Dropped Calling

Fulfilling a promise more than seven months in the making, Festival Republic promoter Melvin Benn, who has been responsible for festivals at Reading and Leeds in England and Glastonbury in Scotland, stood next to a grinning Mayor Buddy Dyer at the Gibson Showroom on Thursday to announce the lineup for the first annual Orlando Calling music festival, to take place Nov. 12 and 13 at the Citrus Bowl. (Yes, the biggest surprise announcement was the reduction from three planned days to two.)

Benn spent most of his podium time speaking about how much it meant to him to have brought a festival to America, stating that he fully intended to represent the “American cultural experience.” As one of many disapproving voices on Facebook and Twitter in the following hour put it, “1994 called … they want their music back.” It turns out, Benn and Dyer’s vision of “America” is not dissimilar from the one so often draped over headliner Kid Rock’s shoulders.

Skewing older, whiter and, especially on the second day, bluesier, than most expected during the festival’s counterproductive months-long silence, the lineup is sprinkled with a couple of local notables (the Supervillains, Renee & the Translators – who played prior to the announcement) with more promised to come. The youngest act announced, the Killers, also drew the biggest applause, while arguably the fest’s biggest draw, Pixies, received no mention at all. Instead, countless gleeful minutes were devoted to 66-year-old Bob Seger, who will close out the festival on Sunday. “It might be the last opportunity to see him in person,” Benn squealed, as if a retirement bow was precisely what Orlando was crossing its fingers for.

Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com. Admission ranges from $80-$87.50 for a single day to $145-$160 for the weekend.

Saturday, Nov. 12:
The Killers
The Avett Brothers
The Roots
The Raconteurs
Gogol Bordello
Iron & Wine
Pete Yorn
Gavin DeGraw
Jenny and Johnny
Drive-By Truckers
Civil Twilight
Dr. Dog
The Felice Brothers
Ben Sollee
Renee & the

Sunday, Nov. 13:
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band Kid Rock
Doobie Brothers
Blake Shelton
Dwight Yoakam
Buddy Guy
Warren Haynes Band
Chris Isaak
Brandi Carlile
Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Michelle Branch
The Flatlanders
Los Lonely Boys
Blues Traveler
Justin Townes Earle
The David Mayfield
The Supervillains


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