"Where is our headliner?" As previously mentioned, just because they announced a headliner early the last two years, doesn't mean they will this year. Since tickets have been on sale for a couple weeks, the organizer now know how many people will attend Sasquatch regardless of the lineup or a headliner. That's pretty powerful information moving forward. Because there isn't much to talk about right now, and you are all getting the fever, I'll offer my 2012 Sasquatch headliner predictions, otherwise known as the likelihood the likeliest headliners will likely headline Sasquatch 2012. I did correctly predict the four headliners (and top subheadliner) last year before the lineup was announced, one being a band I predicted over a year before the festival (Wilco). Believe what you will, but my predictions are at least better than randomly throwing darts at a list of possibilities.
Bon Iver (83.2%) - A Sasquatch vet who has blown up recently. Singer/songwriters rarely reach headliner status with a couple good albums and fantastic live shows. They need to crossover into "popular" music to reach this lofty status. I don't care what anyone thinks about Bon Iver's lack of popularity, or how much any of you hate Kanye West. Fact is, Kanye West made Bon Iver a star by introducing him to a new crowd, the 19-23 year olds who spend a lot of time listening to the radio, and who make up half of the Sasquatch attendees. His most recent album spent time in the top 40, which shows how popular he is. I don't base my opinions on who I like, most of what you are reading is based on ticket sales. Bon Iver was recently selling out 3,000 capacity venues in a day. He's much bigger than you think, is still up and coming, and is my most likely choice for Sasquatch 2012 headliner. Sasquatch has recently landed the soon to be headliners at larger festivals, so this is a perfect match.
Deadmau5 (31.4%) - I'm not sure he'll ever stop touring, but he does have upcoming dates, including Europe in June, so he's available. He's about as much of a Sasquatch vet as there is, being a relative unknown in the dance tent in 2009, then playing the late night second stage slot in 2010. It seems like a natural progression to make headlining the main stage the next stop. He's already headlined Lollapalooza, although their split headliner formula made him more like a subheadliner. A real headlining gig which doesn't end at 10 p.m. has to be tempting. I predicted an EDM headlining act earlier this summer, and the mouse is the most likely. Plus, Sasquatch has had a mouse band on their lineup four years straight. The streak cannot end now.
Mumford & Sons (24.5%) - Another Sasquatch vet who has blown up recently, and that is an understatement. They went from playing the second stage at Sasquatch 2010 early in the day to selling out 1,500 capacity venues in minutes a couple months later. They were a sub/sub at Coachella 2011, had a huge crowd, and put on a solid show. They are now playing arenas, and are still gaining popularity. It's amazing to me a band with one album would blow up like this, but they have, and you are kidding yourself if you think they are not big enough to headline Sasquatch. They are not yet big enough to headline the biggest U.S. Festivals, so again, they fit the recent Sasquatch headliner trend.
Primus (15.4%) - They played the NW in 2010, but ended their 2011 tour in California without making it back up north. They have a couple shows in California at the end of the month, and shows in Europe in March/April. They've never played Sasquatch, so I'll give the Black Keys warning I offered earlier. The only reason their percentage is so low is because they really aren't big enough to headline Sasquatch. They might be huge in California, but they aren't a huge draw in the NW. It could happen, but a subheadliner slot on loud Friday seems more fitting.
Portishead (15.3%) - They played in Seattle this fall. Does this make them more likely or less likely to headline Sasquatch? In this case, much more likely. They rarely tour, and have a hell of a light/monitor show they obviously spent a lot of time and money on. It would look great on the main stage at Sasquatch, similar to Massive Attack's headlining set two years ago.
Sigur Ros (8.2%) - Sigur Ros might be active in 2012, which is why they are included here. They fit the sub-headliner mold of the biggest festivals, which is about right for a Sasquatch headliner. Bands want to be headliners. If Sigur Ros has to choose between a headliner set at Sasquatch, or a subheadliner set at a different large festival, Sasquatch would be more lucrative and attractive. I don't think they will be on the lineup, but as far as, "wow, I never thought they would be there," bands go, Sigur Ros would surprise me the least. Yes, I just said the most likely of the least likely. That's still something.
Skrillex (7.7%) - Like him or not, he is gigantic these days, and has a pretty amazing light show in tote. He is touring through June of 2012 with a giant gap in May, so he is also available. Remember when he used to open for Deadmau5? Wouldn't that be an interesting headliner/sub. EDM Friday anyone?
Red Hot Chili Peppers (3.6%) - RHCP will be everyone in 2012. They have also announced tour dates excluding the NW. Headliners year to year can be a small pool to choose from. It's not like every band big enough to headline is available every year. The Peppers will play major festivals in the United States and Europe. With the chances of them headlining Coachella appearing less likely, that only makes their chances of headlining Sasquatch more likely. They are the Foo Fighters of last year, and will help guarantee another sell out in 2012. Remember Jane's Addiction's first U.S. festival headlining set was Sasquatch, even though Perry Farrell founded Lollapalooza, and often plays Coachella in some form. Sasquatch isn't too small for the Hots. UPDATE: Recently recent tour dates put the Peppers in the midwest during Sasquatch with dates booked on three of the four days of the festival. They drop from a 30.1% chance.
Black Keys (1.4%) - They have been the most obvious choice since the conclusion of Sasquatch 2011. They finally reached the masses with the crossover success of their 2010 album Brothers. They also aren't big enough to headline the biggest festivals, but the pending success of their newest album released last week should change that. The Black Keys are on the verge of being the biggest non-Legend rock band in the world. Their possibility is strengthened by the fact they recently announced tour dates with the NW missing. Knowing the Sasquatch headliners are likely aleady booked, 2012 is the best chance Sasquatch has to land them. However, the only reason I don't think they are a lock is because they have been rumored every year recently, but are never on the lineup. Some bands are less likely because of behind the scene interactions we don't know about. Sasquatch is practically run by Ticketmaster, so there are a lot of reasons huge bands would turn their nose. UPDATE: Recently released NW tour dates indicates the Black Keys are highly unlikely. They drop from a 68.2% chance.
Radiohead (1.3%) - I discussed the Radiohead possibilities last month. They are on tour next spring, and still have no NW dates. I still give them a 1/10 chance of being there, which is much higher than I have ever given them, and likely much higher than I will ever get them. If you're going to blow a huge chunk of change on the Red Hots, why not up the ante and get Radiohead instead? UPDATE: Recently released NW tour dates indicates Radiohead is highly unlikely. They drop from a 9.6% chance.
Pearl Jam (0.1%) - As mentioned in the comments section, Pearl Jam is back. They have a couple festival gigs booked in Europe in June, so there is no reason to believe they won't be ready for Sasquatch. Is this finally the year for Pearl Jam? Probably not. I'll keep wishing. Again, if you're going to spend the bank on the Hot Chilies, why not pay more for Pearl Jam instead? UPDATE: I created the dots last night, but didn't connect them until this morning. Pearl Jam hates Ticketmaster. They've been involved in a lawsuit in the past. Since Ticketmaster is tight with Livenation (who runs Sasquatch) you'll probably never see them on the lineup. I'm downgrading them from a 4.3% chance to a 0.1% chance.
Fleet Foxes (0.1%) - The are only rated so low because they are the perfect subheadliner for Bon Iver (or Mumford & Sons). Their Sasquatch probability is much higher, but I'm not convinced they are headliner status unless a large chunk of the budget is spent on Radiohead or Pearl Jam. They have the local love, and have played the festival twice, so that might push them over the edge. UPDATE: Per Robin Pecknold's twitter, the band has no upcoming shows booked. They drop from a 14.1% chance.
If you agree, or think other headliner predictions are missing, let me know in the comments section. If you think my predictions are synonymous to a Sasquatch campground honey bucket which hasn't been emptied in four days, you are welcome to state that as well.