iTunes Festival line-up: who's playing?

Free music, anyone? Check out who's taking to the stage at iTunes' annual gratis gigs

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Every year the lovely people at iTunes treat us Londoners to a seriously good series of free gigs, and they’ve gone and done it again. The ever-popular iTunes Festival rolls into town for its seventh run this September and is set to bring thirty nights of superb music to Roundhouse. Topping the bill so far is suit-and-tie-clad sexy-revivalist Justin Timberlake. Other acts already confirmed for the capital’s best free music event are our favourite French synthpoppers Phoenix, vet rockers Queens of the Stone Age and warbling sensation Jessie J.

Tickets are won on a ballot basis, so simply enter your details at itunesfestival.com to be in with a chance of securing some. iTunes will be adding acts to line-up the festival right up until its opening in September, which is when exact show times will also be confirmed.

Check out who's playing iTunes Festival 2013

Lady Gaga

  • Critics choice

Her Royal Gaganess is used to packing out enormo-domes and stadiums: at her 'Born This Way' Ball at Twickenham last year, you'd have needed binoculars to see the pop superstar herself among the pyrotechnics, full-sized castle, mechanical horses, motorbike pianos, pregnant aliens, meat sofas etc. This intimate show, then, is a super-rare opportunity to see her in the flesh (or vinyl, or haematite, or whatever she's made out of) as she plays a full set of new material from her forthcoming album 'Artpop'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 1
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Sigur Rós + Poliça

  • Critics choice

Distinguished by the astonishing, crystalline voice of frontman Jónsi Birgisson, the Icelandic post-rockers play from their new album 'Kveikur'. It's their second full-length release in two years, and showcases a heavier, crunchier take on the band's epic, neo-classical soundscapes. They're supported by hotly tipped, vocoder-heavy Minneapolitans Poliça, with their seductive blend of trip hop and synth-pop.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 2
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The Lumineers + Phox

Folk rockers from Denver, Colorado, head back to London to headline at iTunes Festival with their stompy, strummy Americana. Just to reiterate, they really like stamping their feet. Wear strong shoes. In support, midwestern seven-piece Phox turn simple folk-pop songs into chaotic, joyful electronica.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 3
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Paramore + Fenech-Soler

Fronted by the charismatic, flame-haired spitfire Hayley Williams and her impressive lungs, this Tennesse four-piece bring their hard-riffing emo-pop to London. After their last album the line-up acrimoniously lost the Farro brothers, Josh (guitar) and Zac (drums), but the remaining members seem to be moving swiftly on: the first single off their new, self-titled fourth record is pointedly called 'Now'. In the support slot are rug-destroying electro-dance pop foursome Fenech-Soler, playing from their second album 'Rituals'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 4
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Rizzle Kicks + Eliza Doolittle

  • Critics choice

It's unsurprising that the venues keep getting bigger for this excellent poppy hip hop duo. Rizzle and Sylvester come from Brighton with a brass section and a barrow full of hits from their debut album 'Stereo Typical', as well as new tracks from the (jazz age-themed?) follow-up 'Roaring 20s'. Opening the show, impossibly smiley, pop-happy Lily Allen-alike Doolittle performs tracks including her recent Disclosure collab, 'You & Me'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 5
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Queens Of The Stone Age + Palma Violets

  • Critics choice

Josh Homme, 'the ginger Elvis', and his thrillingly intense band stir up their irresistibly sexy mixture of desert rock, blues, stoner metal and grunge. They're bringing their new record '...Like Clockwork' to London tonight, along with a hugely impressive 15-year back catalogue packed with towering riffs. Fuzzy, scruffy British indie rockers Palma Violets support.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 6
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Phoenix + Little Green Cars

  • Critics choice

It’s an obvious gag, but Parisian alt-rockers Phoenix really did rise from the ashes after 2009’s ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ album. As pals of Daft Punk and one-time backing band of Air, they’ve been on the scene since the ’90s renaissance of French cool. Huge singles like ‘1901’ saw the four-piece man up, rock out and write a clutch of stadium-sized songs that retain the same suave panache they save for wearing scarfs. This show is a chance to see the next stage in their rebirth – their new album ‘Bankrupt!’, released earlier this year. In support are Little Green Cars – essentially the Irish Mumford & Sons, with plenty of big kick-drum action and sentimental vocal harmonies.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 7
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Bastille + The 1975

  • Critics choice

Earlier this year, Bastille’s ‘Bad Blood’ became the first Number One debut album by a British band in three years. The group, led by the ‘Eraserhead’-haired Dan Smith, now take their storming, synth-led pop-rock to the Roundhouse to headline at the iTunes Festival. They've already supported Emeli Sandé and they have enough catchy, captivating hooks in their repertoire to keep rising up the ranks. Backing them up are The 1975, four Mancunian lads playing shimmering, catchy indie rock which leans towards sub-bass and synths.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 8
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Arctic Monkeys + Drenge

  • Critics choice

The ferociously talented and hugely popular boys from Sheffield headline with their white-knuckle blend of sinewy alt pop, hard-driving rock and lyrical chicanes. They're one of the country's finest young bands – still all under 30 years old – and their new album, 'AM', is looking to be another winner, so don't miss this first chance to hear it live in London for free. Dirty blues garage-rockers Drenge support, so look out for Tom Watson MP (a high-profile fan) in the crowd.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 9
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Jake Bugg + Valerie June

  • Critics choice

Retro-tinged but refreshing 19-year-old singer-songwriter Bugg burst from his hometown of Nottingham to the top of the charts in 2012. His brand of indie country-folk adopts a Dylan-esque rasp, but is pitched a little higher and, obviously, has a younger take on life's big themes. Fans of Johnny Cash and Miles Kane will approve equally. In support, big-voiced Memphis singer June plays 'organic moonshine roots music'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 10
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Kings Of Leon + Jimmy Eat World

  • Critics choice

The four members of the Followill family who comprise chart-topping Southern hipsters Kings of Leon have proved they can rock the pants off a huge crowd with their blend of filthy, lean swamp rock – but they're also prone to stadium-rock bloat and excess, as demonstrated on their last album, 2010's disappointing 'Come Around Sundown'. Things took a turn for the worse on their last US tour, when the lead singer Caleb Followill was so drunk on stage he had to stumble off to vomit in the middle of the set, and didn't come back on. Fortunately, Kings Of Leon are back with a new album, 'Mechanical Bull' (due later this year), and sound revitalised after their hiatus. They're supported tonight by Arizona's premier commercial emo-core combo Jimmy Eat World, belting out new material from 'Damage', their eighth album, and the classics: 'Bleed American', 'Pain' and, of course, 'The Middle'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 11
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Elton John + Tom Odell

  • Critics choice

Remember when rock was young? The 66-year-old Sir Elton Hercules John does, and at this free gig he'll be showing the younger generation how to really rock a stage: sat down, in a wig, with four decades' worth of epic piano anthems. Supporting – and taking notes on the gap-toothed ivory-tinkler's chops from the side of the stage – is rising singer-songwriter Tom Odell, with songs from his debut album 'Long Way Down'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 12
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Avicii + Henrik B

He has a name that makes him sound like a Greek gladiator but the young Swedish house star has already headlined the O2 and received props from jet-setting A-listers like David Guetta and Madonna, so it seems fitting for him to take a slot at the iTunes Festival. His chart-topping electro chuggery may initially seem more at home in Ibiza than a gig venue in Chalk Farm, but he obviously knows how to work a crowd, so let's hope the party punters don't mind being chucked out at a time when most of them are used to hitting their first club. Avicii is supported tonight by the production skills of fellow countryman Henrik B.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 13
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Chic with Nile Rodgers + Janelle Monáe

  • Critics choice

The ever-lovable Nile Rodgers leads his glimmering band of disco-funk-R&B pop perfectionists onto the stage once again, this time for a headline show at the iTunes Festival. With the renewed interest in vintage funk and all things disco, plus Rodgers' appearance on some track called 'Get Lucky' with a couple of French dudes, Chic and Nile have been on fire recently, so watching them roll out their huge catalogue of hits and gems, including 'Le Freak', 'Good Times' and 'Everybody Dance', should be a treat. And for any fact finders out there, Rodgers' 1958 Stratocaster has apparently played an estimated $2 billion worth of music, such has been the group's knack for hit making over the years. No Pete Townshend-ish guitar battering from Mr Rodgers, then. Sharp, soulful, R&B singer Janelle Monáe supports.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Sat Sep 14
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Vampire Weekend + The Olms

  • Critics choice

New York college-rock hipsters Vampire Weekend started out as an awkward rap duo, but fortunately discovered that a mixture of indie rock angularity and buoyant Afro-pop suited them better – so well, in fact, that they their last two albums have bothed topped the US chart. Their third album, 'Modern Vampires of the City', adds an exciting dose of classic rock ’n’ roll and some experimental recording techniques to the formula, and should feature heavily in tonight's set at the iTunes Festival. Support comes from The Olms, a duo which includes singer-songwriter Pete Yorn.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 15
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Jack Johnson + Bahamas

Hawaiian surfer and singer-songwriter Johnson catches a wave to London tonight to perform his light-as-a-feather acoustica to an audience of gap-year tragedies and dinner party hosts. With his wistful, gentle ditties about taking life easy, getting in tune with nature, hooking up, getting dumped and making banana pancakes, Johnson isn't to everyone's taste – but by the time September rolls around his sleepy pop might be just the warm musical breeze you need to round off the summer. Johnson is supported by Bahamas, who is – surprise, surprise – a gentle singer-songwritery type, but who is from the distinctly un-tropical climes of Canada.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 16
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Ludovico Einaudi + Agnes Obel

An Italian pianist, composer and film collaborator, Einaudi draws from experimental jazz, avant-garde classical and world music. Since 2009, he has been incorporating synthesized electronic sounds into his compositions alongside his fluid piano parts. Support tonight comes from Agnes Obel, a Danish singer-songwriter who makes haunting, intricately harmonised, piano-led songs.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Tue Sep 17
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Thirty Seconds To Mars + The Family Rain

Jared Leto is best known as an actor in 'My So-Called Life', 'Requiem for a Dream' and 'Fight Club', but since the late ’90s he has also been making melodic, proggy alt rock with his brother Shannon in Thirty Seconds To Mars. Their super-earnest, naffly poetic post-grunge bombast makes them the closest thing America has to Muse, especially on their electronically-tilted new concept album 'Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams'. The Family Rain, three brothers from Bath who make blues-influenced indie rock, play a support slot.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Wed Sep 18
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Kendrick Lamar + Schoolboy Q

  • Critics choice

Straight outta Compton – that's California, not Surrey – the hugely impressive Kendrick Lamar ventures to the Big Smoke to spit his quick-fire rhymes at the iTunes Festival. His second LP, 'Good Kid, MAAD City', was one of the most talked-about records of 2012 – dark and heavy but catchy as hell – and this show (with support by Los Angeles MC Schoolboy Q) is a great chance to hear what he's been cooking up since then. Will he drop any bombs like his verse on Big Sean's 'Control', which dissed pretty much every rapper currently in the game?

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Thu Sep 19
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Primal Scream + Skinny Girl Diet

  • Critics choice

The permanently ill-looking Bobby Gillespie and his equally ravaged band tackle select chunks of a 30-year career. In that time they've oscillated wildly from jangle indie pop to acid house-influenced rave-ups, from Stones-aping rhythm ’n’ blues to grubby, krauty electronica and back – and their new album 'More Light' pulls a good deal of those sounds together. It's their best in ages, and on top of that most of the band's current incarnation got reacquainted with the classic 'Screamadelica' on a nostalgic tour in 2011, so as long as they're on form tonight this should be a stunner. They're backed up by Skinny Girl Diet, a blistering London riot grrrl trio.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Fri Sep 20
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Haim + Gabrielle Aplin + more

  • Critics choice

The three Haim sisters (plus a drummer, no relation) bring their brilliant and breezy West Coast harmonies to the UK to headline the iTunes Festival. They haven't even brought out a debut album yet, but they're already big news thanks to a string of epic, R&B-influenced pop singles – as much Wilson Phillips as Heart or Fleetwood Mac. Turn up early for three support acts: equally breezy beat-popper Dan Croll, groovy Mancunian Bipolar Sunshine and young singer-songwriter Aplin, who's gone from soundtracking John Lewis ads to Number Two on the UK album chart.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 21
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Ellie Goulding

  • Critics choice

She's a big star nowadays, headlining the royal wedding reception in 2011 and romantically involved with Skrillex (of all people) for several months, but Goulding still has a fragile, personal side to her music that sets her apart from other chart-pop performers. She does her disco-meets-electronica thing at the Roundhouse tonight for the iTunes Festival, breathily singing tracks from her 2012 album 'Halcyon'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Sun Sep 22
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Jessie J + Lawson

  • Critics choice

Gobby, motor-mouthed and blessed with an enormous pair of lungs, Jessica Cornish shot to fame in 2011 with a flawed-but-ballsy debut album called 'Who You Are', full of grinding R&B and vocal acrobatics. She has since grabbed even more attention with some well-placed appearances at the Olympics Closing Ceremony and as a guest judge on BBC talent show 'The Voice'. Currently bald after shaving her hair off for charity in March, Jessie J is a reliably brilliant and energetic live act who can belt like the best of them – and at this iTunes Festival show she'll finally have a new album to play from, too. In support are insipid, squeaky-clean and worryingly popular boy band Lawson.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Mon Sep 23
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Robin Thicke + Aloe Blacc

Chart-busting R&B perv Robin Thicke headlines at the iTunes Festival. He's been bumped up from a support slot with John Legend , presumably because of the continuing success of his track 'Blurred Lines': a Number One hit in nine countries, it got extra exposure due to its controversial video and it also holds the record for the biggest radio audience ever. Oh, and Thicke will probably be playing some other songs too. In support, Californian R&B crooner Aloe Blacc sings tracks including 'I Need a Dollar'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 24
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Pixies + No Ceremony

  • Critics choice

Pioneering alt rock band Pixies are back in London to scratch and scream their way through selections from their four classic albums. Since they last played here, founding member Kim Deal has quit the band, so her bass parts and vocals will be handled by Kim Shattuck of The Muffs – which is a bummer, but don't worry, as you can still count on the band ripping through something like 30 songs in 90 minutes with their trademark blend of rickety, buzzsaw surf guitar, quiet-LOUD dynamics and totally whacked-out lyrics about sex, sin and surrealist cinema. Pixies are supported by Mancunian band No Ceremony, whose dark electronic dance-pop and dramatic female vocals mean that most of their songs sound like deep house remixes of Florence And The Machine.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Wed Sep 25
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Tinie Tempah + Naughty Boy

  • Critics choice

The charming grime-dance popster, with a penchant for nerdy specs and smart threads, headlines. Get ready for chart hits like the synth-slathered soul of 'Pass Out', the trance and breaks-influenced 'Frisky' and other tracks from his Number One debut album 'Disc-Overy', but also plenty of cuts from his new album, 'Demonstration', which should hopefully be out after some delays by the time he plays this iTunes show. MPC-wielding producer and songwriter Naughty Boy plays a warm-up set.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Thu Sep 26
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Dizzee Rascal

  • Critics choice

The nation's premier grime-pop MC, Dylan Mills aka Dizzee Rascal, drops his granite-hard beats and sharp, self-aware rhymes all over the Roundhouse as he headlines the iTunes Festival. Count on it: you'll be hearing plenty of tracks from his new album 'The Fifth', released three days after the gig, which continues Dizzee's foray into pop but hangs on to his hugely inventive lyrics.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Fri Sep 27
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John Legend

Church choir leader, pianist, vocalist and arranger Legend worked behind the scenes with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, Nas, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys and even Michael Jackson, but he's now most famous as a neo-soul crooner in his own right. He's back with a new album, 'Love in the Future', which will get its first London airing at the iTunes Festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Sat Sep 28
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Justin Timberlake + Mikky Ekko

  • Critics choice

From Disney Channel star to *NSync, from 'Justified' to 'Suit and Tie', JT is an irrepressible performer who was responsible for some of the most impressive R&B – and dance moves – of the noughties. Even if parts of his new album 'The 20:20 Experience' were a tad bloated, Trousersnake has enough huge, falsettoed pop hits to keep an audience grooving all night.This is a tiny show for him, and is guaranteed to be one of the most oversubscribed events of the iTunes Festival. Ekko, a Louisiana-born singer-songwriter and producer who's worked with Rhianna, opens the show.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Sun Sep 29
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Katy Perry + Iggy Azalea + Icona Pop

  • Critics choice

The pop-licious Ms Perry returns to London, performing all her juicy hits: 'I Kissed A Girl', 'Hot ’n’ Cold', 'Firework', 'California Gurls' her new single 'Roar' and more). There'll be costume changes, glitter, confetti and a veritable sugar rush of perky, air-punching pop. Tonight, she's supported by rising Australian rapper Iggy Azalea as well as Icona Pop, the Swedish duo behind the international Number One track 'I Love It'.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 30
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3 comments
Luke Burns
Luke Burns

Looks a great line-line-up. There are some pretty good support acts. Is there more support acts names to be posted . Luke

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