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On-line: Celebrating 20 Years of Coachella

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Always a kaleidoscope sound of mainstream’s unpredictable palette, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival has set its 20th return to the famous desert valley between April 12-14 and April 19-21. More than 150 acts will grace Indio’s infamous stages, with a promising show of anthems coming from Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande, respectively at the top of the lineup.

As musical scopes broaden in the age of the internet and quality in fans’ tastes follow suit, artists like Tierra Whack (a dynamic superstar creating her own lane), BLACKPINK (the most celebrated K-Pop girl group in modern times), and Bad Bunny (Latin America’s biggest hip-hop artist today), have deservedly received a coveted invite to the Coachella desert. In addition, dvsn, Ella Mai, Jauz, Maggie Rogers, J Balvin, Billie Eilish, Playboi Carti, Soccer Mommy, H.E.R. and Smino will all be making powerful debuts.

While the world catches up to whatever the youth seems to be up to these days, Coachella strives to be ahead of the curve as artist revelations come about. For instance, hours before the festival announced its official lineup, a special spotlight was given to three of this year’s artists via Twitter, which garnered a proper rumble before the grand reveal.

With the announcement of these three artists, it seems Coachella’s team is pushing to reflect the feel-good inclusivity often found in the makeshift streets of its campgrounds. The first artist, a “disabled disco innovator” by the name of Cola Boyy, is a treasure to listen to just as much as his visual pieces challenge the status quo of what it means to be cool. While Calypso Rose will come from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Korea’s HYUKOH is coming from a storm of sold-out shows in 2018, which together may serve as a preview of the many ways Coachella sees the future of music and its festival.

The inclusion of artists whose names are bigger than whatever they bring to the stage, such as Virgil Abloh and Idris Elba, forwards the probability of timeless moments coming to life within a festival that has personified this phenom itself.

In twenty years, Coachella has pulled off some of the most memorable moments in modern music history by giving artists the creative stage to make a global statement. From bringing Tupac back in hologram form with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, taking Odesza’s light show into the sky with choreographed drones, to every reunion, surprise or not, the days, weeks and sometimes years following a weekend in the desert unearths countless tales of showmanship, creativity, and community. Consistently pushing forward, the once two-day festival has expanded to three days on two consecutive weekends, pioneered a livestream relationship with YouTube for fans at home to enjoy and steadily provided interactive experiences that push even the most avid music fan into a new world.

Sure, the sounds of Coachella have evolved from its early days, but for those willing to evolve, the rewards are plenty.

By many accounts, it would seem strange to be disappointed with this year’s lineup. But in a day and age where consumers’ demands feel insatiable, second, and even third-tier acts must be capable and trusted to provide today’s top-tier performances. Janelle Monáe, Khruangbin, Solange, Weezer, Soulection, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, YG and Gesaffelstein are sure to be among the must-see acts come spring.

To view the full lineup or for more information on Coachella Music and Arts Festival, visit Coachella.com.

Tickets for both weekends of the festival will go on sale Friday, January 4 at 11 AM PST.

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