Now entering its third year, iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas has quickly established itself as a home to a who’s who of every major artist across virtually every format on radio. This year’s lineup is no exception, with Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Elton John, Bruno Mars and a special pairing of Queen with Adam Lambert among the acts set to lead the bill.
The two-day festival will be held on September 20 and 21 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena, with a first-time Fan Village set to run during the daytime at a 15-acre parking lot adjacent to the arena. That space will be free to ticket winners (or an affordable separate ticket for non-mainstage attendees) and will feature performances from Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, AWOLNATION, Pete Tong, Twenty One Pilots and Jason Derulo.
The main festival lineup was announced Monday morning (July 15) in a press conference hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel programming chief Tom Poleman. While a final schedule will be announced close to the festival, confirmed talent includes the aforementioned Timberlake, Perry, John, Mars, Queen and Lambert, as well as Muse, Tiesto, Chris Brown, Keith Urban, fun., Phoenix, Zedd, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Ke$ha, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Benny Benassi and other planned surprise guests.
The 2012 iHeartRadio played host to several impromptu duets and collaborations, including a kickoff performance of No Doubt joined by P!nk for “Just A Girl”; Usher joining Swedish House Mafia for the first live performance of their song “Euphoria”; a surprise appearance from Prince for a pair of duets during Mary J. Blige’s set; deadmau5 and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way; Lil Wayne and Keyshia Cole and many more (click here for a full 2012 iHeartRadio recap).
Perhaps the event’s most memorable, if ultimately somber moment, was an abbreviated set from Green Day, during which frontman Billie Joe Armstrong famously railed against the festival for (erroneously) cutting the band’s set short and proceeded to smash the band’s instruments across the stage. The singer checked into rehab the next day, canceling all tour dates and promo appearances for Green Day’s ambitious “Uno! Dos! Tre!” album project last fall.
This year’s lineup features a performance by Timberlake after his Legends of the Summer stadium tour with Jay-Z concludes and right before Part 2 of “The 20/20 Experience” is released on Sept. 30. Meanwhile, Katy Perry’s performance will mark the end of a quiet year for the pop singer, who has been working on the follow-up to 2010’s hits-packed “Teenage Dream” album. And the special performance by Adam Lambert and Queen follows last week’s news that Lambert has split with RCA Records due to a disagreement over the direction of his next album. Lambert, who released “Trespassing” in 2012, first performed with Queen in late 2011.
Here is the lineup for the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival:
Thirty Seconds to Mars
Special live appearance by Queen and Adam Lambert
Other special surprise guests
iHeartRadio Music Festival Village (multiple stages)
Twenty One Pilots
[Additional reporting by Jason Lipshutz, Billboard]