The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, America’s preeminent music festival, was finally back after two years of COVID-19 pandemic delays, safety policy changes and months of headliner tumult.
The festival ran April 15-17 and returns April 22-24 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and a pairing of EDM stars Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd headlined the three nights of Week 1. Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd replaced Kanye West, who pulled out just weeks before the show.
The Times’ Mikael Wood and Suzy Exposito have been reporting live from the polo grounds, providing instant reactions to all the must-see performances. Check back here for the latest from the 21st edition of Coachella.
12:32 a.m. Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd closed the first half of Coachella’s two-week run with a barrage of fist-pumping beats and euphoric melodies that defied the argument that big-room EDM has died. But the highlight of the show had to be its smallest moment as the Weeknd strung together the cooing intimacies of “Out of Time” and “I Feel It Coming.”
The pairing of the European DJs and the Canadian synth-pop auteur was Coachella’s last-minute replacement for Kanye West, who bailed on the festival with less than two weeks until showtime. As such, it felt a little patched-together, at least as compared to Harry Styles’ glittery Friday-night blow-out. (The Weeknd, typically one of pop’s most stylish dressers, looked like he’d arrived straight from a catering gig, though his black gloves were an effectively creepy touch.)
Yet there was no denying the brilliance of his songs, and not just the creamy R&B ones. “Sacrifice” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” — both from his newish “Dawn FM” — were beautifully icy, while the industrial-sized disco groove of “Can’t My Feel Face” still delivered a wallop. — MW
10:24 p.m. At the Mojave tent, Italian rockers and Eurovision champs Måneskin brought the noise and the sass. Vocalist Damiano David, who opened the set wearing a frilly prairie dress, stripped down to reveal a leather and fishnet ensemble. “If you see a girl here with better hips than me, let me know,” he spat before singing the band’s radio smash, “Beggin’.” — SE
10:07 p.m. With diamond-encrusted chains and an elaborate face tattoo radiating from his right ear, trap-corrido artist Natanael Cano played it hard. Repping his new independent label, Los CT — CT for Corridos Tumbados — Cano was backed by an arsenal of acoustic guitarists as he breezed through a number of his grittiest songs. His fans were arguably most amped when he played his romantic pieces, namely 2019’s “Amor Tumbado” — or any time the MC shouted, “¡Que viva México!” — SE
9:33 p.m. Doja Cat drew such a large audience Sunday in the 8:30 p.m. slot that you had to wonder whether this lovably eccentric pop star might be ready to headline Coachella in 2023 (instead of warming up for the Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia, with whom she shares a manager). The only problem? Doja Cat has said she’s ready to quit pop music as a result of her unpleasant interactions with fans on social media. When I recently put the question of Doja’s future at Coachella to Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, who oversees her career, he said, “You’d have to ask her about it. One thing about Doja, she does what she wants.”
For now, at least, she appeared to be enjoying herself as she sang, rapped and twerked her way through some of the colorful and freewheeling hits from last year’s blockbuster “Planet Her” album, including “Woman,” “Get Into It (Yuh)” and “Kiss Me More,” which just won a Grammy Award. Doja brought out Rico Nasty for a growling “Tia Tamera” and Tyga to do “Juicy,” and she premiered a new tune that interpolates “Hound Dog” and will be heard in Baz Luhrmann’s insane-looking “Elvis” movie. She finished by doing celebratory shots with her dancers (fun!) and previewing an unreleased song that doubled as a bit of guerrilla marketing for Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza (oof). — MW
8:57 p.m. At the Coachella Stage, where reggaeton ambassadors J Balvin and Bad Bunny triumphed in 2019, Colombian superstar Karol G commanded attention on behalf of women of the genre. Her mermaid-blue locks and girl-next-door charisma piqued the interest of a massive, multilingual crowd, who rallied joyously around anthemic songs like “Tusa,” “Mi Cama” and “Bichota.” Karol also received guests like DJ Tïesto — who dropped the bass live for Karol’s English-language dance jaunt, “Don’t Be Shy” — as well as Inglewood-born hitmaker Becky G (no relation) for a performance of joint single “Mamii.” Said Becky, “Tonight is a good night to be a real G!”
Karol talked to the audience about the progress of Latinos in pop music — the talents who rose well before her birth. “They allowed me to be here” said Karol, who launched into a medley of timeless hits by Selena, Ricky Martin, Celia Cruz, Daddy Yankee and Shakira. — SE
7:49 p.m. Lots of acts this weekend, Harry Styles and Billie Eilish among them, have sought to make their audiences feel seen, embraced, cared-for. Not Vince Staples: He challenged one guy who claimed to be a big fan about whether he knew a certain song from Staples’ album “Big Fish Theory.” And later, after someone in the crowd evidently told the rapper that he’d graduated in 2017, Staples said, “You look about 5, my n—.” — MW
6:57 p.m. On the festival’s hottest day yet, German pop diva Kim Petras braved the center of the Mojave stage in a leather corset and matching skirt, ready to dish 45 minutes of queer Coachella camp. Petras’ set coursed with an electric abandon, heightened by the enthusiasm of her LGBTQ fans (and their snappy paper fans). On songs like “Future Starts Now” and “Slut Pop,” Petras — a descendant of “Express Yourself”-era Madonna, and maybe a little Peaches — championed a candid sexual ethos: no shame, no ambiguity, just the freedom to voice your desires. — SE
6:11 p.m. Say this much for Orville Peck: The guy is committed to his masked-man-of-mystery routine. He wears his fringed mask on TV; he wears it in photo shoots; he wore it when the two of us sat down knee-to-knee a few years ago in a very cramped dressing room at the Troubadour. And Sunday he still had it on during a sweltering set in a Gobi tent packed with approving hipsters. I dug his ringing guitar lines and chesty baritone, though his songs felt a little slight. Will be interesting to see how he goes over among the real country heads at Stagecoach, where he’s booked the weekend after Coachella. — MW
4:46 p.m. In a weekend with dueling cameos from Shania Twain and Damon Albarn, the ’90s-iest act at Coachella may be 21-year-old Beabadoobee, who kicked out primo fuzz-guitar jams in a minidress and boots like she was auditioning for Liv Tyler’s part in “Empire Records 2.” — MW
4 p.m. Any Angeleno recognizes the piping wind instruments and jaunty percussion of Mexico’s banda music as an indelible part of our city’s varied soundscape — as familiar as G-funk’s whining synth lines or the Beach Boys’ layered vocal harmonies. So it was heartening to see Banda MS, one of the style’s foremost acts, on the main stage at a festival that purports to reflect its home in Southern California. Bonus points to the group for its cover of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” — and for the shiniest suits seen all weekend. — MW
3:02 p.m. I’m still recovering from the club kid aerobics of Pabllo Vittar last night — this year, the queer Brazilian singer became the very first drag queen to get her own set at Coachella! Here’s to an equally fabulous Sunday! — SE
2:28 p.m. And we’re back! It’s the final day of Coachella (at least until the whole thing starts up again next weekend), and today’s headliner is a one-off collaboration between Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd, filling the void left by Kanye West’s cancellation. In a recent interview, SHM told The Times to expect a set that starts out with them, then throws to the Weeknd, then concludes with the two acts together. Also on today’s bill: Doja Cat, Karol G, Kim Petras, Orville Peck, Yola and Finneas, who may still be knackered from his headlining set last night with his sister, Billie Eilish. — MW
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3:14 a.m. Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner may also be the performer most embarrassed by the honor.
“Dude, this is so weird,” 20-year-old Billie Eilish said not long into her set Saturday night. “I should not be headlining this s—.” Later, when the show was over and she was offering her goodbyes, she added, “Thank you, Coachella — I’m sorry I’m not Beyoncé.”
Finding the whole idea of pop stardom a bit cringe is part of why Eilish has resonated so deeply with Gen Z. But her ambivalence about being adored shouldn’t be taken to mean she’s not worthy of the job. Though it may have felt familiar to anyone who caught her just-wrapped North American tour, Eilish’s Coachella performance demonstrated how quickly she’s met the vocal and emotional challenges of singing in front of tens of thousands of people.
She sounded great in “Billie Bossa Nova” and “Halley’s Comet” — breathy but precise, yearning yet ever so sly — and hit a deep vein of empathy in “Your Power,” about the victim of some industry creep’s manipulations. (Seriously, what a song.) “Happier Than Ever,” the title track of her latest LP, was a grandly cathartic show-closer that had the crowd shouting along with her as she enumerated the insensitivities of a loser ex-boyfriend.
Eilish changed up a few elements from her arena production, including bringing in a huge troupe of several dozen dancers in vinyl bodysuits for a juddering rendition of “Oxytocin.”
And per Coachella protocol, she brought out several guests: Khalid, with whom she sang their duet “Lovely,” and Damon Albarn, who sauntered onstage during “Getting Older” and joined her for the song’s second half.
True to her age, she introduced Albarn not as a founder of the canonical ’90s Britpop band Blur but as “Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn,” referring to the post-Blur outfit that released its debut in 2001; she went on to say that Albarn’s even-later project, the Good, the Bad & the Queen, was her “first favorite band ever.”
“This man changed my life in a lot of ways,” she said. “Changed my complete view of what music could be and what art could be and what creation could be.” (In January, during an interview with The Times in which he infamously dissed Taylor Swift, Albarn called Eilish “exceptional.”) Then she helped Albarn do Gorillaz’s witty and morbid 2005 hit “Feel Good Inc,” which also brought De La Soul’s Posdunos to the stage.
If stardom can help her arrange moments like, she seemed to be thinking, then maybe it’s worth the trouble. — MW
12:20 a.m. Calling all hotties: Megan Thee Stallion set the main stage aflame (figuratively) with a rapid-fire blitz of her greatest hits. Poised like a deadly fembot in a chrome bodysuit, the “Savage” MC got the crowd jiggling along to “Body” and conjured the devil-may-care spirit of a much-missed Cardi B for their controversy-courting “WAP.” Megan cut short her breakneck flow to tend to a sudden wardrobe malfunction, but emerged after two minutes to rile up revelers once more with a new song, in which she dressed down Some Loser Who Will Remain Unceremoniously Nameless. “Popping Plan Bs cause I ain’t plan to be stuck witcha,” she rapped, revealing little about the subject other than to say the track was “very personal.” — SE
9:41 p.m. “Hello, Coachella. My name is Danny Elfman, and I’ve got a strange little show for you.” That’s how the Oingo Boingo frontman turned Hollywood film composer introduced his gig Saturday night, and he was pretty much right: Leading a punchy rock band, Elfman sang one or two of his demented art-punk tunes, then let a full-on orchestra take over to do his eerie-whimsical movie music from the likes of “Batman,” “Spider-Man” and “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” At one point he combined the two approaches for a sequence from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” for which he sang the part of Jack Skellington. — MW
9:10 p.m. A brief message from Compton-born star guitarist Steve Lacy: “I said my album is done!” That is all. — SE
9:08 p.m. Under the banner of record label 88rising, a parade of Asian pop and hip-hop stars — including Warren Hue (Indonesia), Milli (Thailand), Niki (Indonesia), Rich Brian (Indonesia), Hikaru Utada (Japan) and Jackson Wang (China) — plied the main-stage crowd with a procession of crazysexycool jams from a new compilation, “Head in the Clouds Forever.” The cavalcade culminated in a reunion of the fly-but-not-forgotten Korean girl group, 2NE1, starring CL. — SE
9:02 p.m. Printed on the backs of the matching letterman jackets worn by the members of Brockhampton, who’ve said their two Coachella gigs will be their last: “All good things must come to an end!” — MW
8:57 p.m. Inside a jam-packed Mojave tent, Baltimore darlings Turnstile pushed the case for hardcore at Coachella, as well as for the importance of upper body strength. “Pick your friends up!” egged on frontman Brendan Yates, who waited as fans hoisted their smaller friends onto their shoulders — perhaps to impart a lesson on pit solidarity. After executing a few punk-rock pirouettes, Yates took his own trust fall into the crowd, and the band shredded on. — SE
7:30 p.m. A few years ago I spent an eventful weekend shadowing the U.K. dance duo Disclosure in Las Vegas, and since then I’ve occasionally wondered whether enough people still care about them to afford them the type of private helicopter ride we took from the Strip to a festival gig not terribly far from the Strip. Turns out they do! To judge by the overflow crowd at the Outdoor Theatre, at least, Disclosure remains very, very popular. And why not? “White Noise” and “F for You,” as they showed, still kill. — MW
6:43 p.m. 100 gecs’ performance Saturday evening was as sparsely populated as any I’ve seen this weekend in the usually jammed Sahara tent (and that was with a 15-minute delay that should’ve allowed for any stragglers). But why? The L.A.-based hyperpop duo, dressed like wizards and accompanied by drummer Josh Freese, made a joyfully chaotic noise in old faves like “Stupid Horse” and new jams including “Doritos & Fritos.” Imagine Sleigh Bells covering DMX’s “Party Up,” then hope they get their due next weekend. — MW
Back at the Outdoor Theatre, revelers got a taste of the Electric Cuco Acid Test. The psychedelic R&B singer and Hawthorne native led a trance-inducing set, where young lovers slow-danced and the band powered through despite the burgeoning dust cloud sweeping the stage. Winds are expected to pick up later in the evening — hold onto your bucket hats! — SE
5:50 p.m. “How the f— you weirdos doing?” Surprises abounded at the Emo Nite DJ set: Between rowdy singalongs to My Chemical Romance and Papa Roach, the DJ duo of Morgan Freed and T.J. Petracca welcomed to the Sahara stage Plain White T’s singer Tom Higgenson for a campfire-style chorus of “Hey There Delilah.” Hellogoodbye frontman Forrest Kline also made a cameo — he not only dropped the 2005 nostalgia bomb, “Here (In Your Arms),” but spoke almost completely in autotune, delighting many a former scene queen. — SE
5:43 p.m. Slow-burn R&B felt like a tough sell at go-go Coachella during Daniel Caesar’s slightly sleepy set last night (at least until a shirtless Justin Bieber popped in and inspired the deployment of several thousand camera phones). But Long Beach-born Giveon fared better today in a laidback yet vivid performance in the coveted Saturday-sunset slot. “I heard they’re live-streaming this, so I’d like to do a song for my exes,” he said to introduce the delightfully petty “Still Your Best.” “You know who you are.” — MW
5:20 p.m. Inside the Gobi tent, Grammy nominee Arlo Parks and her band, encircled by sunflowers, provided a jazzy dream-pop oasis amid a windy desert day. Friday night standout Phoebe Bridgers stopped by to join Parks on the song “Black Dog.” — SE
5:00 p.m. Sporting a hot-pink chiffon gown that billowed dramatically in the desert wind, Cali-born vlogger and balladeer Conan Gray may have been “dressed like bubblegum,” but he had much more to offer than sweet, sunshine-y platitudes. “Y’all might be at Coachella but I can tell y’all are depressed!” he said, arrestingly twee in his delivery, before launching into danceable, trauma-informed catharsis pop. — SE
4:12 p.m. One sign of how quickly new pop stars are made these days: Holly Humberstone telling the crowd gathered to see her in the Mojave tent, “This next song is the first song I ever put out, a little over two years ago.” The song was “Deep End,” about a rough patch her younger sister went through not long ago, and if the characters were young, the emotional wisdom felt as old as can be. — MW
4:00 p.m. Nothing hits like a cold brew and some power-pop on a Saturday. At the Outdoor Theatre, Chicago punks Beach Bunny amped up the crowd with feel-good songs about ditching bad-vibe dudes. They kicked off what should be a superb day at Coachella for anyone who ever got picked last in gym class. Must-sees include Angeleno indie-rockers Inner Wave, as well as Mannequin Pussy, Turnstile — and the Emo Nite DJ set, if you’re looking for a meet-cute soundtracked by Fall Out Boy. — SE
3:27 p.m. Greetings — again! — from Coachella, where it’s still hot (85 degrees according to my dust-covered iPhone) and where Harry Styles may have turned on a generation of teenagers to Shania Twain last night. This evening’s headliner is Billie Eilish, back at the festival after a star-making turn here in 2019 (when she herself was a teenager). But as always there’s plenty more to look forward to, including performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Holly Humberstone, Giveon, 100 gecs, Danny Elfman and the hip-hop boy band Brockhampton, which claims it’s breaking up after Coachella. Stay with us to see how it all goes down. — MW
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1:00 a.m. Harry Styles had new songs and a new friend to show off in his headlining performance Friday night at Coachella.
Having treated the massive festival audience to a welcoming nature video of various animals, uh, enjoying themselves, the 28-year-old English heartthrob opened the show with “As It Was,” the very a-ha-ish lead single from his upcoming album that recently set a record for the most streams in one day on Spotify. Later he did two unreleased cuts from “Harry’s House,” which is due out next month: “Boyfriends,” an acoustic ballad with lush Laurel Canyon-ish vocal harmonies, and “Late Night Talking,” which had a kind of crisp ’80s pop-funk vibe.
Introducing the former, he asked who in the the crowd had a boyfriend and who hadn’t; then he said, “To boyfriends everywhere: F— you.”
As has become the custom for Coachella headliners, Styles brought out an unannounced special guest Friday in pop-country icon Shania Twain, who wore a sequined dress to complement Styles’ sequined jumpsuit. Together they did two of Twain’s ’90s classics: “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “You’re Still the One.”
Between tunes, Styles said, “In the car with my mother as a child, this woman taught me to sing. She also taught me that men are trash.” Twain said she was “a bit starstruck” to be performing with Styles and added that it was “surreal” to sing “You’re Still the One” with him, given that she wrote it when he was “just a little kid.” — MW
11:35 p.m. The most fun thing I stumbled upon tonight: an exhilarating set by South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High, who in 2016 became the first Korean act to perform at Coachella. “I see my bandmates have decided to speak English tonight,” said Tablo. “By the end of the night we’ll have you speaking Korean.” I don’t know what Koreans call the analog for Spanglish — Koreanglish? — but Epik High executed it with panache, bringing the fire from Seoul to the States. — SE
11:01 p.m. Styles wasn’t the only former teen-pop star at Coachella on Friday night: About an hour before he took the stage, Justin Bieber made a cameo during Daniel Caesar’s set to sing their hit “Peaches.” The Biebs seemed excited to be here — so excited that he went without a shirt to go with his jeans and red Phillies ball cap. And compared with the sleepy-smooth rendition of “Peaches” the singers did on the Grammys a couple of weeks ago, this take had a bulked-up power-soul vibe. — MW
10:05 p.m. There’s a secret sushi bar at Coachella. … First you find the hidden entrance. Then you emerge into a blissfully air-conditioned room where the sushi chefs behind the counter from Sushi by Scratch Bar restaurants are going to make your dinner right there for you. The night starts with a hot towel because you’re going to eat with your hands. There’s otoro torched with pineapple and brown sugar, Canadian spot prawns with a prawn-head butter, lots of sake overflowing in the cups. It was 16 courses of sushi plus dessert. … And now back to the madness. — Jenn Harris
9:55 p.m. Emerging in a bedazzled skeleton dress, Phoebe Bridgers teased her set with a clip from Disturbed’s nü-metal anthem “Down With the Sickness” — and then swanned onto the stage to perform her own fiddle-laden “Motion Sickness.” The festival goths can have a little malaise, as a treat. —SE
9:11 p.m. Hard to say who had the better look during Lil Baby’s main-stage set: Gunna, dressed more or less as Randy Quaid in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” or Lil Baby himself, ‘80s-jock resplendent in a sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. — MW
8:06 p.m. If you’ve done any driving through Los Angeles County lately, you may have noticed the “Soy el tóxico/Soy la tóxica” bumper stickers on various trucks — “I’m the toxic one,” they declare — and I suspect many of those drivers were throwing down at the Grupo Firme set Friday night, shouting along to the lyric “Voy a ser tu ex, el tóxico, el innombrable!” (I’ll be your toxic, unmentionable ex!) from “El Tóxico.” It was a fitting follow to the Mexican ensemble’s thunderous brass band cover of 2020 breakup ballad “Tusa” — originally sung by Sunday Coachella performer Karol G. — SE
7:56 p.m. Spotted among the thousands crammed into Arcade Fire’s surprise gig Friday evening: 24-year-old Finneas and 88-year-old Lou Adler. (How’s that for a broad-based following?) At Coachella ostensibly to drum up some buzz for its upcoming album, “We,” the Canadian indie-rock band opened with the LP’s slow-building lead single, “The Lightning I, II.” But then it was one oldie after another: “Rebellion (Lies),” “Ready to Start,” “My Body Is a Cage.” They even played “Everything Now,” from the reviled (if low-key excellent) 2017 album of the same name. At one point, frontman Win Butler, very Bono-esque in a black leather vest, gleefully reminded the crowd that Coachella was born out of a 1993 gig Pearl Jam staged at the Empire Polo Club as part of its anti-Ticketmaster campaign; at another point he stage-dove just like in the good old days. — MW
7:16 p.m. Having to choose between Anitta and City Girls’ sets felt like an affront to baddies everywhere, which is why I teleported between the two. Anitta, the biggest Brazilian act in the world right now, brought a taste of Rio to the Coachella Stage. Backed by a baile funk-rock band and an intricate set made to look like a favela, she breezed through her hits — in three languages, no less! — including “Envolver,” her first No. 1 on the Billboard Global Songs chart.
Meanwhile, at the Sahara Stage, hip-hop duo City Girls’ heat rivaled that of the desert. The Misses 305 took a few turns around the stripper pole during a spirited callback to Floridian rappers Splack Pack in “Scrub the Ground,” and they powered through an extended mix of their 2021 smash “Twerkulator” — stoking a feverish twerk-off between revelers of all genders. — SE
6:23 p.m. One way to understand Carly Rae Jepsen’s relationship with her audience: They love her precisely because she never achieved the pop stardom she once seemed destined for. When the singer took a tumble in the Mojave tent during her song “Boy Problems,” the place erupted not in gasps but in cheers. — MW
5:47 p.m. Best thing I’ve seen so far: Ari Lennox, fronting a killer live band filled with women, mashing up her and Jazmine Sullivan’s “On It” with D’Angelo’s deathless beefcake-soul jam “Untitled (How Does It Feel).” A slow jam for all ages and persuasions. — MW
Omar Apollo at the Outdoor Theatre, sporting a hot fuschia suit: “Where my homosexuals at?” He looks and sounds resplendent. After a marathon of funky guitar cuts, Apollo sings his original ranchera song “En El Olvido,” off his new album, “Ivory.” His sadboy groove is beginning to sync up nicely with neighboring performer Lennox, who is leading a guided neo-soul meditation at the Coachella Stage. — SE
5:14 p.m. Fashion scene report: It must be Harry Styles Day, because psychedelia is back, baby! I’m seeing loads of orange sherbet and canary yellow flower-power garb. The mood board is giving Twiggy, Lady Miss Kier and Tavi Gevinson in her “Style Rookie” era. And while there’s no mask mandate here, festivalgoers may be wishing they packed some for the dust. — SE
Fun fact revealed by Mika as he played the main stage: His song “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” was inspired by a night out at Costa Mesa’s Butterfly Lounge, which bills itself as a size-acceptance nightclub. — MW
3:53 p.m. Big month for Arooj Aftab: Less than two weeks ago, the Brooklyn-based Pakistani singer and songwriter was at the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, where she was nominated for best new artist (and lost, inevitably, to Olivia Rodrigo). Today she brought her meditative, slowly unspooling melodies to Coachella, where she was backed by a four-piece band that included a harpist. In the cooling shade of the Gobi tent, the music felt like a balm for the noise and hubbub of the weekend to come. — MW
2:02 p.m. Greetings from Coachella, where it’s sunny and 84 degrees, the masks are few and far between and the friendly bartenders ask if you’d like Absolut Grapefruit in your Absolut-and-grapefruit. (Seems like too much grapefruit, but it’s early.) Excited to be back for the first Coachella in three years. By my math, this’ll be my 10th time at what we in the media like to call the world’s most important music festival. Harry Styles’ debut here figures to be today’s big story, but I’m psyched to see plenty of other stuff, including Phoebe Bridgers, Lil Baby, City Girls and Omar Apollo, who’s got an A+ billboard on the 10 Freeway advising folks that heterosexuality can be cured by taking in his set. — Mikael Wood
… And this will be my third Coachella! The artistic range this year is worth noting: I’m raring to see hometown heroines the Regrettes with a side of Code Orange, followed by our friend Omar Apollo; after that, I’m sprinting to catch Anitta and Grupo Firme on the main stage, then bounding back to the Mojave stage for Idles (see Randall’s write-up below). Judging by the physical demand of previous Coachellas, I made sure to pregame this time by stopping by the chiropractor’s office and getting my back cracked like a glow stick — something I’m told is not allowed on the premises. Shoutout to Dr. Colleen in La Quinta! — Suzy Exposito
12:53 p.m. Arguing with your friends over which artists to see today? Let The Times’ music experts help. Here, a few of our writers’ picks for Friday’s standout sets:
Idles (8:10 p.m., Mojave)
A searing post-punk band from Bristol, England, who sound like some ferocious mix of the Fall, the Birthday Party and Gang of Four, Idles has likely bloodied more moshers across its 13-year career than any other act at Coachella. At the center is the roughneck bark of Welsh-born singer Joe Talbot, whose skill at harnessing his testosterone to indict toxic masculinity in “Never Fight a Man With a Perm” is propelled by a snake-eating-its-tail riff progression generated by his four bandmates. The band arrives at the polo grounds in support of its fourth album, “Crawler,” a moody, atmospheric record that’s bound to pound the festival into submission. — Randall Roberts
Snoh Aalegra (10:35 p.m., Mojave)
This Swedish R&B singer with a timeless voice could have played it safe and geared her music toward Grammy-voting nostalgists. But she took a welcome left turn on last year’s “Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies,” working with misty and psychedelic productions (one song is literally called “Tangerine Dream”) from Tyler, the Creator, jazz-rap polymath Terrace Martin and the Neptunes. Her songs never sit still long, but you could follow her voice anywhere — including the main stages at hip-hop festivals such as last fall’s Day N Vegas, where her live set charms were made manifest. — August Brown
Harry Styles (11:35 p.m., Coachella Stage)
It’s been years since Coachella booked a boomer icon like Paul McCartney or Roger Waters, but with Friday’s headliner, the festival might be getting something better: a classic-rock-obsessed 28-year-old beloved by millennials and Gen Z. Styles’ first two solo albums channeled David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac and led to a public friendship with Stevie Nicks; his upcoming “Harry’s House,” due next month, appears to move his frame of reference forward a decade or so: “As It Was,” the album’s lead single, borrows the tick-tocking synth-pop groove the Weeknd previously borrowed from A-ha’s mid-’80s “Take on Me.” Gen Z approves: According to Spotify, “As It Was” set a new record for the most streams (8.3 million) ever recorded in the U.S. in one day. — Mikael Wood
12:26 p.m. If Styles wasn’t enough pop heartthrob for one Coachella night, TMZ is reporting that Justin Bieber will join Daniel Caesar onstage later this evening to perform their hit “Peaches.” On Thursday, in other Canadian-related Coachella news, Arcade Fire announced that they would be making a pop-up appearance at the Mojave tent at 6:45 p.m.