Pitbull, Nick Jonas, Billy Idol Among SunFest 2018 Headliners

Mr. 305 will become, for a night in May, Mr. 561, as Miami hip-hop superstar Pitbull will co-headline SunFest’s 2018 installment (May 3-6).

Palm Beach County’s largest and most profitable music festival announced nearly 50 artists on Wednesday during its much-anticipated lineup release. EDM phenom ZEDD, recent Grammy-nominated MC Logic, and southern rappers Rae Sremmurd also received top billing. Given I hadn’t heard of any of these artists until yesterday, it’s safe to say SunFest is more cutting-edge than yours truly—this may be SunFest’s most eclectic and experimental lineup yet.

Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas

Pop icon Nick Jonas, venerable rockers Incubus, and alt-stoner staples Sublime with Rome and 311 have also secured top spots, along with sneering New Wave legend Billy Idol, deadpan alternative favorites Cake, and the glitchy mash-ups of Girl Talk.

Canadian singer-songwriter and Drake record-label signee Partynextdoor, anthemic roots-rockers Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, melodic ‘90s popsters Third Eye Blind and indie-pop radio staples Grouplove will take the stage as well.

KC & the Sunshine Band; Credit Larry Marano © 2016
KC & the Sunshine Band; Credit Larry Marano © 2016

Further variety comes in the form of Miami disco standbys KC & the Sunshine Band, ska veterans Toots and the Maytals and newly revitalized hard rockers Living Colour. While SunFest was not able to secure the biggest names on the fest circuit this year—Eminem, Jack White, Beck, Kendrick Lamar, et al—it remains one of the most diverse festival lineups in the nation, and its cafeteria approach should once again attract fans of every splinter genre of popular music.

If there’s a trend this year, it’s that there are fewer dinosaurs—which is to say the graying arena rockers that typically play casinos and state fairs—and more chart-toppers of today and tomorrow. Whether you like it or not, nearly all of this year’s headliners eschew organic instruments in favor of keyboards, synthesizers and pre-programmed beats. They’ll still make quite a racket for four days in May, most of it pumping into the festival’s youngest ears yet.

For the full schedule and to order tickets, visit sunfest.com.