What’s This Playlist All About? In its 20th year, the great harbinger of the year’s festival season has announced its 2019 lineup, which has triggered every possible emotion among a wide range of music fans. Depending on who you talk to, this is either the end of music as we know it or just another awesome excuse to sing, sweat, dance, and fully unleash in the heat and heart of the Sonoran Desert.
What You Get: Come April, the hallowed three-day, two-weekend extravaganza will bring in over 150 artists from around the globe. After plenty of years on the festival circuit, Aussie psych-pop darlings Tame Impala have made it to the biggest font, alongside multi-talent wonder Childish Gambino, and sassy pop princess Ariana Grande. But, per usual, the headliners are only a side note. True Coachella connoisseurs know that it’s all about looking at the fine print. Going deeper into the lineup, you’ll find eternal guitar-pop geeks Weezer alongside K-pop (and rap) phenoms BLACKPINK, electronic polymath Jon Hopkins, Russian techno goddess Nina Kraviz, fun/freaky Minneapolis rap queen Lizzo, French alt-pop provocateur Charlotte Gainsbourg, British hunk/actor/DJ Idris Elba, dreamy experimental enigma Yves Tumor, cutesy/quirky art-pop collective Superorganism, and funky DIY one-man-band Still Woozy.
Best Surprise: Aphex Twin. No contest.
Is this the Worst (or Best!) Lineup Yet? Probably neither. The headliners don’t quite have the iconic cachet of past performers (I mean, how can you beat Prince and Roger Waters?! Then again, how can we all forget Jack Johnson headlined the same year?!). But as Coachella increasingly moves away from nostalgic reunions and classic acts and embraces more global stars and underground artists rooted in various styles, it remains just as relevant—maybe even more so—in defining the musical zeitgeist of the year.