Given Coachella’s history, the news that its three 2016 headliners --
But a rundown of the dozens of acts that will appear in the desert this April reveal a roster that, unlike last year, is rich with big-ticket female creators.
The lineup, announced Monday, will showcase a relative bounty that includes the magnetic beat music of Grimes, whose recent album topped many year-end polls, future-pop singer
The shift stands to reason. These days women run the commercial pop charts, where sales numbers are the only barometer that matters. There, Taylor Swift, Adele, Beyonce and others dominate the conversation. But at marquee festivals like Coachella, where commercial success is often less a consideration than critical buzz, female artists have been woefully underrepresented.
The nadir came last year, when the field was dense with dudes. Only 26 of the nearly 160 artists performing at Coachella were fronted by women. At Bonnaroo in Tennessee, only 20 of the 100 scheduled artists were fronted by women. Across the thriving festival circuit, that trend continued.
Which leads us to this year's roster, which features at least three dozen female-fronted acts -- an increase that may not qualify as a quantum leap but a definite improvement. Like the whole of the fest, they make music that includes experimental pop, EDM, folk, R&B, old-school soul, indie rock and beyond.
Highlights are plentiful. In addition to the above, last year's breakout chanteuse Halsey will make her Coachella debut after selling out two nights at the Fonda in November. The Los Angeles beat producer Tokimonsta, whose rise from tiny clubs to huge festivals has been gradual and assured, will hit a new peak in the desert.
French Cuban sisters Ibeyi will make their Coachella debut to showcase their under-appreciated 2015 album of percussive pop. The Lebanese Nigerian house producer Nicole Moudaber will pummel one of the dance tents on Friday. Art pop innovator Bat for Lashes will draw her many devotees.
FOR THE RECORD
Jan. 5, 10:22 a.m.: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the French-Cuban duo Ibeyi. It has been corrected above.
Ascendent R&B vocalist SZA, part of the Top Dawg Entertainment roster that also features
Those highlights are in addition to the many acts led by female vocalists, including the Kills, Melody's Echo Chamber, Lush, Beach House, Purity Ring, CHVRCHES, AlunaGeorge, Autolux and Phases.
All that said, this isn’t the Lilith Fair. Dudes still make up a majority of the acts, and they’ll likely scream along with
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