Coachella 2012 lineup frustrates

by Conner Cox


Every January, music enthusiasts gather around their computers, waiting for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to announce the year’s lineup. Unfortunately, this year’s announcement disappointed many festivalgoers who bought presale passes.

Coachella has become one of the most acclaimed festivals in the world, in large part because it hosts the most celebrated and hyped upcoming artists. In the past it has featured major reunited acts such as Rage Against the Machine (2007) and Jane’s Addiction (2009). Last year the major headliners were Kings of Leon and The Black Keys on Friday, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire on Saturday and The Strokes and Kanye West as the finale on Sunday. The year before, Jay-Z, Muse and Gorillaz headlined. In a nutshell, Coachella’s lineup announcements are always a major event for music lovers.

Last May, the live event promoter Goldenvoice announced Coachella 2012 would occur during two consecutive weekends, promising identical lineups in order to accommodate more fans. Though it seems fair to the customers, the new changes and contractual obligations have prevented many acts from performing. Playing a double-weekend festival also interferes with many bands’ tour schedules.

As a result, Coachella 2012 has an average collection of headliners and a weak undercard compared to previous iterations of the festival. Despite the disappointment, some outstanding acts will perform. The Black Keys return once more for the duo’s third Coachella performance in four years; an opportunity many bands never have. Radiohead —probably the most anticipated band in the rumor mill to headline — will perform on Saturday along with The Shins and Bon Iver. The biggest surprises of this year’s lineup are Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Coachella typically books a few rap and hip-hop artists, however most people expected the Beastie Boys to fill that slot.

Other highlights of the lineup consist of acclaimed artists such as The Weeknd, St. Vincent, M83 and Florence + the Machine, along with reunited artists such as Pulp, Mazzy Star, At the Drive-in and Refused.

Despite the criticism this year’s lineup has received, the festival is already sold out. Ticket holders are eagerly awaiting what will likely be a thrilling pair of weekends.