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Coachella Lineup May Point To A Shifting Middle

Coachella Lineup May Point To A Shifting Middle

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The official lineup for this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, taking place April 13-15 and 20-22, has arrived.

After an annual game of speculation, the festival’s parent company Goldenvoice made its announcement last night, confirming (as rumored) that The Weeknd, Beyonce and Eminem will headline each of its respective three nights.

The festival, one of the world’s most successful, is often looked to for evidence of emerging trends in music’s mainstream. Comparing its flyers in years past (always the subject of font-size analysis and behind-the-scenes power brokering over it) to this edition, rap and hip-hop have clearly risen to the top of pop culture. Contrasting Coachella’s lineup 10 years ago — with Jack Johnson, Prince and Roger Waters headlining — 2018’s seems to show, at least in its top billings, rap and R&B taking over the center of the landscape. But also, further down in the font sizing, its bookings of Princess Nokia, Jidenna, Moses Sumney, Kamaiyah, Aminé, DeJ Loaf and producer TroyBoi.

There is an important first this year, too: Beyonce’s performance on Saturday marks the first time that a black woman will headline. The superstar was supposed to headline the festival last year, but had to pull out of the slot after becoming pregnant, and was later replaced by Lady Gaga. This year’s April dates will also be Beyonce’s first performance since giving birth to her twins in June 2017.

Though Eminem hasn’t performed on the Coachella stage since his 2012 appearance with Dr. Dre, the 2018 Governor’s Ball lineup announcement today is a clear inkling that the diamond-selling Detroit rapper will be hitting the festival circuit hard this summer in support of his recent album Revival. (Other duplicate bookings include Tash Sultana, 6lack, Kali Uchis, Vance Joy, Russ, BROCKHAMPTON, Aminé and Moses Sumney.)


In terms of first-timers, the musical spectrum seems broader than ever. New Orleans funk band and 2017 Tiny Desk Contest winners Tank and The Bangas will be making its first appearance at the fest this year. After a seven-year hiatus, ’90s era electro-soul star Jamiroquai has been striking a comeback path through the festival circuit over the past year, though this will be his first performance at the festival. And there are nine bubbling Latin acts on the lineup: Los Angeles Azules, Ibeyi, Cuco, Helado Negro, Kali Uchis, Princess Nokia, The Marias and Señor Kino.

Passes for Coachella 2018 go on sale via the festival website Friday, Jan. 5 at 12:00 PM PST.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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