Coachella 2019: Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande and more continue the festival’s move toward the mainstream
Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande will anchor the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, set to run April 12-14 and again April 19-21 at Indio’s Empire Polo Club. Others at the top of bill include Janelle Monáe, Solange and Khalid.
The 2019 edition will be the festival’s 20th, and follows a year in which Beyoncé, the Weeknd and Eminem were the main attractions at the Goldenvoice-produced event.
Coachella is expected to once again bring approximately 250,000 attendees to the Colorado Desert. The poster is below.
This year’s lineup cements Coachella’s increasing friendliness with mainstream pop and acts appealing to a much younger audience than the classic-rock reunions of not-so-distant years.
In 2019, that also means a diverse lineup in every way: women have significant spots in the top three lines of every day’s bill, and every night sports sets from the vanguards of R&B, hip-hop and a big range of contemporary Latin music.
Grande’s set isn’t her first appearance at Coachella — she previously guested with the EDM producer Kygo last year. With this set, she joins a small but growing list of women to headline the festival, alongside Lady Gaga, Björk and Beyoncé.
After recent years that have been marked by tragedy, including a terrorist bombing that killed 22 people in 2017 as they left her concert at England’s Manchester Arena as well as the 2018 death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, this set punctuates her rise as one of pop’s most gifted and charismatic hit-makers with ever-expanding artistic ambitions.
Gambino just wrapped up what some (including Donald Glover himself) had suggested would be his final tour as Childish Gambino. Glover is one of the must influential figures in American culture, and though Coachella is famous for reunion shows, it hasn’t had any notable farewell sets. Maybe this is the alter-ego sendoff he was waiting for?
The supporting sets showcase a admirably wide range of acts, from the ascendant (and Bey-approved) pop-reggaeton of J. Balvin, the Latin trap of Bad Bunny and the experimental flamenco of Rosalía.
The glistening cosmic country of Kacey Musgraves, who just a few months ago headlined Coachella’s country sibling Stagecoach, is made for the desert, as is the moody, Spotify-beloved down-tempo pop of Billie Eilish and the emotive, rococo rock of the 1975.
A K-pop act, BLACKPINK, gets a notably high placement as well — a testament to the genre’s consistently growing prowess among U.S. pop fans.
R&B acts like Monáe , H.E.R. and Ella Mai had some of the most influential LP’s and singles of last year, and get top billings to show for it; there’s also a strong hip-hop element with sets from L.A. staple YG and fast-rising newcomers Juice Wrld and Sheck Wes.
The only thing absent from this year’s Coachella is anything approaching a heritage rock act near the top of the bill. Weezer probably comes closest, but likely got there partly for the most modern of reasons: they’re got meme-d, and were self-aware enough to play along.
Lady Gaga — a recent Coachella headliner herself — may have embodied the push-and pull between rock and pop values (whatever that means in 2019) in “A Star Is Born.” But it’s clear that the actual flesh-and-blood Coachella is on the side of pop in all its wild diversity these days, and fans are likely to be more than happy with it.
Remaining tickets, the bulk of which were sold earlier via a pre-sale, will go on sale Friday at 11 a.m., PST at Coachella.com. General admission is $429, and various packages, ranging from $509 to on-site camping that can run into the thousands, are available
10:21 p.m.: This story was updated throughout with additional details about the performers as well as on sale information.
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