Back in January, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announced their lineup for their 22nd edition of the festival. Over two weekends in April from the 14-16th and again on the 21-23rd well over 100,00 people each day will dance, vibe, rock out and party. As usual, the biggest and most prestigious fest in America didn’t disappoint fans. Sure a lot of the buzz will inevitably be about the headliners, but with 161 acts currently listed there is plenty to discover.
Let’s start with the headliners, first is the Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny. The singer and rapper has released four solo albums and twice has been Spotify’s most streamed artist of the year, a feat that makes him one of the biggest musical stars in the world, causing the explosion of Spanish-language music to surge in popularity.
While girl and boy pop groups have faded in popularity in North American after the peak in the early 2000’s, in Korea they never stopped topping the charts. BLACKPINK who only put out their debut album in 2020 are the biggest girl group to ever come out of the K-Pop scene. Helping their breakthrough in English markets has been their collaborations with artists such as Selena Gomez, Cardi B and Lady Gaga. Interestingly enough both Bad Bunny and BLACKPINK played at the 2019 Coachella festival, both appearing early evening on their respective days.
The last headliner is the reclusive Frank Ocean. The RnB titan was originally scheduled to make his headlining debut back in 2020, but the festival was cancelled for two years for obvious global pandemic reasons. While it has been seven years since he put out Blonde and Endless, he still commands the respect and adoration that a headliner deserves. With Ocean popping up on the lineup, it has fans hoping that new music might eventually be on his way. He hasn’t played a live show since 2017 and is known for his perfection, to the point of stopping and restarting songs if he feels he isn’t playing them right.
But a festival like Coachella isn’t just about the headliners. Plenty of big names will grace the and whatever genre you like there will be something to discover. With almost a dozen stages spread across the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California there is something for everyone to rock out to.
With the surge in popularity of EDM you have the cream of the crop playing the festival. Whether you are there for legends like the Big House king Calvin Harris, techno icons The Chemical Brothers or Eric Prydz presenting his HALO set (where giant holographic images literally appear over the crowd), the old ravers will be satisfied. If you want more current dance music you can jam with the loop daddy Marc Rebillet in your bath robes, watch Kaytranada blend hip-hop with electronica or see Alison Wonderland’s new alter ego Whyte Fang.
If you are more of a rocker you can punk/new wave originators Blondie, you can relax on your chaise lounge with recent Grammy winners Wet Leg, or get sad with boygenius (the supergroup consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus). You also have the likes of Alex G, Snailmail, Weyes Blood, Knocked Loose and The Breeders depending on your subgenre of choice.
Pop thrives at Coachella, and this lineup won’t disappoint. Rosalía, one of the biggest stars in the world brings the Spanish heat, Charli XCX has the hyper pop to get you going and Christine and the Queens will teach you about alternative disco.
Are you into rap and hip-hop? You can guess what guests Metro Boomin will bring out from his stable of collabs, Pusha T brings his decades of experience to the desert and Latto will have your boss girl anthems. You can party with Saba, GloRilla, EARTHGANG and more too!
There are so many massive names playing the festival it would be a shame to not mention Damon Albarn’s cartoon band Gorillaz, which will surely feature some fun guests, experimental queen Björk, Deadmau5’s techno side project TESTPILOT, dance floor starters Sofi Tukker, The xx’s Romy, latin popstar Kali Uchis and the very first performance ever by Jai Paul. Seriously if you don’t know about his album leak from 2013 and public disappearance you’re in for a wild ride.
The only real question left is, who is 1999.ODDS? The name appears on 5th line of Sunday’s billing, there is no social media presence, no songs on Spotify and no word from the festival. The likeliest answer is that it is someone’s unannounced side project, with the best guess being James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, who will likely be present all weekend as his vintage club Despacio will be running both weekends.
Who are you most excited to see this year? 34 names are listed above and that is barely scratching the surface of this incredibly deep roster of names. Will you be at the Fisher + Chris Lake set, Underworld’s, Cannons, Dominic Fike or somewhere completely different?
Stay tuned at The Soundtrack for more great Coachella content!
Written by Dakota Arsenault