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Breaking Down The Coachella 2020 Lineup: Rage Against The Machine, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris & More Announced
The world-leading Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival is back with the much-anticipated lineup announcement for its upcoming 2020 edition. Returning to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., across two weekends—weekend one takes place Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 12; weekend two takes place Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19—Coachella 2020 will feature headlining performances from the recently reunited Rage Against The Machine (Friday), hip-hop giant Travis Scott (Saturday) and R&B avant-gardist Frank Ocean (Sunday). Other artists rounding out the lineup include Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, FKA twigs, Flume, Thom Yorke, Lil Uzi Vert, Run The Jewels, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, 21 Savage and many others.
Coachella, the most successful reoccurring festival franchise, is known for its wide-spanning annual lineups, which regularly predict and solidify music trends while also reflecting the current state of the industry. This year's artist roster continues the trend.
Here's a quick breakdown of the Coachella 2020 lineup and what it means for the year ahead.
Hip-Hop And R&B Lead The Way
With hip-hop and R&B surpassing rock as the most popular genre in the U.S., it's no surprise that Coachella, once a rock-centric festival in its early years, is leaning heavily into those dominating scenes. Two of the festival's main headliners, Scott and Ocean, come from the rap and R&B worlds, respectively. Even Friday headliners Rage Against The Machine, who headlined the first-ever Coachella in 1999, feature hip-hop elements in their rap-rock sound.
The Coachella 2020 lineup also features rising hip-hop and R&B artists and bona fide stars including Roddy Ricch, 21 Savage, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Brockhampton, City Girls, Doja Cat, Pink Sweat$, Princess Nokia, Summer Walker and others. This year's lineup expands Coachella's large bet on hip-hop and R&B as the de facto sound of the new decade, a continuation of previous years, with a larger focus on emerging artists and global acts.
Reunions, Surprise Acts And Comebacks
The big reunion at Coachella 2020 is the return of Rage Against The Machine, who last performed at the festival in 2007 and last played together as a group in 2011. Elsewhere, K-pop fans worldwide are ecstatic for the return of South Korean boy band BIGBANG, who are reuniting as a group for the first time since 2018, the year the act went on official hiatus after some of its members enlisted in their homeland's military and another member retired from the entertainment industry amid criminal and legal investigations against him. The BIGBANG booking continues Coachella's expansion into K-pop, which last year welcomed BLACKPINK as the first K-pop girl group to perform at the festival.
The biggest surprise act to wow Coachella fans is Danny Elfman, the former Oingo Boingo frontman who's since become a film and TV score composer virtuoso. (You might know him best as the man behind the everlasting theme song of "The Simpsons" as well as the scores and music for major blockbuster films like Planet Of The Apes (2001), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) and many others.) While Elfman may be the odd man out at this year's lineup, he joins fellow film score composer Hans Zimmer, who performed at the festival in 2017, in Coachella history.
Latin Music Comes Back Strong
The influence of Latin music at Coachella 2019 was undeniable. Last year's lineup featured Latin pop's heavy hitters like J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Rosalía. As well, Coachella welcomed Los Tucanes De Tijuana, a legendary band from Tijuana, Mexico, who became the first-ever norteño act to perform at the festival in 2019.
This year, Coachella continues the Latin music spree with confirmed performances from Brazilian pop superstar Anitta, Mexican banda group Banda MS and Brazilian drag star and pop singer Pabllo Vittar. The lineup also features rising Latinx indie pop and rock artists like Jessie Reyez, Cuco, Chicano Batman, Omar Apollo and Inner Wave. Ranking as the fifth most popular genre in America, Latin music continues its global domination on the charts and again at Coachella 2020.
The Many Flavors Of Pop
Ever since Drake headlined Coachella in 2015, the festival has experimented with mainstream pop headliners over the past five years: Calvin Harris in 2016, Lady Gaga (replacing Beyoncé) in 2017, Beyoncé (actually) in 2018 and Ariana Grande in 2019. For 2020, Coachella enlists a wide array of pop artists, each offering a distinct take on the genre. Acts like Lewis Capaldi, Alie Gatie and Marina lead the pack for the vocal pop singer-songwriter bunch. Lana Del Rey and FKA twigs, both billed as subheadliners for Sunday, will offer a moodier, more experimental pop experience. Then there's Charli XCX and Kim Petras, two alt-pop auteurs taking the genre to the future. Finally, Lil Nas X and Carly Rae Jepsen, both pop giants who tout global crossover appeal, will undoubtedly bring their viral sound to the festival masses. Coachella 2020 is a pop lover's dream come true.
Experiences As Artists
While not officially billed on the lineup, Kanye West stole the show at last year's Coachella with an Easter Sunday performance from his gospel group, Sunday Service Choir. The event was one of the most talked-about performances at Coachella 2019, essentially becoming an "experience within an experience." This year, Coachella continues the trend via two standout bookings: Emo Nite and 88rising's Double Happiness.
Emo Nite, which takes over on Saturday, is the wildly popular emo-themed event series from Los Angeles that has largely sparked the emo and pop-punk revival and emo nostalgia trend of the past decade. The throwback dance party has hosted performances, surprise DJ sets and full-on tours from the genres' mainstays, including 3OH!3, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Dashboard Confessional and From First To Last, featuring frontman Sonny "Skrillex" Moore. That's all to say you can expect a star-studded roster at the Emo Nite gig this April.
Elsewhere, 88rising, the hybrid management and multimedia production company and record label globalizing rap artists and hip-hop culture from the wider Asian-American and Asian markets, is presenting its Double Happiness event series at the festival. While the event, scheduled for Saturday, is featured as a standalone experience at the bottom of the bill, 88rising has confirmed several of its artists across the Coachella 2020 lineup, including Indonesian rapper Rich Brian (Friday), Japanese R&B singer/rapper Joji (Saturday) and Indonesian singer NIKI (Friday).
With Coachella leading the way, festival lineups this year may feature more experiences-as-artists bookings.
Tickets for weekend one of Coachella 2020 are now sold out, but presale registration for weekend two is now open. A first-ever presale for weekend two begins Monday, January 6, at 12 p.m. PT.
View the full Coachella 2020 lineup and register for the presale via the festival's official website.