666b9-dscf0442We’re quickly entering the time of year when Athfest will be announcing its headliners and the artists featured on the official “Athfest Record.” Some friends and I will often try to guess who’s headlining this year ahead of time, based on lineups from years past. So let’s get to it.

The outdoor headliners for 2017 were Future Birds, Zoogma, and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, though you could argue Five Eight co-headlined on Sunday but that’s neither here nor there. Hopefully, we’re not getting repeat headliners two years in a row. I’m guessing Future Birds will probably play a headlining spot at GaTh if they play Athfest at all. DNC may skip this year. So who does that leave?

Well, as far as “the big boys” we’ve got Kishi Bashi and of Montreal. Monsoon is one of those bands where you’re really not sure if they’re around any more or not but if they are, they’ll be near the headlining spot for sure. Normally I’d also give some consideration to a Buck/Mills band like Baseball Project or the new Filthy Friends but with McCaughey still in recovery, those bands are a tossup. Cindy Wilson’s band is also in the running, having played the club crawl at GaTh last year.

Others I could see headlining are New Madrid and T. Hardy Morris. I’d love to see Linqua Franqa but I don’t know if Athfest is brave enough to upset the traditional booking trend. Prove me wrong guys!

But the trick is to balance this year’s offerings with the clubs who need headliners that night AND who might be available this year. Everything is conjecture and figuring out who is “family friendly” and who is best saved for the club crawl.

Honestly, this year has me a bit stumped. We’ve been steadily drained of headlining talent in the past few years with the up and coming acts not quite pulling big enough crowds to warrant the spotlight. Figuring out the club crawl is a little easier when you assume that certain parties will always happen (HHBTM showcase, for example).

We’ll see soon enough, I suppose…


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