Rock to Rap: Coachella 2018



Photo courtesy of Coachella Festival.

If you have been paying attention to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the past few years, you will notice a trend, a decline in rock music. It is being replaced by the mainstream rap that has been claiming the music charts for a while now.

If you haven’t already heard or if you are living under a rock, this year’s headliners only feature R&B and rap artists: The Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem. If you are wondering why this is significant and why does it matter, well, this is the first time this has ever happened in Coachella history. In the past, we have seen rock being slowly replaced by rap at music festivals with last year’s line up consisting of Beyoncé (who due to her pregnancy was replaced with Lady Gaga), Kendrick Lamar and the only rock group

In the festival’s 19 years running, it has always featured at least one rock group as a headliner. Its safe to say that this festival will make some history and change the way Coachella is forever. This is definitely not a bad thing. Last year, the festival’s capacity was at an all-time high, letting in at least 125,000 people a day. This type of change is not terrible for both the vendors and for the festival-goers themselves.

Beyoncé is the most anticipated artist for this year’s festival and is expected to bring in more ticket sales than ever in Coachella history. If one pays close attention to the artists below the headliners, you will also notice the boom in women artists who are making their way to the top. The festival is making a clear statement for the welcome of diversity but the substantial amount of both women artist and Latin artists.

With all this change, will the rock genre begin to die? That is a question that is still being debated. Of course, the whole genre won’t die all together just because the Coachella scene won’t be headlining rock groups as frequently, but one can’t help but question it. Coachella started out as a rock festival, in October 1999 history would be made with huge rock headliners like the Chemical Brothers, Tool and Rage Against the Machines a festival specifically catering to headbangers and rockers alike.

Going a little more into the history of Coachella, it can possibly be dated back to 1993, it was that year that several bands, one being the ever famous Pearl Jam began speaking out about ridiculously high processing fees that Ticketmaster was adding to every ticket they sold. In protest, they sought out a venue that wasn’t controlled by Ticketmaster. This brought them to our Coachella Valley to the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Once Pearl Jam had proved the venue would work, Coachella Festival was born! just three months after they tried (and failed) to hold Woodstock ’99.

Since the rock scene basically started this festival, hopefully, we will continue to see rock being integrated into the ever-changing and growing taste of the general public, but for now, the 2018 lineup cannot be changed and it seems that fans of Coachella are just as excited as ever despite the absence of a lot of rock groups.

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