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The Lineup Announced for Coachella 2017

Victoria Colwell

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The lineup for the 2017 Coachella Music and Arts festival was announced on January 3. This led to more than 510,000 tweets in the first day. The announcement of the lineup carries a few landmark events and is the impetus for a meteoric level of anticipation for the festival from the public.

With Beyonce, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar headlining the festival, it is undeniable that the festival that originally showcased alternative and indie music exclusively has become more diversified to accurately show the landscape of popular music today. For reference, at the inaugural Coachella festival in 1999, the headlining acts were Beck, the Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine. While primarily sticking to the alternative and indie genres at its roots, the range of genres present in the featured artists at this year’s festival are noticeably diverse, with acts ranging from Two Door Cinema Club to DJ Khaled, Tove Lo to Kiiara. A key genre focus in this year’s festival is towards EDM. The second day of the festival alone will feature performances from six high-profile EDM artists: Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Dillon Francis, Empire of the Sun, Justice, and Porter Robinson & Madeon.

The most surprising and one of the most talked about artists that will perform at the festival is Hans Zimmer, world-renowned film composer, arguably most well-known for his work on The Lion King, for which he won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Original Score. Zimmer’s presence on the bill was especially praised by fellow musicians. The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, and deadmau5 all took to Twitter to express roaring approval, with the tweet from the Chainsmokers calling Zimmer “the headliner of all headliners.” The festival will be the setting of the final show of Zimmer’s Hans Zimmer Live world tour.

Another surprising presence on the lineup comes from King Sunny Ade of Nigeria, who is frequently labeled “a pioneer of modern world music” and one of the most influential musicians of all time. He is expected to take the stage on April 16 and 23, the same days that Kendrick Lamar headlines.

A landmark comes with Lorde’s scheduled performance at the second-highest slot of Coachella, the festival being her first performance since November 2014. Skyrocketing to fame in 2013 with an unprecedented rise that included becoming the youngest woman to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 with her hit single “Royals,” Lorde quickly established herself as the queen of the indie scene. In fact, her debut album Pure Heroine has been labeled by Billboard as “one of the most complete albums of the decade.” Following this success, Lorde suddenly and silently went into somewhat of a retirement. Her presence at Coachella, however, as well as her being scheduled for a debut performance at the Governor’s Ball, clearly symbolizes a comeback for her and only further increases anticipation over her releasing new music in this coming year.

The most tweeted about artist at the festival, Beyonce, has made history as the first solo female headliner of Coachella in ten years, with the last being Bjork in 2007. Beyonce headlining the festival has also attracted attention considering the political climate of the country right now. She is the only solo female of color to ever headline the festival, and her presence adds a stark contrast to the headliners of the festival’s past.

One of Beyonce’s fellow headliners, Kendrick Lamar, is also riding out his current success at the festival. At this year’s past Grammy Awards, Lamar won five awards and gave a stunning performance of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” that polarized the nation, with Billboard magazine calling it “easily one of the best live TV performances in history.” His follow up to To Pimp A Butterfly, untitled unmastered., labeled by Lamar himself as a compilation of unfinished demos made in the recording process of the former album, debuted atop the Billboard 200. Having just recently partnered with Reeboks to design a successful line of sneakers, Lamar is definitely remaining in the public eye.

The third headliner Radiohead is maintaining their legendary status and adding to their current relevance with their presence at the festival. Considering the critical and commercial acclaim of their ninth studio album A Moon Shaped Pool, which earned them a Grammy nomination for the song “Burn the Witch,” the English band that has been at the forefront of alternative rock since 1985 is holding strong onto their status. It is also extremely impressive that they are headlining the festival with pop acts like Beyonce despite being most influential in the rock scene, demonstrating the genre-blind appreciation and respect they have for their music.

With the diversity of genres within the lineup that so accurately reflects the variation in modern music, as well as long-awaited performances from artists such as Lorde and the showcasing of well-respected veterans such as Radiohead, the announcement of the 2017 Coachella Music and Arts festival has stimulated artistic support across styles and anticipation to hear music from certain artists later in the year.

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The Lineup Announced for Coachella 2017