Why Coachella’s 2016 lineup is better than you think
Coachella’s annual lineup announcement never fails to elicit a barrage of negativity and outrage — it’s a given. This year, however, fans seemed especially hostile. Whether upset about the absence of Radiohead, or disdainful about the inclusion of Calvin Harris as a headliner, there were plenty of things that had fans riled up after Monday’s announcement. Yet, rather than focus on the negatives, we’d like to spotlight everything Goldenvoice did right with their lineup.
Upcoming electronic talent get their chance
In many ways, Coachella has become the festival for an artist to make their big break. A single awe-inspiring performance delivered on the Polo Grounds has the power to cement one’s legitimacy on an industry-wide scale. In the case of 2016, Goldenvoice is giving that chance to performers like Zhu, Bob Moses, KSHMR, Lido, and Rufus Du Sol — artists who have rightfully earned their shot at entering the upper echelon of electronic music.
Veteran dance acts take center stage
The return of LCD Soundsystem is reason enough to get excited about this year’s lineup. After a five year hiatus, Coachella will serve as a huge reunion for the beloved rock-electronic act. Seminal ’90 dances acts Underworld and St Germain have also received noteworthy spots, while progressive house legends Sasha and John Digweed will make their return to Indio.
House and techno remain on point
Coachella’s annual house and techno contingent is dutifully consistent. For 2016, Goldenvoice has booked some serious international talent, from DJ Koze and Marco Carola, to Nina Kraviz and Mano Le Tough. Nicole Moudaber will be performing with Skin of Skunk Anansie fame, while Dubfire is rumored to be bringing his live Hybrid show. Further acts like Maceo Plex, Black Coffee, Matthew Dear, and Adam Beyer performing B2B with Ida Engberg are sure to make for another stellar weekend in the Yuma tent.
More female performers
As pointed out by The LA Times, this year’s lineup boasts more female-led performers than ever before: at least 26 by their count. From Canada’s Grimes, to the return of Australian pop icon Sia, there’s plenty of potent women on the lineup providing a bit of a more well-balanced affair than previous years.
Last year, we reported on the fact that over half of Coachella’s lineup consisted of electronic/dance acts. This year, the influence is just as strong (if not stronger) with around 75 or so out of the 160 acts falling under the umbrella category. Call it the sweeping changes of our generation’s taste, or the consequence of evolving technology, but the dominance is undeniable. While many lament the change, it’s ultimately resulted in having enough space on the bill for everyone from larger acts like Zedd and Major Lazer, to more specialized performers like St Germain, Parov Stelar, and The Black Madonna.
DESPACIO all weekend long
Coachella left a surprise at the bottom of their flyer: “DESPACIO All Weekend Long.” The title refers to James Murphy and 2manydjs collaborative live music project, which involves a 50,000 watt sound system and all-vinyl performances. It’s unclear what the plans are yet, but if it’s anything like the project’s debut at Sonar festival in 2014, expect some longwinded sets from the trio in their futuristic, alternative clubbing environment. Don’t be surprised if some DFA special guests find their way behind the decks as well.
Check out the full lineup here if you missed it, and don’t forget, general tickets go on sale on Wednesday, January 6, at 11:00am PT.