A headliner is typically the most popular act at a concert and can be anyone from a solo artist to a band.
Headliners can make or break a concert, and often draw the biggest crowds. So, what makes someone a headliner? And how do you know if the headliner is worth seeing?
In fact, I’ve often gone to festivals and concerts only for certain particular headliners — many people do in fact.
With that being said, let’s dive into everything you need to know about headliners.
Table of Contents
What is a Headliner at a Concert?
Typically, the headliner is the main act or performer who plays last and who draws the biggest audience. They are typically the most famous or popular artist or band on the bill.
Headliners can also be chosen for their ability to draw in fans of other bands on the lineup, creating a more well-rounded show. In some cases, a headliner may not be the most popular act on the bill, but they are booked because they are able to sell more tickets than any other act.
Whatever the reason, headliners are an important part of any show and play a crucial role in setting the tone for the evening.
For example, at a large festival like Coachella, the headliners are typically the most popular artists at the moment. Headliners in the past have included big names such as Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, and Tame Impala.
Each of these artists is extremely popular and has a diehard fan base that will follow them to any show. On the other hand, smaller festivals may book headliners that are up-and-coming artists or bands that are on the verge of breaking into the mainstream.
These headliners may not be as well known as the acts at larger festivals, but they are chosen because they have the potential to draw in a large crowd and put on an amazing show.
How to Know if the Headliner is Worth Seeing
When choosing whether or not to see a headliner, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
1. Taste in Music
The first is obviously your own taste in music. If you’re not a fan of the headliner, then it’s probably not worth your time and money to see them live.
For example, I’m a huge fan of Rufus du Sol, so I’ve gone to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado in the past just to see them live!
2. Size of the Venue
Another important factor to consider is the size of the venue. If you’re seeing a headliner at a small club, it’s likely that they will play a more intimate show with less production than if you saw them at an arena or stadium.
This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences. I personally prefer seeing smaller shows because you feel more connected to the artist and the music, but some people prefer the spectacle of a larger show.
3. Consider the Opening Acts
Finally, you should also consider the supporting acts. In many cases, the headliner will bring along a few other bands or artists to play before them.
These supporting acts can be just as good as the headliner, so it’s worth checking them out before making your decision.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not the headliner is worth seeing. There is no right or wrong answer, and it ultimately comes down to your own taste in music and what you’re looking for in a live show.
What Does a Headliner Do?
The headliner is responsible for closing the show, and they typically play the longest set of the night.
They are also usually responsible for the most production, meaning they will have the most lights, pyrotechnics, and special effects. Headliners often save their best songs for last, so you can expect to hear their biggest bangers during their set.
The headliner is also responsible for setting the tone for the show. If they are a high-energy band, then the crowd will be pumped up and ready to party. If they are a more relaxed band, then the crowd will be more chill. It’s important to consider the tone of the headliner when choosing whether or not to see them live.
How Long Do Headliners Play at Concerts or Festivals?
The length of a headliner’s set can vary depending on the size of the venue and the length of the show.
In general, headliners at large festivals will play for about two hours, while headliners at smaller clubs will play for about one hour.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, so it’s always worth checking the length of the headliner’s set before you go to see them live.
No matter how long they play, you can be sure that the headliner will put on an amazing show that you won’t want to miss. So if you’re a fan of the artist and the opportunity presents itself, make sure to see them live!
How Do You Know Which Band or DJ is Headlining?
There are a few ways to find out who is headlining a show or festival. The most obvious way is to check the lineup, which will usually be listed on the event’s website.
Another way to find out is to look for posters or flyers around town. If you see a poster with the name of the headliner in big letters, then you can be sure that they are the main attraction.
Another way to find out is to ask people who have been to the event before. If you know someone who has been to the show or festival, they may be able to tell you who the headliner was. This is a great way to get first-hand information about the event and what you can expect.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Headliner?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to being a headliner. One advantage is that you get to play the longest set of the night.
This means you can really show off your skills and put on an amazing show for the crowd. Another advantage is that you have the most production, so you can really go all out with your stage show.
One disadvantage of being a headliner is that you have a lot of pressure to perform. The crowd is there to see you, so you need to make sure you put on a great show. Another disadvantage is that you often have to follow up other great bands or artists, which can be tough to do.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re a great performer and you can handle the pressure, then being a headliner is definitely for you. But if you’re not sure you can handle the pressure, then you might want to stick to being a supporting act.
What Do Opening Acts in a Concert Do While the Headliner is Performing?
The opening acts will be responsible for managing any guests that they have with them. This includes making sure that their guests are comfortable and have everything they need.
Opening acts will also use this time to mingle with the other bands and artists that are performing at the event. This is a great way to network and make new connections in the industry.
What Happens if the Headliner Cancels?
If the headliner cancels, the opening acts will usually be asked to play longer sets. This is because the crowd is there to see the headliner and they will be disappointed if they don’t get to see them perform.
If there are no other bands or artists available to fill in for the headliner, then the event will usually be canceled. This is because the headliner is the main attraction and without them, there is no reason for the event to go on. This is the worst-case scenario.
In some cases, the headliner may not cancel but they may not show up on time. This can cause delays in the schedule and may result in the opening acts having to play longer sets. This is annoying to the audience (I’ve been there) but at least they show up.
No matter what happens, it’s always important to be prepared for anything when you’re a headliner. This means having a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
What are the Different Types of Headliners?
There are many different types of headliners, but the most common type is the band that is headlining the show. This means that they are the main attraction and the crowd is there to see them perform.
Another type of headliner is the DJ. DJs are often the headliners of electronic music events. This is because they are the ones who are responsible for playing the music and keeping the crowd entertained.
There are also headliners who are not bands or artists. These are usually people who are famous for something else, such as being a model or an actor. They may be asked to headline an event because of their celebrity status.
In conclusion, a headliner is the main attraction at an event. They are responsible for entertaining the crowd and making sure that the event is a success. There are many different types of headliners, but the most common type is a band or artist.
Nate’s first ever major EDM event was Hard Summer in 2016. After hearing Porter Robinson close out the festival, he’s been attending live shows on a consistent basis. His favorite EDM genres are currently trance, drum and bass, and house.