Neon Desert to announce lineup Tuesday, rumors addressed

Concert+goers+watch+J+Cole+perform+at+Neon+Desert+Music+Festival+in+2015.

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Concert goers watch J Cole perform at Neon Desert Music Festival in 2015.

Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor

EDITORS NOTE: By no means is The Prospector making claims on the actuality of what the lineup could be. This review is purely based on the rumors and the likelihood of artists coming.

With only 3 months until the festival, Neon Desert announced today that they would officially release their lineup on Tuesday, March 8. After a weekend of rumored-filled lineup leaks, the concert promoters will announce who is actually coming.

On Saturday night, a leaked poster speculating the 2016 lineup with the watermark “sample” floated around social media and left fans in despair. While some Twitter users were skeptics on how accurate the poster was, others were enraged, posting about how disappointed they were with the alleged lineup.

 

Even though the validity of this poster is still up in the air, there is still a lot to discuss about what could be of this lineup, and how good or disappointing it may be.

Scouting the Rumors

These were the two different posters bouncing around over the weekend. However, there is much to discredit on the second poster.

First off, basic marketing strategies would not allow Drake and Rihanna to be beside each other because they are both in the same spectrum of genres and appeal to a similar audience. As amazing as this lineup sounds, featuring A$AP Rocky, Chance the Rapper, Ellie Goulding, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Post Malone, the actuality of all these artists coming is extremely unlikely. Also, this lineup misspelled Kamasi Washington’s name, who’s name is actually spelled out “Kamashi”, something a true poster would not do.

The first poster, as disappointing as it might seem, is more than likely going to be the final lineup, especially how it detailed local acts such as Animal Soul and Stan Z. It also resembles past Neon Desert posters, giving it more credibility.

An EDM-driven festival

It was obvious that last year every EDM artist took the win as far as drawing the biggest crowd. If Neon Desert booked Tiesto, Carnage and Wolfgang Gartner, that is three headlining acts in the span of two days – which is admirable. Other acts, like Mark Farina, Duke Dumont and Hayden James, will attract a noteworthy audience.

Although the electronic audience is distinct, it is almost mind-boggling to see how much Neon Desert has changed to accommodate the electronic-dance market.

Does Hip-Hop take the win?

Although the headliners cater to electronic music lovers, the quality of potential hip-hop hop acts are seemingly better quality overall. This lineup definitely promises standout hip-hop performers, something El Paso has lacked since the last Neon Desert Music Festival.

Future is arguably one of the most avid-popular rappers, and him stopping in El Paso would be a treat. Coming off back-to-back projects with “Evol” and “Purple Reign”, Future will bring an incredible setlist. Also, Future frequently tours with his outstanding DJ, Metro Boomin. If him or DJ Esco, Future’s fellow producer, came to the Sun City, that in itself would be worth it.

Other hip-hop acts to be excited about are Tyler, the Creator, Ludacris, and A$AP Ferg.

Tyler, the Creator has been to El Paso twice, each being electrifying shows. His shows bring so much energy and get crowds rallied. He is a definite sleeper and has a large fan base. To appeal to the mature hip-hop crowd, Ludacris is going to attract an entire demographic to his set. Anyone who kept up with hip-hop in the 2000s will be at that stage. When he came two years ago, A$AP Ferg lit up his set with champagne, crowd surfing and an explosive sound. There is no doubt that he will do the same this year.

What happened to Indie?

Solely based on the poster, it seems like Neon Desert has abandoned its roots for booking Indie-rock artists. No, there is yet to be a tropical guitar on a Deftones track – they seem to gear towards to the more rock-driven crowd. Instead, Neon Desert seemed to settle for bands like STRFKR and Mutemath. In no way does this discredit those two bands because both put on great shows and have excellent music, but the level these two bands are on does not reach the level that bands like MGMT, Passion Pit or The Drums are on.

Although there are not necessarily big names, these bands will be worth it if booked. Definitely check out Cults, Whilk & Misky, Brazilian Girls and Louis the Child – all notable alternative-rock acts.

By gaining a bigger crowd for electronic and hip-hop, Neon Desert will lose a multitude of ticket sales declining for not signing a big name band.

The lows of the rumors

The head-scratcher is still over the addition of Deftones as a headline act because they are a new metal act, something that is more likely to be seen at the Downtown Street Fest or Balloon Fest. This resembles much an act like of Antemasque, Omar Rodriguez Lopez or Sparta, but it seems as if Neon Desert settled for less.

Let’s pray the rumors of Daddy Yankee are a lie. Yes, he might draw in a Latin-community audience, but the money is in the local scene, not at the old school Latin demographic. Really, whom is someone going to choose to watch: Daddy Yankee at one stage or Carnage at another? The answer is obvious.

Repeating acts

A big downer this year, per the rumors, is the amount of how many bands are repeating from previous years. Within the past three years, artists like Tiesto, Carnage, Tyler, the Creator, Tory Lanez, A$AP Ferg, STRKR, Wolfgang Gartner, Mutemath and Duke Dumont have made a stop in El Paso. That, according to the rumored poster, is eight out of 13 big name acts that may come to the show.

In the end, fans might be upset initially, but they will show up regardless.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected]