Voices of power unite for iHeartRadio Music Festival
It’s been eight years since the iHeartRadio Music Festival established a legacy of creating eclectic lineups of top acts, both rising and established, for what’s become an annual event in Las Vegas.
This year, with T-Mobile Arena as the main stage, Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Cage The Elephant, Camila Cabello and Chance the Rapper share a bill with Def Leppard, French Montana, Halsey and Heart. Fans of H.E.R., Hootie & The Blowfish and Marshmello mingle with Miley Cyrus devotees, Mumford & Sons and Steve Aoki, while those drawn in by Tim McGraw or Zac Brown Band get exposure to actor/singer Darren Criss or K-pop clan Monsta X.
Some of the acts are no strangers to the festival, and have provided it with some of its most memorable moments. Keys performed onstage with Jay-Z at the inaugural iHeart fest in 2011, and it shouldn’t come as a complete shock this year if her 9-year-old son Egypt joins her set for a piano duet. This will be Cyrus’ third year, while Zac Brown Band iHearted in 2014 and Cage the Elephant played the Daytime Village stage in 2016.
The Daytime Village was at a new location last year at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the north end of the Strip, across from Sahara Las Vegas and with The STRAT featured prominently in the northern skyline. Last year, festivalgoers were thrilled by outdoor performances by the likes of Logic, Greta Van Fleet and Bad Bunny. The 2019 roster includes Billie Eilish, Brett Young, Bryce Vine, CNCO, Fletcher, Juice Wrld, Lauv, Loud Luxury, Maren Morris, Old Dominion and Zara Larsson.
Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury was a recent addition to the daytime stage, and H.E.R. and Monsta X perform double duty with appearances on both festival stages. Monsta X and Criss, a former Glee cast member who received critical praise for his lead role in Netflix’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, are scheduled to make guest appearances with Aoki, while country singer Kane Brown is set to sing his collaboration with EDM enigma Marshmello, “One Right Thing.”
The iHeart Radio Music Festival has had its share of surprises. In 2012, Prince joined Mary J. Blige for two songs. Pink appeared with No Doubt that year as well and returned in 2017, when Bebe Rexha guested with David Guetta. Nicki Minaj brought out Ariana Grande in 2014, who in turn brought out Childish Gambino during her own set (and came back in 2016).
There’s no way to predict the unexpected, but there are some serious veteran bands whose musicians can sit in on each other’s sets. Chance the Rapper has a long list of artists he’s collaborated with, and an invitation to Miley Cyrus from the Backstreet Boys would beget an unforgettable iHeart moment. But remember: The only way to be surprised is by being there.
iHeartRadio Music Festival: T-Mobile Arena 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20-21, starting at $86.75 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS; The Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Las Vegas Festival Grounds, 11 a.m. Sept. 21, starting at $49 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster