Coachella is just about here, and so is the schedule—finally. As is the case each year, the conflicts are mostly kept to a minimum, even with the addition of a seventh stage.
Before last year's fest even began, the city of Indio approved plans for a gradual increase in the attendance cap from 99,000 to 126,000 as well as the addition of another stage. Well, we're already seeing the effects of that this year with the new Sonora stage, which broadly hosts Latin American acts by day and lo-fi indie rock and punk by night.
So other than more music, what does an extra stage—plopped all the way over by the entrance—mean for your festival experience? More staggered set times to fit into your schedule and more criss-crossing around the Empire Polo Club field. But not to worry, we've tackled some of the trickiest schedule conflicts below.
Father John Misty vs. Mac Miller vs. BANKS
This one really comes down to personal preference. Soulful alt-singer BANKS and rapper—and current Mr. Ariana Grande—Mac Miller will likely split the younger crowd. But since we're old fogeys by festival standards, we'll be watching Father John Misty. Even if his hypersexed theatrics don't translate to the main stage, his over-the-top piano ballads should be a fine way to settle into the evening of the first day.
Travis Scott vs. DJ Shadow vs. Little Dragon vs. Empire of the Sun
So a Texas rapper, a California DJ, a Swedish electronic band and an Australian dance duo walk into a festival... Yes, Friday night's pre-headlining slot may be one of the most problematic blocks in the entire festival, as all four acts start within a half hour of each other. If you want a little bit of each performer, the sets are timed in a way that you can progressively make your way south along the adjacent tents. If you really want to see Empire of the Sun, though, we suggest skipping the others to stake out a spot at the always-packed Sahara tent—just be warned that their set goes a half hour into Radiohead's.
Four Tet/Daphni/Floating Points vs. Saturday evening
It's going to be a real chill three and a half hours in the Yuma tent as Four Tet, Daphni (a.k.a. Caribou's Dan Snaith) and Floating Points unexpectedly share a single block of time that promises unbroken spacey vibes. It also means, though, missing Tycho, Future, ScHoolboy Q, Röyksopp, Warpaint, DREAMCAR and Bon Iver, who all perform during that three-plus-hour block. We suggest starting out in the Yuma tent at 6pm, but by the time Future hits the stage at 7:30pm you may want to split.
Kendrick Lamar vs. New Order
Apparently Goldenvoice thinks Kendrick Lamar and New Order fans are mutually exclusive as they're scheduled at the exact same time on Sunday. As much as we love New Order (even sans bassist Peter Hook), we have to go with Kendrick on this one. He'll be performing only days after the release of his new album DAMN., and—in the spirit of Coachella's unexpected collaborations—let's just remind you that both Rihanna and U2 guest on the album.
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