Line-up Review: Coachella 2018

Matt Hitchinson gives you the rundown on the 2018 Coachella line-up

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Image courtesy of Alan Paone (via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s that time of year again when the biggest festivals in the world start to share their line-ups to get us all buzzing for the summer ahead – even if we are currently in Lancaster in the middle of winter.

The first of the big festivals to reveal their 2018 line-up was arguably the biggest of them all, Coachella. The organisers tried something new this year by releasing the whole line up as one, rather than the traditional artist-by-artist tease utilised by most of the big UK festivals. This could have been inspired by the successes that artists such as Beyoncé have experienced by dropping a whole album at once without warning, sending social media into a meltdown, rather than teasing the reveal until people are already sick of it. This tactic worked well, as my Instagram feed was full of pictures of the line-up and every entertainment news service was covering it.

The line-up itself looks brilliant this year: as far as headliners go you can’t go much bigger than The Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem, and there is a great balance between established acts, new artists and those that are threatening to do massive things this year! This is like V Fest on steroids. Not only is there a great mix of acts, there’s also a surprising range of genres – it’s quite rare on a festival line-up to see rappers such as Post Malone, Tyler the Creator and French Montana playing before inventive DJs like KYGO, Louis The Child and ODESZA; alongside smooth R&B songstresses like Kelela, SZA and Jorja Smith and bands such as Jungle, LANY, HAIM and Fleet Foxes. Such a wide array of talent means that there seems to be something for everyone in the Californian desert, whatever your taste.

It’s a good year for UK acts at this year’s festival, with Jorja Smith, Nothing But Thieves, Declan McKenna, Jungle, alt-J and Jessie Ware all making the cut. Britain isn’t the only place that’s sending a lot of acts to Coachella 2018, Scandinavia is putting forward a strong offering in the form of the highly acclaimed Sigrid, MØ and Aurora – who you might remember from the 2016 John Lewis advert. As always though, most of the line-up represents the best that the U.S has to offer, including rising stars like SZA and PVRIS, as well as seasoned festival campaigners Nile Rodgers, Miguel and David Byrne (from Talking Heads).

My personal highlights of the festival, played over two weekends in April this year, would have to be LANY! I think their calming electro-indie vibes would be perfect for a summers day in the Californian desert having a dance with your mates.

Not everyone loved it though, Louis Tomlinson tweeted about the lack of “bands”, saying that it wasn’t a proper festival without them – but I think he’s wrong. Coachella has rarely been about rock music or bands. It’s in California, the home of relaxing on a beach – or in a desert. Coachella has always seemed like a much cleaner and more relaxed affair than its UK counterparts, in terms of crowds and mud, so this means it also requires a different style of music: one that creates a dancefloor, not a mosh-pit. This individuality as a festival is what makes Coachella so special and has such appeal, and why I’d love to be at the 2018 edition!

 

The full Coachella 2018 line-up poster