With so many music festivals popping up in the warmer months, it can be hard to decide which are truly worth your money and available vacation days. Specifics like location and accommodations can keep those afraid of the great outdoors away from events like Coachella and Bonnaroo, where camping tents reign supreme and showers are a limited commodity. For those who prefer their live music experience to be a major pop spectacle with a side of slot machines, last year's inaugural iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas proved to be the cure to the common concert, bringing nearly every huge Top 40 artist (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Clarkson) to the stage over two days. This year Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Usher and Lil Wayne are just a few of the names headlining the show, returning to Sin City on September 21 and 22. Fans are already complaining over the absence of Justin Bieber, yet Ryan Seacrest and the powers that be assure us there are still more artists to be announced.
Along with the expected top-billers and 2012 festival regulars like Calvin Harris, we're most excited by the inclusion of P!nk and No Doubt. P!nk will take the stage days after her new album The Truth About Love is released, while No Doubt will make their much awaited comeback in support of Push and Shove, out September 25. Hopefully "Settle Down" will prove to be better than its single art. Has Gwen Stefani's solo career and many hours spent being the subject of beautiful paparazzi photos with her photogenic children make ND's live show any different? An Aerosmith set means Steven Tyler and Joe Perry will share the stage, regardless of how they feel about one another that week—will Papa Stevie be more lucid on stage playing tunes than he is while spewing something allegedly close to criticism at the American Idol judging table? Following this weekend's violent outburst at a Swedish House Mafia show, what is to be expected from one of their final shows before the imminent break-up? Will Pitbull successfully manage to perform with every one of his fellow acts, Bon Jovi included? Luckily we have a few months to predict all this and more. Tickets are available beginning Friday, July 14. For those debating whether plane tickets and the inevitable hangover are worth it, check out this year's full lineup below.
iHeartRadio Festival 2012
Swedish House Mafia
Mary J. Blige
... and more to be announced.