With a total of 67 EDM-related acts in its line-up, Coachella is having its most EDM-heavy year yet. The music festival, to be held in April (10-12, and then 17-19), has been criticized over the past several years for slowly shifting its focus from “rockers” to “ravers.” While the major headliners — Jack White, AC/DC, and Drake — indicate that the event will be anything but an EDM-fest, a closer look at the lineup shows that DJs are getting more love than ever from the most esteemed music festival in the country.
Leading the way are David Guetta, Kaskade, and Alesso. While none of them will draw the massive crowd that Calvin Harris managed last year, they all have a fair amount of pull. Guetta is also headlining two UK festivals this year: Wireless Festival and T in the Park. Kaskade recently made headlines for criticizing the Grammy telecast’s lack of dance awards and performances. Alesso is currently promoting his latest hit, “Cool.”
The best place to catch EDM music at Coachella is the Sahara tent, which was notably cramped last year thanks to performances by Zedd and Martin Garrix, among others. The Yuma tent is expected to be this year’s hotspot.
Looking past the biggest names, there are plenty of great acts worth checking out. Keisza, known for her minor hit “Hideaway,” is notorious for putting on an excellent show. Returning to the festival is Flosstradamus, known for bringing a sense of fun to everything they do.
Perhaps the most tangible sign of pro-EDM change at Coachella is the new addition of protective earbuds being distributed with every ticket purchase. The DUBS-brand welcome gifts will be much appreciated by fans of the louder, more bass-heavy dance acts.
When it comes down to it, the purpose of Coachella is to celebrate all genres of music, and to capture a moment in time by bringing together the artists that are defining and changing the scene each year. Right now, what’s happening is undeniably EDM, and it’s thrilling to see the most popular music festival in the US recognize that.