Beyonce has been named as the Saturday headliner for the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This makes the singer the first female headliner since Bjork in 2007. Other headliners include Radiohead on Friday and Kendrick Lamar on Sunday. The festival takes place on the weekend of April 14, 2017, and then repeats the following weekend with a mostly identical lineup.
Björk and Beyoncé have been the only female artists to headline Coachella ever since it was founded in 1999. pic.twitter.com/AoJoyTcmbY
— Music News & Facts (@musicnews_facts) January 3, 2017
Coachella takes place every year in the town of Indio, which sits in the California desert east of Los Angeles. The festival is known for its diverse lineups and massive crowds. Coachella, which began in 1999 and has run continuously every year since 2001, expanded to two weekends in 2012 to accommodate the huge number of people who seek tickets to attend each year. This year will be no exception, as the Coachella festival was approved for a 62,000 person expansion by the Indio city council, according to the Desert Sun.
In 2016, tickets for Coachella sold out by noon the day they went on sale. Tickets for this year’s festival will go on sale on January 4, 2017, at 11:00 am PST.
— Coachella (@coachella) January 3, 2017
In addition to headliners Beyonce, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar, other acts to play at Coachella this year include Bon Iver, Lorde, Father John Misty, New Order, and Future. Missing from this year’s festival lineup are any high-profile reunions of classic groups. In 2016, Coachella booked both LCD Soundsystem and the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup, both of whom reunited for tours last year. Festival-goers hoping to catch bands such as the Talking Heads, the Smiths, and R.E.M. will be left waiting at least another year for those acts to reform.
Beyonce’s headlining slot comes after a great year for the pop singer. Her critically-acclaimed Lemonade album topped or placed near the top of numerous best of 2016 lists, including Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the best albums of the year. According to Forbes, Beyonce’s Formation world tour grossed over $5 million in every city it visited in 2016.
Beyonce made surprise appearances at Coachella in 2010 and 2014, but this is her first time in the lineup. Kendrick Lamar played Coachella in 2012, but this will be his first headlining appearance. Radiohead, whose 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool also made plenty of best of 2016 lists, headlined Coachella in 2004 and 2012.
Coachella 2017 will also be the first U.S. festival appearance for Lorde since she played Lollapalooza in 2014, according to USA Today. The singer has not released any new music since her debut album, Pure Heroine, was released in 2013. Fans will be interested in seeing if she performs any new material during her set, or if perhaps a new album will be coming before she plays the festival in April.
Many Coachella attendees plan on going before the lineup is even released. The festival has a good reputation of securing a diverse range of well-known and up-and-coming acts and has become a destination event for people regardless of who they book. High ticket prices and expensive food and drinks don’t seem to keep people away, and each year during the festival social media is lit up with people posting about how great a time they’re having. Due to the festival’s proximity to Los Angeles, it also tends to draw in celebrities looking to have a good time away from the confines of Hollywood.
Perhaps the most notable absence again this year is Daft Punk. The EDM duo’s last appearance at Coachella in 2006 is considered by many to be one of the festival’s great performances. Fans hoping to see the duo perform will have to wait longer, however, as Daft Punk seem to have eschewed touring for the time being.
Beyonce’s Coachella appearance is noteworthy not only for her status as the first woman to headline the festival in a decade but because she is one of the most celebrated artists in the world and her performance is sure to be one of the highlights of the festival for many of its attendees.
[Featured Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]