Pop heartthrob Robin Thicke, dance-club pixie Ellie Goulding, electronica whiz Pretty Lights and blue-collar banshee Kid Rock top the bill for SunFest 2014 in downtown West Palm Beach April 30-May 4.
The annual reveal of the SunFest music lineup always feels a little like Christmas at grandma’s: Did she get the note about the Beats by Dre headphones or will it be socks again? This year, grandma's somewhere in the middle. A shirt you'll actually wear.
The 2014 SunFest lineup announced Thursday morning seems to lean more toward the obligatory crowd-pleasers, but there are a few acts that required a bit more thought. I mean, Dick Dale? C’mon!
In the first category is the ubiquitous Thicke ("Blurred Lines") and the only slightly less-heard Goulding (“Lights,” “Burn”). Tween hero Austin Mahone is on the bill, which will please his legion of South Florida fans, as is hip-hop star J. Cole. Pop-music fans should be well-pleased.
The indie side of the menu isn't particularly ambitious, ranging from the danceable noodlings of Pretty Lights to the SoCal pop-rock of Young the Giant. But there's also still-rising West Palm Beach natives Surfer Blood, who will come to SunFest shortly after performing at Coachella.
Harder rock will come from Kid Rock, Alice in Chains, Daughtry, Dropkick Murphys and Sublime with Rome. Old reliables – sometimes just what you want on a beautiful day in May – include the Goo Goo Dolls, Blues Traveler, the Wailers and the Doobie Brothers.
There will be country storytelling from Justin Moore and Josh Thompson. Also recommended: singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson, who turned in a captivating performance at the recent Lauderdale Live.
There's no one on the 2014 bill with the rock bona fides of last year's headliner, Smashing Pumpkins, or the hip-hop influence of Kendrick Lamar. Last year also included reggae icon Jimmy Cliff and young blues-guitar lion Gary Clark Jr.
But we'll always have Dick Dale.
IF YOU GO
SunFest takes place April 30-May 4 along Flagler Drive from Banyan Boulevard to Lakeview Avenue on the Intracoastal in downtown West Palm Beach.
SunFest tickets: $30 in advance for a one-day ticket ($39 at gate), $46 for a two-day pass ($56 at gate) and $61 for a five-day pass ($71 at gate). Tickets ages 6-12 are $8/$10 for single day, $20/$22 for two days and $30/$39 for five days. Tickets for seniors are available for $20 at the gate only. Kids 5 and younger are free.
Advance ticket sales are available now through April 26 at SunFest.com or by calling 800-786-3378. They also can be purchased at the SunFest store (525 Clematis St.) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and at many Publix locations from April 13 to April 26.