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Festival Feed: Orlando Calling, You’re My Only Hope!

on July 07, 2011, 4:15pm

The American festival scene is better today than it has ever been. That’s a fact. The major festivals have become international events and consistently bring in solid lineups. Even some of the minor festivals have remained remarkably consistent as they’ve gotten older. Plus, the pool gets larger each year with more people willing to take a chance on new festivals that seem to pop up anywhere and everywhere.

But as good as the scene has gotten stateside, we can never quite compete with the European festival market. There’s just no comparison. They’ve been at it longer, have more of them, and over the years have gotten everything down to a science. So when a U.K. festival promoter decides to create an American festival, we take notice. When that promoter is Festival Republic, which helps put on Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds, we get really interested.

This is why we’re here talking about Orlando Calling, a festival that we have so little information on. Here’s what we do know: It’s being organized by Festival Republic, it will take place at the Citrus Bowl Nov. 11-13th, it will feature four stages and 100+ acts, and the lineup comes out July 18th (with tickets to follow soon after). That’s it. We have no confirmations for the lineup, no rumors, not even a hint as to who will end up playing the festival. That’s exactly what makes it so intriguing and why it’s our last hope for some originality this year.

oc ad 6 6 900 724x1024 Festival Feed: Orlando Calling, Youre My Only Hope!You see, as fruitful as our festival scene has been, there are hardly any real lineup surprises anymore. Lineups just seem to get more and more recycled each year. If you guessed that a festival would have Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, or Coldplay in its lineup this year, you’d be right for about 95% of the big festivals out there. This over-saturation doesn’t affect each individual festival very much, but for us festivalgoers who like to hit up a few each year, it can feel kind of disappointing. With the variety and uniqueness that Glastonbury brings to the table, we’re all hoping Festival Republic can bring a bit of that magic stateside. This year, they snagged U2, Beyonce, Pulp, and Radiohead–all huge acts that you won’t find on any U.S. festival lineups this year.

The allure of Orlando Calling is everything that we don’t know. It’s hard to keep a secret in the festival business these days, but somehow Festival Republic has remained tight-lipped. This has given U.S. festivalgoers hope that they really can at least somewhat replicate the fantastic feel of a European festival over here in Florida. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. But until the lineup comes out on the 18th, we can all hope.

Best case scenario, Orlando Calling is a hit and becomes the closing festival of the season for years to come. In order for this to happen, they’ll have to pull in a solid lineup. Nabbing Radiohead’s first stateside post-King of Limbs show would go far towards accomplishing this goal. Or perhaps they can convince Jay-Z and Kanye to start their much-hyped Watch the Throne tour right there in Orlando. The newly announced Pixies “Lost Cities” tour puts them relatively near the area with a small gap in their schedule; playing a non-Doolittle show at a festival would be a refreshing sight for this year’s festival season. So far, Pulp’s reunion tour hasn’t come anywhere near the United States. Grabbing them for their first U.S. show in years would be a pretty big deal. These are just a few of the acts that could separate Orlando Calling from the rest of the pack. Of course, there’s a chance that none of that happens and it ends up being a flop.

Worst case scenario, it gets canceled (like some other Florida festival…) and is a financial and critical flop. But not everything has to be one extreme or the other. Orlando Calling could end up being something in the middle. It could fail to live up to the hype while still being a solid, financial success. Surely Coldplay, Foo Fighters, and Arcade Fire could top a sold-out bill, even though it would disappoint those who were expecting something unique out of the guys who put on Glastonbury. Or maybe it’ll have a fantastic lineup that doesn’t sell well. Who knows anymore.

My guess? Orlando Calling won’t blow everyone away, but it will have a solid lineup and become a hit. I doubt we will see it go down in flames before it ever gets a chance to shine. But what do you think? Will it live up to the hype? Who will be on the bill? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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Garamondo Hennepin
July 18, 2011 at 3:49 am

 Fed up with FestivalRepublic (as I’d been expecting lineup on 7/18), I cross-referenced most of the major U.S. festivals — plus a few smaller but timely ones — to make an “educated” prediction. The main qualification is discounting any bands playing the other two festivals in Florida, Langerado and DeLuna; this probably will not be true wholesale, as I’m sure some will appear twice. You can really see the “fest whores” that people reference this way, as well as the lack of diversity for the most part — thus, we should not / likely will not be very surprised by the lineup.

Google Docs web-view:

Garamondo Hennepin
July 18, 2011 at 3:51 am

@COS:twitter & @coslive:twitter: not sure why you haven’t speculated with this method; after all, I used your comprehensive Festival lists to create the database to cross-reference!

Alex Young
July 18, 2011 at 4:22 am

Thanks for this!

July 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Initial lineup is being released on July 21st at 11 am!

July 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

Because Orlando Calling isn’t just for Florida, they’re aiming to take what they do in England with these massive, close to untoppable festivals, and bring it here. That means it will probably be something people will travel a distance for. Considering Orlando is one of the big 3 travel destination hubs, it’s perfect.

July 13, 2011 at 4:44 am

C’est la vie…sosmp is having like 5 major festivals this year one is bound to have some competition…

July 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm

So Pearl Jam just announced a South American tour during Orlando Calling so Soundgarden is out as a possibility. Foo Fighters announced some new east coast dates and they have open dates during Orlando Calling. 

I think the headliners are going to be Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire and Muse with The Strokes, The Pixies and Queens Of The Stone Age as the top sub-headliners

July 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Choosing Orlando Calling over Bear Creek is not a hard choice

Daniel Williams
July 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

This is Orlando. Count on some hip hop among those headliners. 

July 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Festival Republic has only booked a hip hop headliner once for Reading and that was Eminem in 2001. It’s possible that he could be on the line up though my gut feeling is that he won’t. This is my list of the most likely headliners.

Muse- Festival sluts and they skipped Florida on their tour last year
Arcade Fire- Festival sluts who have never played Florida
Coldplay- Festival slut
Foo Fighters- Another Festival slut. They are announcing more tour dates on Monday and if no show in Tampa or Orlando is announced I think that makes them a lock.The Strokes- Festival Sluts, though I could see them as a sub if Festival Republic books a really strong top 3
Soundgarden- They are playing Voodoo and have no shows booked  in FloridaBlink 182- The Honda Civic Tour is not making a stop in Orlando and they are playing Voodoo so that makes a them a possibility The Killers- They have  a good relationship with Festival Republic and maybe they want to play one big American Festival before heading into the studio to record their new album
Radiohead- They for sure a longshot, but they have a long history of playing Festival Republic events. 

July 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Sorry guys somehow the format on my previous post got jacked up. 

July 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Headliners will probably be standard fare, (unless they snag Radiohead, which is a long shot). Something from the group of Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Muse, and Arcade Fire, with Kanye being the “not completely original but still a big get” one.  Where this fest really has some potential though is with the sub-headliners.  Pixies? Raconteurs? Queens of the Stoneage?  Definitely some real chances to get some originality (in terms of this year at least) with those acts.

ghost that never lies…
July 8, 2011 at 1:15 am

Radiohead, Muse, and Strokes will probably be the headliners….

I have definitely hear major rumblings from some of my buddies about Muse definitely being there.  I would say Radiohead or Coldplay for one spot.  

We will know for sure about the Foo Fighters on Monday b/c they are releasing new dates.  If Arcade Fire isn’t booked, then I am definitely of the belief they hate the state of Florida….

Damn it good to be back

July 8, 2011 at 3:49 am

Muse being there would be great since I am seeing Coldplay at Lolla. Radiohead would be a huge get and that would immediately put Orlando Calling in the top tier of American Festivals.

July 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm

It is crazy how tight lipped they have been with information. I can’t decide if that is a good or bad thing. Anyway my way too optimistic predictions are Radiohead, Muse and Arcade Fire for headliners and The Strokes, Pixes and Queens Of The Stone Age for subs

Paul de Revere
July 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It would take A LOT to get my ass downstate


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