String Of Classic Singles

Parklife's campaign was kicked off in March 1994 with "Girls and Boys," a glorious dissection of British vacationers — which, surprisingly in the days when genre-hopping was frowned upon — evoked the '80s synth-pop of Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys. Rowntree was even replaced by a drum machine, not that he particularly minded, luckily.

This indie floorfiller was followed up by the hugely underrated "To The End" and then the much-quoted title track. Everything about "Parklife" the song is larger than life: the Cockney geezer narration from Quadrophenia's Phil Daniels, the festival-friendly sing-along chorus, and the brightly colored video in which James — perhaps tipping his hat to Queen's "I Want to Break Free" -– donned soap opera drag. But fourth release "End of a Century," a melancholic tale of domestic drudgery complete with mournful trombone solo, once again proved there was a depth beyond their cheeky chappy personas.

It Made Brits Proud To Be British Again

Unable to connect with the oppressive angst and flannel shirts of the grunge movement that had plagued their first major North American tour in 1992, Blur first started to embrace their inherent Englishness on the following year's Modern Life is Rubbish. Unfortunately, this throwback to the original British Invasion was met with a resounding shrug of the shoulders on both sides of the Atlantic.

Undeterred, however, the band doubled down on all things Anglocentric on its follow-up, from its original title of London, to its greyhound racing cover art, to its celebrations of bank holidays, Club 18-30 holidays, and shipping forecasts. This time around, they managed to capture the zeitgeist (at home, at least), as the rise of New Labour and the forthcoming hosting of Euro '96 made everyone proud to be British again. Within 12 months, the UK charts were littered with homegrown guitar bands selling the idea of the English dream — and it all started with Parklife.

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Photo of Queen Latifah performing onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards in 2023. She is wearing a black shirt and black jacket with gold hoop earrings and a tall bun in her hair.
Queen Latifah performs during the 2023 GRAMMYs

Photo: JC Olivera/WireImage

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10 Must-See Artists At New Orleans Jazz Fest 2024: The Rolling Stones, Big Freedia & More

Held over two weeks and spread across 14 stages, NoLa's Jazz and Heritage Festival is stacked with A-list headliners and a host of incredibly talented performers in smaller text. Read on for 10 artists to see at the Crescent City's hallmark music fest.

GRAMMYs/Apr 22, 2024 - 03:01 pm

Year after year, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival drops lineups of unparalleled cultural depth and diversity, so there’s always an expectation for greatness. But when the roster was announced for its 53rd edition, one name at the top prompted an eye-popping response: the Rolling Stones.

Even if you’re not a fan, there’s no denying that the Stones are one whopper of a get. They hardly ever play at festivals, after all. But their presence is just the tip of the iceberg on a bill that represents a staggering amount of musical talent ranging from classic to contemporary across the event’s two four-day weekends (April 25-28 and May 2-5) held at the city’s expansive Fair Grounds Race Course. 

Within the fest poster’s top few lines alone, you’ve got not only heavy-hitters like the Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton, the Killers and Greta Van Fleet, but also definitive cultural icons like Neil Young, Queen Latifah, the Beach Boys, Earth, Wind & Fire and Bonnie Raitt … and then a few hundred other artists to sift through. 

So, if you’re headed to the Crescent City for either weekend (or both), you’re gonna need to make some hard choices — the schedule, spread out across 14 stages, is stacked, and you won’t want to be making all your decisions split-second and accidentally miss out on something unsuspectingly spectacular while navigating your way through seas of people (total attendance usually tops out between 450-500,000 over the course of the entire affair). Read on for all the info on 10 of this year’s must-see acts — from up-and-comers to certified superstars, to get you started.

Robert Finley 

Performing: April 25, Blues Tent

Blues and soul man Robert Finley performs in a way that might make you think he’s a legend who’s been playing on stages forever, which is only sort of true. The 70-year-old Louisiana native (from Bernice, just east of Shreveport), picked up music as a kid and worked as a U.S. Army bandleader while serving in Germany in the 1970s, but didn’t get his break until 2015 when he met Big Legal Mess Records producer Bruce Watson, who recognized Finley’s talent and the following year released his fittingly titled debut album Age Don’t Mean a Thing.

Fast forward to now, and the singer/guitarist has three more albums under his belt, each of those produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach via his label Easy Eye Sound. Finely was one of many artists whose scheduled debuts at Jazz Fest 2020 fell through because of the event’s cancellation due to COVID, so his April 25 performance in the Blues tent will mark his first appearance at the New Orleans fest. 

His latest full-length, 2023’s Black Bayou, is described as a "tour de force that coalesces gospel, blues, soul, and rock into a raw, thundering tribute to Finley’s home state of Louisiana," which sounds pretty dang perfect for a set that helps kick off two weekends of Jazz Fest.

Big Freedia

Performing: April 27, Congo Square Stage

Queen of bounce music, queen diva … with their twelfth performance at the New Orleans festival slated for April 27, Big Freedia might be well on their way to becoming queen of Jazz Fest. Given all those appearances and their constant local presence, you’re likely in the know and don’t need extra urging to catch the set on the Congo Square stage if you’re a NOLA resident. 

For anyone else, here’s the rundown: Freedia’s music — known as bounce — is something that must be witnessed live to fully appreciate it. The multi-sensory experience incorporates hip-hop, electro/dance elements, a lot of call and response and a ton of twerking, always assisted by at least a few impressively acrobatic backup dancers. 

Freedia only has two official full-length albums, 2014’s Just Be Free and 2023’s Central City, but other recordings and collaborations abound, including a feature (via sample from first-album track "Explode") on Beyoncé’s GRAMMY-winning Renaissance single "Break My Soul." Your Jazz Fest outing will not be complete without at least a little time spent gettin’ down with the Queen Diva.

Fantasia 

Performing: April 27, Congo Square Stage

Singer and actress Fantasia hasn’t released an album since 2019’s Sketchbook, but her return to Jazz Fest couldn’t come at a more auspicious time (she debuted at the festival in 2011, shortly after winning the GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for 2010 single "Bittersweet"). Following her starring role in 2023’s musical movie adaptation of The Color Purple, Fantasia appeared at the 66th GRAMMY Awards in February to perform Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" as part of a tribute to the late "Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll."

There are already tributes to Turner planned — one at the fest proper from Adonis Rose and NOJO on April 26, and another from Grace Potter and Boyfriend at a satellite show at the Orpheum Theater on May 2. Fantasia could appear at either of those, but it feels just as likely that she’ll work in her own homage during her Congo Square stage set on April 27. She may also preview some new music: It’s been nearly two years since it was reported that Fantasia had two albums in the pipeline, one of them a gospel record.

The Rolling Stones

Performing: May 2, Festival Stage

The Rolling Stones have for years been Jazz Fest’s veritable white whale. The legendary British rock band was booked to headline in 2019 and was forced to cancel due to Mick Jagger’s heart surgery. Their 2021 rebooking likewise fell through after a new wave of COVID caused the entire festival’s cancellation for the second year in a row (2020 and 2021 are the only years Jazz Fest did not manifest since its start in 1970). So it stands to reason that the band’s May 2 debut on the main stage will far and away be the most momentous show across the two weekends.

Unless you’re an out and out Stones hater, you shouldn’t need any other reasons beyond those to make them a top priority. But, if you need a couple more, it’s also worth considering that this stop on their 19-date U.S. Hackney Diamonds Tour will mark only the fifth time they’ve ever performed in New Orleans and, seeing as they’ve been at it for more than 60 years, there’s no telling how long they’ll continue to play live, so it may be now or never if they’re on your bucket list. 

Of course, there’s also the music: over the course of their two-hour set, it’s a sure bet they’ll bust out all the hits and, with any luck, a few once-in-a-lifetime rarities. Adding to the musical splendor, legendary New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas recently confirmed that she will perform with the Stones (the groups share the single "Time Is On My Side," which Thomas recorded in 1964).

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram 

Performing: May 3, Blues Tent

If you’re curious who’s carrying the Delta blues torch, look no further than Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. The 25-year-old, Mississippi-bred guitarist and singer has some mighty impressive credentials. At age 15, he performed in a band at the White House for Michelle Obama, and a year later he was getting props from Bootsy Collins and jamming with Buddy Guy, who went on  to fund his debut album Kingfish, released in 2019.

Ingram’s second album, 2021’s 622, earned him a golden gramophone for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 64th GRAMMY Awards, and he went on to make his Jazz Fest debut last year. He returns to headline the Blues Tent on May 3 riding the strength of third full-length, Live in London, released last September. If you need any extra motivation to go see one of the young saviors of traditional blues, give that record a spin.

Rhiannon Giddens 

Performing: May 4, Blues Tent

If you’re a fan of top-notch southern folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, soul … OK, hold up. If you’re a fan of enthralling music in general, pencil in Rhiannon Giddens’ set on May 4 in the Blues Tent at the top of your list. Giddens returns to New Orleans for her third Jazz Fest appearance following sets in 2016 and 2017, both of which were released as live albums (so you can go back and get a sneak preview of precisely how it might feel in this setting). 

You’ll be sure to hear key cuts from her latest solo full-length, 2023’s You’re the One (produced by Jack Splash, who’s repertoire also includes studio work for Kendrick Lamar, Solange and Alicia Keys), as well as tunes from her various other GRAMMY-nominated and -winning recordings, including solo albums, collaborative records and earlier work with old-time string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops

Heck, you might even hear snippets of opera — Giddens won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Music for co-composing Omar, an opera based on the autobiography of Omar ibn Said, the only memoir known to have been written by an American slave in Arabic. 

Samara Joy

Performing: May 4, WWOZ Jazz Tent

Kudos to Jazz Fest for booking Samara Joy to play a prime slot on May 4 in the WWOZ Jazz tent during the fest’s second weekend. After she nabbed GRAMMY Awards for Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album (for 2022 sophomore release Linger Awhile), it would’ve been a big miss had they not put her on. 

For Joy, whose notoriously arresting performances have already led her to playing a grip of other prestigious jazz fests around the world while touring relentlessly over the past couple of years, this appearance represents a major notch on her belt. For anyone planning to attend the fest, this is the chance to witness a major moment in the 24-year-old’s meteoric rise — history in the making.

Queen Latifah 

Performing: May 4, Congo Square Stage

Queen Latifah has been dubbed many illustrious titles over the course of her decades-long career, among them queen of rap and hip-hop. But seeing her name atop this year’s Jazz Fest roster evokes one in particular: queen of jazz-rap. No, it’s not too on the nose — since the release of her first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, her music has leaned heavily on elements of jazz, and on 2004 release The Dana Owens Album, she embraced it completely, covering standards of the genre alongside legends like Al Green and Herbie Hancock, even garnering a GRAMMY nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

That legacy paints an exciting prospective picture for her May 4 headlining set on the Congo Square stage. Could she possibly bring out some of those venerable forebears for some surprise live collaborations? It’s likewise worth noting that this show arrives only a few months after her performance in "A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop." Might this also function as a victory lap with the potential for cameos from others involved in that all-star celebration? Let’s be real though: it is her Jazz Fest debut, and a long time coming, so even a set featuring only the Queen will be one for the books.

Grupo Niche

 Performing: May 5, Congo Square Stage

Here’s one to give you an extra boost on the fest’s final day (May 5). Colombian-bred, Miami-based Grupo Niche have been considered one of the most influential salsa groups in the Americas since their formation in 1979, making them just nine years younger than the fest itself and well-deserving of their Jazz Fest debut on the Congo Square stage.

Though their final founding member and director/composer Jairo Valera passed away in 2012, the expansive group — comprised of four vocalists, five horn players, four percussionists, a bass player, keyboardist and band director — has successfully evolved and thrived. Huge credit to their perseverance: the first album released without Valera, 2020’s 40, won the Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Salsa Album that year, as well as the GRAMMY Award for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2021. 

If Grupo Niche can keep the dance party going for more than four decades, surely you can squeeze in an hour at the fest.

Celebrating Jimmy Buffett With The Coral Reefer Band

Performing: May 5, Festival Stage

Considering Jimmy Buffett’s roots in New Orleans — his busking on the streets of the French Quarter in the 1960s essentially propelled him on his path to becoming a music legend — it would be utterly irresponsible as a Jazz Fest attendee to skip the Coral Reefer Band paying tribute on May 5 via the main stage to the late singer-songwriter, who passed in September 2023. 

This will be the second official performance after his death from his backing band following their April 11 all-star outing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, which included appearances from Paul McCartney, Zac Brown and Brandi Carlile, among many others. 

No announcements have been made regarding Jazz Fest’s additions to the band, which performed there with Buffett for a dozen shows, their first in 1989 and last in 2022. Regardless, there’s no doubt it will play out as an emotional and uplifting ode to an artist who lived and breathed New Orleans music.

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