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Concert guru predicts the festival lineup that ACL will announce next week

(Charles Reagan)

T-minus 157 days until Austin City Limits Festival 2022 begins and with ticket sales dropping next week, speculation is starting to bubble around the lineup at Zilker Park’s biggest event of the year.


The festival will return October 7-9 and 14-16 with the lineup dropping on May 10 at 9 a.m., followed by ticket sales opening up at noon.

With just days until the official lineup drops, Reddit’s r/aclfestival is lighting up with artist predictions with the help of moderator Steve Gerken. A longtime festival attendee, Gerken told Austonia he looks forward to ACL every year and has been analyzing its lineup for six years.

“I've been going pretty much every year for at least a decade. ACL is a highlight of my year—it always overlaps with my birthday,” Gerken said. “It's one of those things where as soon as the festival ends you think, ‘who am I going to see next year?’ and you get really excited about that.”

Methodology behind predicting

Gerken said he likes to think of himself as an information “consolidator” by watching nationwide festivals, tracking tour dates and applying the ins and outs of artist signing that he’s learned throughout the years.

Gerken said he starts by looking at other festival lineups, including those put on by ACL parent company C3 Presents like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. For the undercard, he focuses on smaller festivals like Outside Lands or Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival.

Next, he looks at conflicting tour dates and which artists are unlikely to perform due to the radius clause, which puts loose restrictions on when an artist can return to the same market.

Predicting gets easier as time goes on but Gerken said he is typically about 50% accurate.

Some quick rules:

  • Remember that these artists are often booked a year or more in advance.
  • It is very rare for a headliner to return more than once in three years—the only exception is Billie Eilish, who performed in 2019 and 2021, but Gerken said he would be very surprised if she was brought back this year.
  • If an artist is performing at a large venue or festival in Central Texas this year, like the Moody Center or Circuit of the Americas, they probably won’t be at ACL due to the radius clause.

Without further ado, here are his predictions thus far.

Confirmed artists

Artists in this category have been confirmed by ACL organizers, the artist or a related entity.

  • Goth Babe, who was scheduled to play in 2021 but dropped out due to health issues.
  • Ibeyi, confirmed via Instagram tour dates for Weekend One but it is unknown if they are a W1 exclusive.
  • War On Drugs, who Gerken confirmed with a “trusted source.” Tour dates show gaps during the festival.

Expected

Gerken said he has “strong evidence” like tour date gaps and reputable leaks for artists in this category.

  • Arlo Parks
  • Asleep At The Wheel
  • Barton Hills Choir
  • Kevin Morby
  • Lil Nas X
  • Maren Morris
  • MUNA
  • Polo & Pan
  • Rosalia
  • Wallows
  • Wet Leg
  • Whiskey Myers

Logical

Artists in this category don’t have enough evidence to include in the “expected category.” Gerken said though he doesn’t have solid evidence, he believes Dua Lipa, J. Cole and an “80% chance” that Stevie Nicks will be included as headliners this year.

  • Aerosmith
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Beach House
  • Bomba Estéreo
  • Briston Maroney
  • Doobie Brothers
  • Dua Lipa
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Flume
  • Gaslight Anthem
  • Halsey
  • Houndmouth
  • J.Cole
  • Japanese Breakfast
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
  • Lorde
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Nova Amor
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Pearl Jam
  • Phoenix
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Possible

These artists are a reasonable guess from Gerken with no particular evidence.

  • A$AP Rocky
  • Calvin Harris
  • The Chicks
  • Disclosure
  • Glass Animals
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Isiah Rashad
  • Jamie xx
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Lil Baby
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Paramore
  • P!nk
  • Phish
  • Post Malone
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Rezz
  • Roddy Ricch
  • Run the Jewels
  • Slowthai
  • The Smile
  • The Strokes
  • Tool
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Wild Rivers

Out

These artists will most likely not be there due to schedule or radius clause conflicts. There are too many to list, so click here to read the full list.

  • 100 Gecs
  • AWOLNATION
  • Black Keys
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Chris Stapleton
  • COIN
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Father John Misty
  • Flaming Lips
  • Franz Ferndinand
  • Foo Fighters
  • Green Day
  • HAIM
  • H.E.R
  • Jack White
  • John Mayer
  • Khruangbin
  • King Princess
  • Leon Bridges
  • Lizzo
  • Local Natives
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Ringo Starr
  • Royal Blood
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Steely Dan
  • Still Woozy
  • The Avett Brothers
  • The Killers
  • Thundercat
  • Tove Lo
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The Who

See you at the flags!

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