First Look: SunFest’s 2017 Lineup

Macklemore & Ryan LewisThe SunFest 2017 lineup is here.

If you are like me, your jaw hit the floor at 10 a.m. yesterday, and you’ve yet to pick it up. I am in awe of the incredible acts that are heading to West Palm Beach this May. Each year I go giddy for the lineup, but this is really something special. Let’s pause on three of our favorites:

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Friends, I have never seen Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live. I know, I know! It’s very difficult for me to share that I have missed all prior performances by this thrifty, Grammy Award-winning duo. I am ecstatic to rectify this error in a few weeks.

The recipe for global, smashing success calls for both men. Ben Haggerty IS Macklemore– a bombastic, instantly recognizable singer and rapper. Ryan Lewis is a brilliant record producer, DJ, and professional photog. Together they’ve made magic.

Macklemore and Lewis have released an EP and two albums to date. In 2012, The Heist gave us “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love.” This Unruly Mess I’ve Made was shared just last year, and contains “Downtown,” “White Privilege II,” and “Dance Off.”

The duo has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards. In 2014, they won four, including “Best New Artist” and “Best Rap Album” for The Heist. “Thrift Shop” won “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Performance.”

Now, I admittedly might be the only person here who actively follows Australian radio stations, but it’s worth mentioning that “Thrift Shop” was voted number one on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2012. What is Triple J? Only the world’s largest music poll. It’s held annually on Australia Day, January 26, with millions of voters participating around the world. “Thrift Shop” is first hip-hop song to top the Triple J chart in Hottest 100 history. It’s a big deal.

We’ll have more on this act but save the date now. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will take the Ford Stage on Thursday, May 4. (May the fourth be with you.)

Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

I have grown up listening to the soothing narratives of this Grammy Award-winning artist and can’t wait to hear his sounds on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

San Antonio’s Cross is responsible for the early ‘80s signature hits “Ride Like the Wind” and “Sailing.” His self-titled album won five Grammy Awards, including “Record of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” “Song of the Year” for “Sailing,” and “Best New Artist.” Cross was the first artist to grab all four awards in one night.

Over the last 30 years, Cross has continued to create beautiful music. His most recent release, Secret Ladder, marks his tenth album. Secret Ladder is described as romantic and serene– and “evokes the artistry” of Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. New and old fans will love it.

Whether you are 15 or 55, now is a great time to explore Cross’ catalog of work. He’ll serenade the Tire Kingdom Stage on Sunday, May 7. I’ll see you in the shade.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

No, you don’t need glasses. Taylor Bennett definitely looks like the spitting image of Chance the Rapper. How is this possible? Bennett is Chance’s younger brother.

Watch our South Florida. This 21-year-old Chi-town artist is side-stepping his brother’s shadow to share his own tunes. Bennett has been selling out shows across Chicago and has opened up for Vic Mensa, Nas, YG & Curren$y.

In 2015, Bennett released his debut album, Broad Shoulders, which received pick up and praise from Rolling Stone and Interview. Bennett credits Twista, Kendrick Lamar (a SunFest veteran!), and Kanye West for their impact on his music.

If you like being ahead of the curve with good music, get hooked on Bennett now– before he’s also scooping up Grammy Awards. The Bennett family deserves both of your ears.

Catch Taylor Bennett on the Jet Blue Stage on Friday, May 5.

Which artists are you most excited to see this spring? Let us know on social. Follow SunFest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And buy your tickets NOW! Prices are set to increase soon.

I’ll see you soon, South Florida!