Music

Here’s Who Could Be Headlining Splendour In 2020

Splendour's line-up is dropping earlier than usual next year - and we have some ideas about who's gonna be on it.

Splendour 2020 lineup predictions photo

Sure, it feels like like Splendour in the Grass 2019 wrapped like, two days ago, but time moves fast and July 2020 will be on us before we know it.

In fact, Splendour in the Grass 2020 feels more immediate than ever, thanks to the fact that this year’s line-up is being announced a lot earlier than previous years. Yup, we’re gonna find out which bands are going to be taking to the stage from July 24 through July 26 on Wednesday, February 19.

You know what that means: it’s rampant speculation time! We’ve scoured the internet for clues, compared tour diaries, gazed earnestly into a crystal ball, and made our best guesses which bands will be playing Splendour in the Grass 2020.


Flume

The last time Flume graced the Splendour stage was back in 2016, when he was armed with his shiny new record Skin. Since then he’s risen to headliner status around the world, and released a brand new mixtape last year in Hi This Is Flume.

He once again appeared in the Hottest 100 last year with his Vera Blue collaboration ‘Rushing Back’ landing at #2. He’ll be playing a few dates over the next few months, including Coachella, Gov Ball, and Bonnaroo, but his schedule is wide open for late July — making a Splendour set certainly doable.

Prediction: Pretty good chance


Robyn

Pop iconoclast Robyn hasn’t visited our shores in a long, long time. She was due to play Falls Festival a few years ago with Röyksopp, touring their stunning mini album Do It Again, which spawned the massive single of the same name. In the end, she cancelled at the last minute.

Since then she’s released a new full-length, Honey, which remains one of the biggest and boldest pop releases of recent years. Just imagine: ‘Dancing On My Own’ and ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ played to tens of thousands of people in the Splendour Amphitheatre. Or, maybe better yet, a sweaty and pummelling dance set in the Mix Up. Magical.

Prediction: Outside chance 


The Strokes

Julian Casablancas and co. turn up at Splendour every few years — their last appearance was alongside Flume in 2016.

This year is looking likely for another New York City indie takeover: they’ve confirmed a new album is on the way, due on April 10, and they’ve pencilled in a number of tour dates for the next few months. Handily though, they’ve left a Splendour-sized hole in their schedule. Who knows, maybe they’ll bring Bernie Sanders out for a quick cameo?

Prediction: Yeah, we reckon 


Frank Ocean

Splendour punters still nurse broken hearts from back back in 2013 when Frank Ocean cancelled his appearance at the 11th hour — although, they did get to see a very fresh Lorde play her first major festival, which was a pretty decent consolation prize.

Ocean — who has always shied away from major tours — is stepping outside of his comfort zone this year, and is due to headline Coachella in April. He hasn’t confirmed anymore dates yet; neither has he confirmed whether a new album is on the way, which would be the follow-up to his acclaimed 2016 album Blonde.

He’s said the new album is influenced by “Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic” — let’s hope it surfaces very soon.

Prediction: Please for the love of all that is holy


Thom Yorke

People have been putting Radiohead in lists like this for literal years now. But there’s a reason why the band keep popping up in the Splendour conversation — Australians love ’em.

So, wouldn’t it be a coup if the band’s headliner, Thom Yorke, made his way down here to promote his newest record ANIMA? Sure, it’d be something of a plot twist, but every festival on the planet is looking for a way to increase social media chatter, and nabbing Yorke rather than the band that he leads would be exactly that.

Oh, and though Yorke touring throughout much of next year, there’s a big old gap right around mid-July that makes this one feel like a little more than a hunch.

Prediction: I Mean, Perhaps


Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell tour wraps up around the beginning of June, giving her plenty of time to recoup before headlining Splendour 2020 — at least, that’s what we hope.

After all, Del Rey makes her way to our part of the world far too infrequently, and Australian audiences have yet to be treated to the soothing sounds of her latest masterpiece. Oh, and her previous tours Down Under have always sold out lickety-split, making this one financially viable for everyone involved.

Please, Lana. We need this.

Prediction: Pipe Dream


Cardi B

Cardi B never toured ‘Press’, her newest single, around Australia, making Splendour 2020 a perfect time for her to show off her newest banger. It’s true that no record has currently been announced, but it seems inevitable that rap’s freshest voice will drop something in 2020, dovetailing neatly into a headline spot at one of Australia’s biggest festivals.

Sure, having a baby slowed down her touring schedule a little, but Kulture should absolutely come Down Under with her rap superstar mum. The people demand it.

Prediction: Left Field


Travis Scott

In this day and age, it’s hip-hop that rules the airwaves, making it pretty likely that the Splendour In The Grass 2020 headliner will be a rap superstar. And who’s bigger in rap right now than Travis Scott? ‘Sicko Mode’ has been one of the most important songs in the world ever since it first dropped, a perfect midpoint between camp excess and pure, stripped-down meanness.

Scott has London dates running all the way till the beginning of July, meaning that there’s some legs to this gossip. Could 2020 finally be the year we get Scott at Splendour? Let’s hope so.

Prediction: Likely


Nick Cave

Nick Cave hasn’t yet announced an Australian tour for his newest record, the soft and beautiful Ghosteen. And sure, while that album doesn’t necessarily work for a festival audience — imagine a crowd of tipsy punters bumping and grinding to ‘Spinning Song’ — the man is a celebrated and incendiary live performer.

Add to that the fact that Splendour organisers always love having an Australian leading the Australian festival, and this one feels like it might be on the cards. The only question is whether Cave himself would go for such a slot — and that’s a big question.

Prediction: A Possibility


Photo Credit: Travis Scott via Wikimedia Creative Commons Licence 2.5, Lana Del Rey: Supplied