What: Panorama Festival 2017
Where: Randall’s Island Park, New York City
When: July 28–30
Tickets: On sale at panorama.nyc
The first names on the Panorama 2017 poster for each day are Frank Ocean, Tame Impala and Nine Inch Nails.
Frank Ocean dropped "Blonde" (as well as a visual album some people have seen) after four years of relative silence following his breakthrough "Channel Orange" album. It was considered to be one of the finest of the year — it appeared on Red Bull Music’s best albums of 2016 list — and so it makes sense he is headlining a music festival. But he doesn’t actually perform music very often, and some of his previous performances have not gone over well as a result, so it will be interesting to see how it goes this time around. We may not see him again until 2020.
Tame Impala, the rock band from Australia whose song "New Person, Same Old Mistakes" was covered by Rihanna on her last album, might release a new one this year, namely the follow-up to 2015’s highly acclaimed "Currents." They’re sure to play some new tunes at Panorama either way.
Nine Inch Nails returned to the world with a surprise EP, "Not the Actual Events," just before Christmas. And we’ll probably get a new full-length from Trent Reznor’s die-hard group before 2017 ends. New NIN albums are great, sure, but they truly shine live, on a big stage, so don’t miss them at Panorama.
2. Other big names
The secondary headliners for each day of Panorama are Solange, who has a sister named Beyoncé and whose "A Seat at the Table" album was considered by many to be one of the year’s best releases; the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, who in 2016 released their first new album in eight years and it was fantastic; and alt-J, one of those English bands you have to Google every time their name comes up.
Other biggies at Panorama this year are rappers Tyler, the Creator and Vince Staples; rockers Spoon and Future Islands; DJs Cashmere Cat and Girl Talk; and rising indie artists Angel Olsen and Mitski.
3. Fine print
Squint and ye shall see: weird rockers Foxygen, Macklemore and Chance the Rapper collaborator Jamila Woods, New Jersey emo kids Pinegrove, Chicago rapper Noname, skateboarder and Beatles spawn Dhani Harrison and the name-changing Preoccupations.
Belle & Sebastian, the old Scottish indie pop band, is playing. Surprise! Even though Panorama will happen beneath the raging July sun, there will be Belle & Sebastian fans wearing sweaters and sipping espresso out in the field, others will frolic about performatively with poetry books falling out of their sport coat pockets.
Also surprising is that Nine Inch Nails AND A Tribe Called Quest are co-headlining the final night. It’s normal for artists that appeal to old people to perform on the final night of big music festivals, but it’s normally just one artist. This is interesting because there’s an old person rock group and an old person rap group taking it home for the olds. So kudos to Panorama for realizing that old people have diverse tastes too.
With a lot of interesting big names and intriguing rising stars, and with only a few artists that require Googling, this looks like a pretty solid lineup that justifies three days of standing in line to use an unlit porta potty.