Summerfest Lineup Watch: January 2018

It’s only January, but already, many major festivals and tours are announcing their 2018 dates and lineups. Locally, this means that it’s already time to start wondering about who may or may not end up making the Summerfest lineup when the festival returns from June 27th-July 8th this year. With that said, let’s get wildly speculative, and make some educated guesses as to who could and could not (potentially) make an appearance in Milwaukee this year!

*Keep in mind, this is all speculation. None of these acts are confirmed, and we haven’t seen anything to suggest a booking either way.

We might as well start with the two biggest legendary names in music, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones. Neither currently have tours announced, but The Stones did just recently put out an album of early radio material. Neither act can be completely ruled out, but the outlook doesn’t look very high for them coming to Summerfest.

Speaking of other classic names, Billy Joel is in Europe in June 2018, and has a show in Hamburg, Germany on June 30th. It’s not completely out of realm for him to appear, but likely won’t be making the quick trip back to Milwaukee. Elton John also has shows on June 30th and July 1st in Georgia, so he’s also listed as doubtful in my mind.

From a younger standpoint, Eminem, The Killers, and Jack White seem to be headlining every festival this year. Eminem will likely be playing Lollapalooza based on our previous lineup releases, which could run into an issue for Summerfest in terms of proximity clauses that are common in festival booking, and Jack White announced that he’ll be playing The Rave in April. That being said, The Killers currently have a gap in their schedule between June 29th and July 8th, but are in Europe for both of those shows. We can hold out hope, though!

One name to pay attention to is Justin Timberlake, who recently announced dates for his “Man Of The Woods” tour. One of the early stops in the tour hits Chicago on March 27th, but JT and the Tennessee Kids could potentially make their way to the American Family Insurance Amphitheater three months later, as his tour dates currently wrap up on June 2nd in Philadelphia.

A potential hip hop heavyweight headliner could be promising. Kendrick Lamar‘s current tour schedule ends in March, with only a festival appearance in May to follow. Migos have a show in Paris on June 2nd, but nothing after that yet. There’s also no official release date ready for a new Kanye West album, but if it is coming out this year, there’s likely a tour (and fashion line) to go with it.

Looking at the artists with planned 2018 album release dates also reveals the following interesting tidbits; MGMT have a break in their schedule between Firefly (June 14th) and Mad Cool Festival (July 12th), Interpol have an album planned, but only a July 7th date in Europe at the moment, and both Fall Out Boy and Camila Cabello also have albums dropping, but no tour dates past March. Could any of those names appear in Milwaukee?

It’s also almost a given that another country act will be announced as an American Family Insurance Amphitheater headliner. Country does incredibly well at Summerfest, and 2018 only has a scheduled release from Scotty McCreery, Meghan Patrick, and Loretta Lynn so far. McCreery hits Illinois in February and March, Patrick doesn’t have summer tour dates listed, and Lynn is currently dealing with health issues and has cancelled 2017 dates to make up. That being said, someone else from the world of Coutnry music will likely be announced to play the amphitheater soon.

We’ll keep taking looks at tour dates as they drop, but in the meantime, stay tuned to us for more official Summerfest headliners when they’re announced. Who do you want to see play The Big Gig? Comment below and tell us!


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