At first glance, here are a few conflicts folks might struggle with, plus a few assorted notes on the schedule.
Friday: Jay-Z vs. the XX. The festival gods (C3 Presents, in this case) have not been shining on the dreamy British pop trio, whose Lollapalooza set, slotted against hometown hero Chance the Rapper, was woefully under attended. They don’t have to go up against Chance this go round, instead they play against one of rap’s titans, Jay-Z. Sorry about that, mates. Also, worth noting, Jigga Man’s sister-in-law Solange plays a set that ends right before he’s scheduled to take the stage.
Saturday: Spoon vs. Tove Lo. This is probably not a conflict for anyone under 25. They are all likely #TeamTove. And sonically, there’s not a huge overlap, but for (older) fans of great pop music this is a bit of a quandary.
Saturday: Chance the Rapper vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Most likely, this isn’t actually a conflict for anyone. Chance fans and RHCP fans exist in largely disparate universes. The only reason to bring this one up is to point out the fact that, for some unearthly reason, ACL has decided to showcase RHCP on the big skyline stage over Chance. In 2017. After all this. And this. Look for a repeat of 2014, when OutKast’s crowd outsized Beck’s by a long shot.
Sunday (weekend one): Jacob Banks vs. Jamila Woods. The fiery soul pop of Jacob Banks and the more introspective neo-soul stylings of Jamila Woods were both wonderful at South by Southwest this year. Why would you do us like this, ACL Fest?
Sunday: D.R.A.M. vs. Skip Marley. D.R.A.M.’s sudden rise to fame is one of my favorite things to happen in modern music. The unlikely rap/R&B star seems as surprised by this turn of events as anyone and his stage shows are marked by a ridiculous level of joyful exuberance. On the other hand, you have Bob Marley’s grandson who just logged a hit with Katy Perry. I’m #teamDRAM, but I suspect it will be a tough call for some.
Sunday: Run the Jewels vs. Badbadnotgood. Do you want to see the most relevant ballistic rap duo on the planet right now, or the excellent avant jazz outfit who released a very good collab album with Ghostface Killah a couple years back? By the way, both group’s latest releases, “RTJ 3” and “Late Night Tales” are straight fire.
Three-day tickets to weekend two of ACL Festival and Friday and Sunday tickets for both weekends are still available. Both Saturdays are sold out.