Grandoozy 2018 presented by Superfly. Photo by: Grandoozy / YouTube
Grandoozy 2018 presented by Superfly. Photo by: Grandoozy / YouTube

Lineup Announcement Scheduled to Drop on March 20

The Mile High City will host the inaugural Grandoozy on September 14-16 at Overland Park.

Denver is known for a vibrant music and entertainment scene. The organizers of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands have been working for years to try and bring a large-scale music festival to Colorado.

As a music journalist, I understand the festival has already booked a majority of their bands for 2018, but I hope they have gone with the formula that made Bonnaroo special in 2002. In addition to covering live music, I was at Bonnaroo 2002, and saw first hand how independent music can overshadow big name acts with originality and creativity.

When I say the festival used originality and creativity to build a large audience, I mean they booked acts that were fearless about performing on stage. Those first lineups at Bonnaroo featured musicians that made their mark during late night sets at JazzFest in New Orleans. In my view, the real glue that made Bonnaroo great in the first three years was the transformation of taking acts from New Orleans, and transplanting them to a farm in Tennessee.

The next two paragraphs are suggestions for the lineup in 2018 and 2019.

A safe bet would be to book The Killers, Foo Fighters, Eminem, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Modest Mouse, Jack White, Strugill Simpson, and Lady Gaga.

A more creative bet would be to book The String Cheese Incident with the Colorado Symphony. Phish with a gospel choir. Les Claypool with multiple acts featuring Primus and Oysterhead if possible. Santigold. Widespread Panic with the Turkuaz horn section or Antibalas. Mark Ronson with special guests, (allow him to bring anyone from his music catalog.) The Soul Rebels Brass Band. Azealia Banks. ODESZA with special guests. The Revivalists back to back with Galactic. Greyboy All-Stars. Brandi Carlile with The Avett Brothers. Thievery Corporation. Peter, Bjorn, and John. Moe. with Warren Haynes. Phil and Bob duo. Gorillaz. David Byrne with Fatboy Slim. Run the Jewels. These are acts that I suggest the festival books.

When I compare the safe bet lineup to the creative bet, there is a clear division between putting work into the live sets, and allowing big name acts to perform by themselves. After covering music for almost a decade, I have found out that analog music lovers need originality to drive demand. I’ve also seen a huge demand for EDM, so finding a balance would be ideal.

It would also be excellent to have a stage or day arranged to highlight local music from Denver. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats would be a good fit. Big Gigantic is one of my favorite acts from the Denver area. Yonder Mountain String Band. Leftover Salmon. Head for the Hills. The Pretty Lights live band would also fit extremely well with this event.

Browse over the preview video, and gear up for the lineup announcement on Tuesday, March 20. Sign up to the festival’s mailing list for updates and a chance to win two VIP tickets via their main website.