There are good music festivals, and there are bad music festivals. But it is hard to immediately think of one that is as unnecessary as the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival. With a lineup that looks like it might have been pulled out of a hat, Billboard’s ode to its own chart (which feels outdated in an age of streaming), playing this weekend at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, will feature big names that have each performed in New York, on their own, as recently as the end of July.
Putting aside the artists who have never even cracked the festival’s titular chart (Axwell ^ Ingrosso have only hit the Hot 100 as a duo in Japan) and those who may have appeared in town on their own (the Lindsey Stirling/Lights tour will get this festival date rather than its own performance), here are five acts that music-savvy New Yorkers have already seen recently.
Last played: Barclays Center, July 26
Other than the possibility of advancing the Drake/Meek Mill “feud” and an almost-guaranteed cameo from fellow fest performer Lil Wayne, it’s hard to imagine any reason why seeing Minaj here would be better than seeing her less than a month ago when her Pinkprint Tour stopped in town.
Natalie La Rose
Last played: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, June 13
La Rose has made the rounds of radio station concerts this year, performing at BLI Summer Jam here, KISS Concert in Boston and Wango Tango in Los Angeles. She’s got a grand total of two singles to her name, so Billboard’s promise of a “full set,” compared to other festivals, seems hollow.
Last played: Hard Rock Café Times Square, June 4
Not only was this a performance and autograph signing, but it was free. Of course, those unwilling to wait in line have had to wait since … KTUphoria, a radio station concert on May 31 that was also at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.
Last played: Music Hall of Williamsburg, May 14
In fairness, Santigold makes every festival better with her high-energy performances and genre-defying sound. Still, her biggest fans saw her in a more intimate venue, surrounded by those who know the words to every track.
Cold War Kids
Last played: Terminal 5, March 20
It’s hard to imagine the band getting to play longer at Billboard than they did at their own show five months ago. And local fans of multi-day fests may have also caught them at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, on June 21.
If you go: Billboard Hot 100 takes place Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, 516-221-1000, $75 (single day), $194 (two-day passes).