Three months have passed since Live Nation and the City of St. Paul trumpeted their plans for an annual music festival on Harriet Island starting June 23-24, but they haven’t offered so much as a peep or tweet since then over who is going to perform at the thing. Which leaves us resorting to rumor-mongering, if only to appease all the fans who've been hounding us for any little news (a good problem to have, for us and the fest).
With input from multiple, reliable sources – but without confirmation from Live Nation, so this is still conjecture -- the two groups that seem most likely to headline the inaugural festival are arty metal gods Tool on June 23 and outdoorsy good-vibe kings the Dave Matthews Band on June 24.
If true, that pair certainly makes up a solid start for the fest. Both those acts have enjoyed Teflon drawing power for two decades now. Of course, their one downside might be the fact that their audiences are completely different -- and one’s audience might even be prone to beat up the other’s. That could make the festival’s two-day passes a harder sell than single-day tickets. But those sales would also depend largely on the dozens of other acts who will round out the multiple stages and tents, including local bands.
Matthews’ crew performed at the last 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes three summers ago, and they also just played in town a year and a half ago at Xcel Energy Center. However, this would be their first time performing at an outdoor venue in the Twin Cities. Tool, on the other hand, has already played an outdoor gig in St. Paul: Maynard James Keenan & Co. were part of the Lollapalooza III lineup that got moved off Harriet Island and up to the Civic Center and Kellogg Boulevard due to flooding in 1993. Anybody remember seeing them there? (Seriously, tell us what it was like.)
Of course, this is all just speculation until the names are formally announced by Live Nation. We’re expecting the official announcement soon -- probably at least by April 11, which is when Lollapalooza organizers will reveal their annual Chicago lineup for Aug. 3-5. Rumors are flying about that one, too. Don't expect a Lolla-sized lineup here (St. Paul ain't Chicago), but things appear to be shaping up nicely.