Facebook, Twitter and more have been buzzing with news of this year’s Tennent’s Vital headliners. Pages have been set up, photos and posters shared and news organisations including the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish Mirror have been getting in on the act, reporting that American rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers will be playing Tennent’s Vital 2016 in August. However it may be worth calming down for just a moment, the line-ups shown already are far from official.
Firstly, perhaps a bit of good news. While there has been no word or confirmation from the official organisers regarding the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there has been a few hints. The band have already been confirmed to play Reading & Leeds festivals on the weekend of 26th – 28th August. A spokesman for the festival did describe the band as a ‘festival exclusive’, although that may not mean much in practical terms, particularly when it comes to Belfast and its separation from mainland UK.
So what’s the good news here? Well, Ticketmaster is already selling tickets for Reading & Leeds with the band’s name attached. Within the last week or so, it also showed Red Hot Chili Peppers Tennent’s Vital, 25th August 2016. This has since been removed. It’s hard to imagine the link popping up without reason, so fingers crossed that its appearance was premature rather than simply false.
The bad news is that of course the link has disappeared. And rumours of the band’s headline set only gained traction after being reported by the likes of the Belfast Telegraph, who cite no sources. Worse still, there has been nothing said from the event organisers on all this. Tennent’s Lager NI did post very recently hinting at Tenacious D along with a forthcoming announcement but nothing yet from official Vital pages, in fact there doesn’t appear to be an existing official page on Facebook. The Tennent’s Lager post aside, the organisers have said nothing about the rumours. Any official announcement would also surely carry some ticket sale details.
The first of last year’s announcements came from headliner Calvin Harris on 3rd March 2015, before the organisers had announced it themselves. So the confusion over 2016 announcements may not rule any of these rumours out. Unfortunately the silence from the organisers doesn’t confirm or deny.
A lot of the excitement generated so far has come from seemingly fake Facebook pages. One set up last week since disappeared, with another appearing in its place. The posters shown below show the Red Hot Chilli Peppers joined on the line-up by The Prodigy, Green Day, Beyoncé and perhaps strangely, Die Antwoord. The posters mimic last year’s and the page’s ‘like & share to win 10 pairs of VIP tickets’ approach seems a little spammy.
Beyoncé has space in her schedule after her European tour ends in July, while The Prodigy are lined up for Chiemsee Summer Festival in Germany over 24th – 27th August. Green Day have no tour dates listed, while Die Antwoord are in Austria 20th August and Tenacious D spend some time in Europe in June & July. The 1975 may be a safer bet, appearing alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Reading & Leeds bills.
Ultimately the Red Hot Chili Peppers rumours seem to be the most believable (although one hopes that isn’t the 14 year old mega-fan in me talking), particularly with the Ticketmaster link. While the rest of the line-up seems a little more far-fetched, consider the general disappointment around last year’s line-up, they can’t be ruled out completely. None of the touring plans above conflict with the rumoured Tennent’s Vital dates in August and while the likes of Green Day and Tenacious D may not be the most current, the organisers have form with that sort of booking.
Anything less than the rumoured line-ups will lead to a backlash against the organisers with so many believing what they’ve seen so far. Perhaps, with this in mind, the silence may even be supporting the rumours. With an official announcement surely only days or weeks away, it may be best to ignore the current commotion.