Bad Bunny, Blackpink and Frank Ocean headlining

For the first time, none of the headliners will be white. Despite their immense fame, some in the music industry and among fans were surprised by this choice of programming.

Hundreds of thousands of music lovers are flocking to the Coachella Valley, California, to attend the famous festival of the same name starting this Friday, in which, for the first time, none of the headliners will be white. The reggaeton star Bad Bunny, the famous K-pop group Blackpink or the influential but discreet R&B singer Frank Ocean will be the stars of the 2023 edition of this event festival, which is spread over two weeks each year. -ends and traditionally launches the musical festivities of the summer. Coachella will be held, in fact, from Friday 14 until Sunday 16 April and then from 21 to 23 April. With Bad Bunny, the most streamed artist in the world, it will be the first Spanish-speaking and Latin American headliner. And the South Koreans of Blackpink will be the first Asian artists to feature at the top of the program. Like Bad Bunny, these global K-pop stars appeared at the Coachella festival for the first time in 2019.

Angèle and Redcar at the rendezvous

Frank Ocean was originally set to become the first queer headlining artist at the 2020 edition, but organizers first postponed and then eventually scrapped it due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He, who has not released an album since “Blonde” in 2016, should present new sounds at the festival. The Belgian singer Angèle will perform for the first time in her career on this stage in the middle of the Californian desert, and the French pop star Redcar (formerly Christine and the Queens), will return there after having won unanimous support in 2019. The headliners of 2023, particularly Bad Bunny, in many ways one of the biggest contemporary artists, are among the most exciting in recent years, at least since Beyoncé in 2018.


Despite their immense fame, some in the music industry and among fans were surprised by this choice of programming. Wrongly, according to Vanessa Diaz, professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, who teaches the course there. “Bad Bunny and the Resistance in Puerto Rico“.

“People are surprised because they don’t see (these artists) as belonging to mainstream American culture, (…) because it seems very far from the representation of American popular music offered so far by Coachella”

Vanessa Diaz, teacher

At the AFP

The program could well be the most international ever offered, with the Spanish singer Rosalia phenomenon, the Icelandic Björk and the Nigerian Burna Boy. Domi and JD Beck, the rising jazz duo made up of a French keyboardist and an American drummer, will also take the stage, a few months after being nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards, in the revelation of the year category. And Diljit Dosanjh will become the first singer from Punjab (India) to perform at Coachella, where Pakistani singer, lyricist and composer Ali Sethi will also perform.

“Getting wet”

For CedarBough Saeji, a professor of Korean and East Asian studies specializing in K-pop, it was time for the festival to give visibility to the best performers from around the world.

“The American music industry, the American decision-makers, are not necessarily the most daring. They prefer to follow the obvious indications of public demand rather than get wet”

CedarBough Saeji, Korean teacher

At the AFP

The English from Gorillaz will also perform, as will the American band Blondie and the indie rock band Boygenius, made up of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. Additionally, Blink-182 announced this week that they will be playing a set on Friday, the first time in nearly a decade that the punk pop band will perform with their original members again.

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