Who is playing Bunbury Music Festival? While we wait for the news, let's chat best guesses – Cincinnati.com


About 9,600 plays of a Post Malone song.

That’s how far away we are from the official Bunbury Music Festival lineup announcement.

Sure, others might say that Jan. 31, the day of the reveal party at The Woodward Theater in Cincinnati, is still 20 days or some 28,800 minutes away. But we’ve still got last year’s lineup, headlined by Post Malone, on the brain. 

That’s not a bad thing.

Past lineups are one way to guess what Bunbury 2019 will look like when it returns May 31-June 2.

So, we’ve factored in that recent fest history – cross-referencing that with other music info the internet has to offer right now – to make some predictions for who will hit the stages this summer at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove on the banks of the Ohio River. 

A familiar festival down South

If Bunbury had a brother, it would be Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta. Like our riverside festival, this annual early May event is known for its commitment and celebration of alternative and indie rock acts. 

Bunbury and Shaky Knees often book the same acts. Take the 2018 lineups: Both festivals hosted headliner Jack White, as well as down-ticket acts Lillie Mae and SIR SLY.

So, it’s not unreasonable to use the just-released Shaky Knees Festival 2019 lineup as a bit of a guide to what groups may head our way just weeks later. And this year, headliners there include some Bunbury-alumni like Tame Impala, Incubus and Father John Misty, as well as an almost-alumnus, Tears for Fears

The British ’80s pop icons canceled Bunbury in 2016. Maybe this year will be a makeup date? (Right now, the group does not have any dates scheduled for the Bunbury weekend.)

Another Shaky Knees act that’s a promising Bunbury act? That’s Grouplove. The band’s played Bunbury before, the weekend is open on the touring schedule, and the rockers are only playing festivals so far this year. 

Our ultimate Shaky Knees pick, however, is Beck. He is an icon of alt-rock – he practically helped invent the genre in the modern radio age. Could there even be a Bunbury or a Shaky Knees without artists like Beck who propelled this sound to the mainstream in the ’90s?

The process of elimination 

Other festivals also help us figure out who will probably not be at Bunbury.

Our fest falls on the same weekend as both Governors Ball in New York City and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain. 

So, don’t bet on already booked acts like Tyler, the Creator, The Strokes or Interpol

Don’t forget about hip-hop

Bunbury may focus on rock, but organizers typically book at least one great hip-hop act, both legendary, like Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, and emerging/current ones like G-Eazy and Post Malone. 

So, who is available and doing the festival circuit this year? That includes Cyprus Hill, Childish Gambino, Gucci Mane, Travis Scott and Kid Cudi.

Who already is touring that fits the bill?

Get ready for our most obvious pick of the bunch.

Walk the Moon.

They’ve played Bunbury before. This is their hometown. They are on the road this year, with stops at other fest heavy-hitters like Hangout, Bonnaroo and Firefly. And they have a gap in their calendar at the end of May.

Other guesses based on the summer concert schedule? Taking Back Sunday, Chvrches and Jimmy Eat World.

Who has new music coming out next year?

This format is very predictable: New music means new tour. 

Could Weezer, with an album out March 1, return to Cincinnati for Bunbury? Or how about Ryan Adams, who has not one, but three albums, slated for 2019? We’re also putting Future and Maggie Rogers, who both have new albums coming out Jan. 18, on our short list. 

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