Entertainment & Arts

Arts Preview: Coachella is set to power up the music festival season

Preview Pop Festivals
Brian Johnson, left, and Angus Young of AC/DC in Dayton, Ohio, on April 3, 2001.
(Ron Alvey, For The Times)

The modern music festival tries to be all things to all people. Consider, for instance, this year’s lineup for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, set for the weekends of April 10-12 and April 17-19.

Classic rock? AC/DC and Steely Dan. Indie rock? Belle & Sebastian and Father John Misty. Dance music? David Guetta and Kaskade. Hip-hop? Drake and Run the Jewels. Whatever genre the aggressively experimental R&B-influenced sound of FKA Twigs occupies? Check.

The arms-wide-open approach is working. Weekend passes have long been sold out. Even $3,400 teepees are sold out. At press time, only limited travel packages of Coachella’s second weekend remain.

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Coachella has been held on the same polo field in the desert city of Indio since its 1999 inception, and the Southern California staple is regarded as the launch of the busier-than-ever summer festival season.

Right behind Coachella on the weekend of April 24-26 is Stagecoach, Coachella’s country cousin. Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton headline, and passes remain.

There’s the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in June, Hard Summer and FYF Fest in August, and a notable newcomer in Rock in Rio, which will mark its U.S. debut in Las Vegas over two weekends in May.



Rock in Rio’s first foray into North America celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Brazil-born festival, and organizers have teamed with MGM Resorts International and Cirque du Soleil. There will also be themed streets, each filled with shops and restaurants, as well as carnival rides and an air-conditioned VIP area (at nearly $500 per day). And of course a zip line.

Oh, yes, there are artists too. Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Metallica, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are among the headliners for the event, which will feature pop and rock-leaning performers split over the weekends of May 8-9 and May 15-16. Plan your sunscreen purchases accordingly.

Twitter: @ToddMartens