Listen, there are any number of reasons not to bang with Coachella. Not the least of which is the venue being a polo club. There’s also all the problems that come with watching live music with large groups of strangers outdoors in the desert. It’s always hotter than the devil’s drawers and there’s a lack of shade and viable drinking water. There’s the sweaty, writhing mass of teenagers trying psychedelics for the first time. The bros in neon tank tops fist-pumping when it may or may not be that kind of show. The white girls in cutoff jean shorts and Native American headdresses talking about unplugged mindfulness and wanderlust. On top of all that, Coachella is also like, so corporate now.
But as it is 2017 and each new year should find us at least marginally better people, let’s be honest with one another: if you could get your life in order and had any savings at all to spare, you would be going to this festival.
Radiohead. Beyoncé. Kendrick Lamar. Lorde potentially performing new music provided she, you know, puts some out between now and April. The guy who made “Now We Are Free” sharing the same billing as Lil Uzi Vert. The lineup is good. So good, in fact, that choosing a date to blow your day pass on (unless you’re caking enough for a weekend pass, in which case, I’m hating) is just short of impossible. As always, one day stands out among the three — Saturday features Gucci Mane, Future, and Schoolboy Q all setting us up so that Beyoncé can bowl us all over on the main stage that night. But what if things were different? What if you could cherry-pick 25 acts from all those available to construct your own lineup for one perfect day you’ll probably never live to see? What would that look like?
I’ll start (in no particular order): Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Gucci Mane, Future, Schoolboy Q, Little Dragon, Francis and the Lights, Sampha, Stormzy, Thundercat, Goldlink, Kehlani, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Mitski, Mura Masa, Nicolas Jaar, Kaytranada, Preservation Jazz Hall Band, Lil Uzi Vert, Father John Misty, Phantogram, Lorde, Travis Scott, Nao, Radiohead.