Corporate radio stations still suck, to paraphrase Kurt Cobain, but Clear Channel's third iHeartRadio festival — skedded for Sept. 20-21 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and The Lot across from Luxor — would see impressive if only for its ambitious, genre-sweeping booking conquests.
In keeping with the previous two editions, acts like Muse, Phoenix, Miguel, Katy Perry, Elton John, Tiesto, Justin Timberlake, Tim McGraw, Benny Benassi, and J Cole will perform short sets at the MGM arena. This year's upgrade adds more acts — AWOLNATION, Miley Cyrus, The Band Perry, Pete Tong, and EDC favorite Krewella, among others — to a fairground-like outdoor village area two blocks down.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday, July 20 at 10 a.m. The arena show costs $71-$423 and the village event will run $20 a head. The show will also be broadcast on various Clear Channel stations, as well as on The CW Network on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
The festival began in 2011 as a way of promoting Clear Channel's iHeartRadio website and app offerings. Last year the event made headlines thanks to an onstage and supposedly alcohol-fueled tirade by Billie Joe Armstrong — which just happened to coincide with promotion of a new album by his band, Green Day. Call it iHeartRadio's version of a Coachella moment.
And speaking of that Southern California event (whose producer, Goldenvoice, is owned by music industry behemoth AEG), it was high time Clear Channel waded into the major-festival waters. Though its yearly Wango Tango radio event in L.A. boasted many of the pop acts included in this year's Vegas extravaganza, it downsized from Dodger Stadium to the smaller Home Depot center this year. Now, it's finally using its industry heft and influence to try and lay claim to the biggest radio-produced live music event ever. Your move, Sirius XM.