In previous years, organizers of the Bamboozle festival have gone out of their way to book acts that seem, well, rather out of place among the sea of girl jeans and guyliner.
Take, for example, the 2006 edition of the fest, when Method Man shared the stage with Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday and a host of other MySpace faves (see "Look Out, Emo Kids: Method Man To Bring The Ruckus To Bamboozle '06"). Or earlier this year, at the inaugural Bamboozle Left, when California MC Murs performed on a bill that included Dashboard Confessional and Cute Is What We Aim For (see "Dashboard, Plus-44 Help Bring Bamboozle Fest To West Coast").
So when it came time to announce the headliners for the 2007 Bamboozle, the brains behind the event were ready with another eyebrow-raiser, one that will certainly have message boards pumping with poorly typed vitriol.
Linkin Park have been confirmed to headline the second day of the 'Boozle, to be held May 5 and 6 at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Organizers named fest mainstays My Chemical Romance first-night headliners last month.
The Bamboozle will be Linkin Park's first U.S. gig in more than two years, and fans can expect to hear some of the material the band has been working on with producer Rick Rubin for its much-anticipated third studio album, which is tentatively due next year (see "Mike Shinoda Hosts Art Show, Says Linkin Park LP Gets Rick Rubin Excited").
And while the prospect of live Linkin Park will undoubtedly excite some, what will the Bamboozle's core audience think? Well, according to festival organizers, that's really not important. For Bamboozle to grow, they argue, it needs to diversify.
"When we started the Bamboozle, we decided that we can't be molded," organizer John D'Esposito told MTV News. "The festival has to diversify and embrace different scenes to make it better. We'd like to think of the Bamboozle as more than a festival. It's a community. To be honest, I never thought we would get Linkin Park. And we're not going to stop there. We're not afraid to press the 'pop' button. If we cross into pop, we'll go there. Because if we don't, it takes away from the overall experience of the festival."
And speaking of that "pop button," D'Esposito said that there's still one rather unexpected surprise guest scheduled to appear at the 2007 Bamboozle. And while he won't reveal exactly who that mystery performer is, he did drop some serious hints.
"Every year, my son, Linc, gets to pick a special guest. Last year, he picked Method Man, and people went crazy. And his pick this year is going to have everyone doing a double take," D'Esposito said. "He's got an idea, and she's confirmed to be at the Bamboozle ... I can't say who, but I will say she's very popular, and that she's an 'Idol.' "
There have been three female "American Idol" champs — Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino and Carrie Underwood — but only Clarkson has been cementing her burgeoning punk cred by working with former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt. So does that mean fans can look forward to seeing the Breakaway star rock the stage at next year's fest?
"Oh man," D'Esposito laughed. "Um, no comment!"
D'Esposito was a bit more forthcoming with other details about the 2007 Bamboozle, including the total number of bands fans can expect to see ("120 over two days") and the number of stages that'll be packed into the Meadowlands Complex (six). Attendees can also look forward to a bunch of glorious ephemera, including a Ferris wheel and an on-site recording studio. Tickets will run $35 for a single day or $65 for a two-day pass, he said.
A special pre-sale for the two-day passes will begin Friday at 12 p.m. ET though the festival's site, TheBamboozle.com