By ELIZABETH MOLLOY
On Friday, April 15, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off its first weekend. This is the first weekend since 2019 the festival has commenced because of COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the biggest names performing this year include Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers, Harry Styles, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Swedish House Mafia returning.
The Spectra building returns with beautiful colors alongside the Coachella Ferris Wheel at night. (Courtesy of Vivienne Igbinosun)
One of the headliners of the festival, Kanye West, publicly pulled out of Coachella just over a week before he was set to perform. The Weeknd joined the artists as a last-minute fill-in for West. Swedish House Mafia performed alongside the Weeknd, exactly ten years after the group first performed at Coachella.
Harry Styles headlined the festival for the first time, just two months before his third album release. During his set, he brought out singer Shania Twain to perform and sang two brand new songs of his own. Just last month, Doja Cat announced she will be retiring from music after eight years. The singer did honor her commitment to the festival as she had been set to perform for quite some time. This is the tip of the iceberg of all the memorable moments the festival has held this year.
With a diverse lineup and new big names, this festival has been a memorable one. Another detail to note is the rise in popularity some artists have experienced since 2019. For example, Doja Cat was one of the biggest names this year while in 2019 the singer was just on the rise. Italian band Maneskin also made their Coachella debut this year and performed a song that was made in support of Ukraine. Some familiar faces who did not make a return to the festival include Tame Impala, Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande. Likewise, the festival provided new faces and new debuts.
Another event returning this year was the Revolve Festival. This is a festival that happens at the same time as Coachella held by the online retailer Revolve. At the festival, influencers can shop and enjoy music and art. This event is invite-only, meaning that only influencers the brand personally invites can attend this event. Some of the most prominent people in attendance include the Kardashian-Jenner family, Leonardo DiCaprio, Timothee Chalamet and more household names.
This year, the festival also provided many critics. Many attendees of the Revolve event have commented on long lines, shuttle timing and even comparison to “Fyre Festival.” Fyre Festival was a 2017 festival that gained a negative reputation and met an ill fate. On a lighter note, the festival was a great start to returning to “normal” life. After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the festival was a turning point in returning to normality.