At its current rate of expansion, the Sweetlife Food and Music Festival will be in stadiums within a couple of years. What started out as a small gathering in the parking lot behind Sweetgreen’s Dupont Circle location expanded to a full, Strokes-headlined day at Merriweather Post Pavilion last year. On Saturday, it will expand into a two-stage, 20-some act, 30-some food vendor party all over the Merriweather grounds.
Breakout star DJ Avicii is this year’s headliner and the subject of a profile in Friday’s Weekend section. We have the set times, a Spotify playlist of the best tunes you could hear Saturday (a few songs contain bad words) and notes on the recommended acts. (Update: Spotify seems to be having some issues this morning)
12:30 - 1:15 p.m. — fun.
This is the band responsible for “We Are Young,” the song that’s probably stuck in your head this very second. (You know it: “Toniiiiiight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fiiiiire!”) A few years from now we’ll either wonder how this Queen-loving trio was so low on this bill, or forget who they were entirely.
1:45 - 2:30 p.m. — A$AP Rocky
This charismatic Harlem rapper is one of the safest bets for a 2012 breakout. Last year’s “LiveLoveA$AP” mix tape made him an online phenomenon, and his coming debut album, “LongLiveA$AP,” should launch him to crossover stardom.
3 - 4 p.m. — Fitz and the Tantrums
Here’s a band tailor-made for festivals. Its energetic rock-and-soul goes down easy and plays well on big stages.
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. — Explosions in the Sky
5:50 - 7 p.m. — The Shins
James Mercer has convened a new set of bandmates, but his knack for finely crafted, classic, catchy pop songs remains, as heard on new album “Port of Morrow.”
7:20 - 8:30 p.m. — Kid Cudi
9 - 10:30 p.m. — Avicii
12 - 12:20 p.m. — Ben Browning
12:25 - 12:45 — Action Bronson
This renowned chef-turned-rapper still spits lyrics about food, and his style invites comparisons to Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah.
12:55 - 1:15 p.m. — Haim
1:30 - 1:55 p.m. — Yuna
2:10 - 2:35 p.m. — LP
2:50 - 3:20 p.m. — The Knocks
3:35 - 4:05 p.m. — U.S. Royalty
The local neo-classic-rock favorites have become the Sweetlife house band: This marks the third straight year the quarter has performed at the festival.
4:20 - 4:50 p.m. — RAC
5:05 - 5:35 p.m. — Delta Spirit
5:50 - 6:20 p.m. — Zola Jesus
This exceedingly sunny festival needs a little darkness, and Zola Jesus’s glacial, icy synth-driven songs will fill that niche perfectly.
6:35 - 7:15 p.m. — Twin Shadow