Alternative rock may not be the driving cultural force it was in the ’90s, but that won’t stop Tampa from going all-out for this weekend’s 97X Next Big Thing.
For the first time, the annual year-end festival organized by WSUN-FM 97.1 is putting a day off smack in between its first and second days, giving the event a weekend-long feel. Not only that, but opening-night headliners the Killers are playing a small club show the night before, and Sunday performers Judah and the Lion are playing a late-night after-party that could stretch past midnight into Monday. That’s a jam-packed weekend of music.
The station on Tuesday unveiled this year’s full schedule and set times through its app, which you can download here. In the meantime, let’s walk through the lineup day by day.
The Killers haven’t played a public show in Tampa since 2009. But before their grand return at Next Big Thing, the Las Vegas rockers decided to book a small warmup gig at the Orpheum, an Ybor City club with a capacity of fewer than 800. (To put in perspective how insane that is, the Killers this week announced a 2020 stadium tour in Europe.) Tickets, predictably, sold out almost instantly and are now selling for hundreds of dollars on resale sites like VividSeats.com and SecureBoxOffice.com. But buy them at your own risk; the Orpheum has issued a bunch of warnings about purchasing from a third-party reseller, and stated that those ticket holders might not be admitted. Click here for details.
If you want to see the Killers, this is your best bet, as they’ll be Friday night’s headliners. Here’s the schedule:
8:45 p.m.: The Killers
5:30: I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Nothing! Maybe go see Fantasia instead.
If you’re not going to Ariana Grande’s sold-out show at Amalie Arena — or if she cancels again due to illness — you can see the 1975 and more at the Amp. But you won’t be seeing AJR, who were scheduled to take the stage right before the 1975, but on Thursday canceled their appearance due to vocal issues on the part of singer Jack Met. As a result, the original set times shifted throughout the weekend. Here’s how the schedule looks as of Sunday morning:
9:30 p.m.: The 1975
7:45: Judah and the Lion
6: Silversun Pickups
4:15: The Revivalists
2:05: White Reaper
1: Twin XL
12:05: The Band Camino
11:10 a.m.: Smith and Thell
Additionally, a couple of bands will come out for acoustic sets on a side stage on Sunday: Silversun Pickups at 2:45 p.m., and Morgxn at 3:45 p.m.
Finally, Judah and the Lion will headline an after-party at the Hard Rock Cafe inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. That show is set to start at 11 p.m. It’s free, but you must be at least 21. Click here for details.
Tickets to 97X Next Big Thing start at $35 per day or $50 for the weekend, although there are still a handful of ticket drops between now and Friday. For details on all things Next Big Thing, click here.