3 Ways Desert Trip Can Top Itself in 2017

By Brian Ives 

The much talked about Desert Trip festival—the two-weekend event in October boasting Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters on its lineup – has sold out according to its website, despite pretty steep ticket prices.

Related: Desert Trip Adds Second Weekend: Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney

Just a few weeks ago, the idea of this lineup would seem like a pipe dream. But after the audience clears from the Empire Polo Club in Indio, it may be a nightmare for promoters. Because how do you follow up a lineup like this one? We have some ideas.


Robert Plant, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart (Fabrice Coffrini, Pascal Le Segretain/Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

1. Keep It Classic: This is a pretty tall order: after all, the Beatles, Stones, Who and Pink Floyd are all represented on this year’s lineup. How do you top that? Well, you don’t. But you can come close to equalling it with two words: Led Zeppelin. Although frontman Robert Plant has said that there’s “zero” chance he’d reunite with his former band, music fans know that “never” doesn’t always mean “never.” Alternatively, Plant could do a solo set at the festival, but nothing has the power (or drawing power) of the Led Zeppelin name. Who else could round out the bill? We’ll go with Fleetwood Mac (perhaps joined by Peter Green for a song or two), a reunited Kinks, a Rod Stewart set where he’s joined by the surviving Faces and Jeff Beck, Queen + Adam Lambert and Genesis with both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins doing half a set each.

The Smiths' Morrissey, REM's Michael Stipe (Chris Jackson/Adam Berry/Getty Images)

2. Go Classic-Alt-Rock: Instead of matching this year’s lineup with more ’60s and ’70s legends, perhaps they’ll look ahead to the late ’70s and ’80s. Our suggestion: reunite the Smiths! (Although it’s been attempted before, to no avail). Short of that, we have a pretty amazing lineup in mind: the reunited Talking Heads (although members have denied that a reunion is in the works), a reunited R.E.M., Kate Bush (who has rarely performed on U.S. soil), the Cure, Depeche Mode and U2 doing a set of pre-Joshua Tree songs.

Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Katy Perry (Neilson Barnard/Pascal Le Segretain/Larry Busacca/Mike Windle/Getty Images)

3. Listen to the Kids, BruhJust go pop. Straight up: have the biggest pop stars, with no filler. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Adele, Jay Z and Kanye West.


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