Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is taking place over the weekends of April 11-13 and April 18-20. Needless to say, it’s one of the hottest tickets of the year: even though general admission weekend passes cost $375, they sold out almost immediately back in January. The fifteen-year old festival is expected to draw around 90,000 attendees each weekend at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The festival atmosphere along with a dose of Hollywood glamor and of course some incredible headlining musical acts are all huge draws for this event.
With dozens of acts performing on the festival’s stages each day and both up-and-coming musicians as well as more experienced names sharing the festival grounds, it’s difficult to narrow down the must-see shows of this year. Of course, there are a few acts that have definitely been getting a lot of buzz and are without a doubt must-sees for anyone at the festival. (And if you aren’t going to be there, don’t feel completely left out: some of these shows are streaming on the official Coachella YouTube channel.) Here are a few of the names that are getting the most attention at this year’s festival:
This well-established singer/songwriter who is known for a style that encompasses folk, funk, soul, hip-hop and alternative rock will fit right into the diverse Coachella scene. Although he hasn’t released a solo record since 2008, Beck is currently working on two studio albums. No doubt that a few of Beck’s fans might be hoping to catch some of his new music at his show.
This English rock band has enjoyed a lot of hype after releasing their debut album “Bad Blood,” and hits such as “Pompeii” are currently enjoying success on the airwaves. The group is known for a unique sound that incorporates influences from indie pop, rock, alternative and R&B. Interestingly, as the name of their group suggests, many of Bastille’s songs are actually based on historical or mythological stories and themes. Since their work has gotten a lot of attention over the past year, they are certain to make a splash at Coachella.
9 Ellie Goulding
With her trademark sweet yet raspy voice and upbeat vocal sound, British pop star Ellie Goulding has enjoyed significant commercial success following her debut album “Lights” in March 2010. Her most recent studio album, “Halcyon,” was released in 2012 and has solidified her star status. Goulding has a lot of high-profile fans including Taylor Swift, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and celebrity friends including Katy Perry and Kristen Stewart, who have both attended Coachella in previous years. It’s safe to expect that her show will attract a lot of the Hollywood stars in attendance at the festival.
8 Pharrell Williams
On day 2 of the festival, Pharrell Williams (and possibly his trademark hat) will be taking the stage to make sure everyone is feeling a little bit “Happy.” Williams has become one of the most buzz-worthy and sought-after musicians since several of his songs and collaborations have hit it big on the charts, including last summer’s anthems “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines.” Of course, his upbeat song “Happy” helps cinch the fact that this artist will surely be a big draw at Coachella.
7 Queens of the Stone Age
Widely considered to have released one of the best albums of 2013 (“…Like Clockwork”), this alternative group from California is a huge draw at Coachella this year. Influenced by a variety of musical styles and influences, Queens of the Stone Age is also said to be working on some new material that fans might just get to hear at their show.
6 Lana Del Rey
With a vintage quality and almost dream-like voice, Lana’s unique aesthetic sets herself apart from other stars that will grace the stage at Coachella. The singer-songwriter is currently working on a new album, but her commercially successful songs including “Summertime Sadness,” last summer’s hit “Young and Beautiful” and the newer “Once Upon a Dream” are set to be crowd-pleasers at Coachella.
With her hit “Royals,” the teenage singer from New Zealand dominated airwaves in 2013 and will certainly be a huge attraction when she takes the stage at Coachella. With a distinct voice, her introverted quality and thoughtful lyrics, this singer/songwriter distinguishes herself from other stars currently in the industry.
Muse is one of the most successful bands in the world and is the main act of day 2 of Coachella. With their trademark atmospheric music and sound, this well-established and beloved progressive rock group is certain to be a huge draw at the festival, especially since they are well-known for putting on impressive shows. It’s an act that is not to be missed by anyone in attendance.
3 Arcade Fire
The main act of day three, the award-winning Canadian indie rock group has enjoyed mainstream success in recent years, and as such, has garnered a huge fan base. They won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011 for “The Suburb.” Their most recent album, “Reflektor,” was released in 2013 and enjoyed significant critical acclaim. After releasing “Reflektor,” Arcade Fire has started to do some fun things during live shows - like sporting paper mâché heads – so there’s no telling what they might do during their Coachella set.
Coachella’s main day one act (April 11 and 18), OutKast is also the most buzz-worthy of the festival because it is the first time in seven years that OutKast has performed on stage together. The Grammy-winning duo, consisting of Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, has produced chart-topping hits including “Hey Ya!”, “Ms. Jackson,” “So Fresh, So Clean” and “The Way You Move.” Their shows are not to be missed and are certain to be memorable for everyone in attendance.
1 Honorable mentions
There are many other buzz-worthy acts at this year’s Coachella that deserve mention. Here are just a couple more that we wanted to include:
One of the biggest rock acts of 2013 and veterans of Coachella, these three sisters form a rock band with pop and hip-hop influences. Their concerts have been a big hit with crowds.
A cult punk band from the 1980s, their Coachella show will be a big draw for fans; not to mention it will be like a reunion show, since they have no other concerts scheduled at the moment.
Neutral Milk Hotel
This cult ‘90s indie rock band has remained under the radar. Although they are not a commercial success, they have actually influenced other, more mainstream groups at the festival including Arcade Fire, and are reuniting for this year’s festival.
Known for producing some big hits in the 1970s and 80s as both a solo singer and a member of the band “Roxy Music,” Ferry will surely break out some of his biggest hits for devotees at Coachella.