What two things do Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Coldplay and My Chemical Romance all have in common?
Time’s up. The answer is, they are all headlining major UK music festivals this summer and they are all due to play the ridiculously star-studded iTunes Festival next month.
While the iTunes fest has hardly ever been a humble affair (Amy Winehouse and Paul McCartney played in its inaugural year), this year’s line-up is a who’s who of the most popular bands touring in 2011.
Adele, Paul Simon, Linkin Park – it’s like an arms race to outdo all the other festivals and, most ridiculously of all, the whole thing is free.
Not one fan will pay not one penny to see all 62 bands playing for a whole month.
It would be beyond churlish of me to suggest that this is a bad thing, although with the heightened profile of the festival (ITV2 coverage every week etc. etc.), and only 4,000 tickets available each night, it will surely become more and more unlikely to actually win any tickets.
At first, it was clear to see what was in it for Apple. They get their name out there in a massive way, they associate their brand with the biggest and best bands, and each punter is given a lanyard enticing them to download iTunes in exchange for 10 free tracks. But how much longer can they justify laying on such a lavish festival?
Is this year’s line-up a final hurrah? Or will they be back next year with Prince, U2, David Bowie and the Beatles (wouldn’t bet against it!)? Fair play to them for finding space for a few more obscure acts, like Raphael Saadiq, Lang Lang and Swedish House Mafia, but one thing’s for sure – festival organisers up and down the land will be grinding their teeth with envy at this year’s stellar line-up:
July 1st – Paul Simon
July 2nd - Seasick Steve
July 3rd - Manic Street Preachers + Dry the River
July 4th - Linkin Park + Neon Trees
July 5th - Beady Eye
July 6th - Arctic Monkeys + Miles Kane
July 7th - Adele
July 8th - Bruno Mars + Ed Sheeran
July 9th - My Chemical Romance
July 10th - Glasvegas
July 11th - Foo Fighters + Jimmy Eat World
July 12th - The Script + Loick Essien
July 13th - White Lies + The Naked and Famous + Alice Gold
July 15th - Friendly Fires + SBTRKT
July 16th - Jessie J
July 17th – Duran Duran + Ben L’Oncle Soul
July 18th - Raphael Saadiq
July 19th - Rumer + Caitlin Rose
July 20th - Katy B + Jamie Woon
July 21st - The Wanted
July 22nd - Swedish House Mafia
July 23rd - Coldplay
July 24th - Mogwai + Errors
July 25th - Noah & The Whale + Fixers
July 26th - Lang Lang + 2CELLOS
July 27th - Magnetic Man + Alex Clare
July 28th - Chase & Status + Nero
July 29th - Kasabian
July 30th - James Morrison
July 31st - Moby
To throw your hat in the ring for any of these gigs, just head over to the iTunes Festival website. I’ve entered for the past two years and each time I’ve won at least one pair of tickets. Not sure I fancy my chances this year though…