Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and Kanye West will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, as the music industry takes hopeful steps toward the return of festivals and touring in 2022.
Coachella, set for its usual two-weekend format, April 15-17 and April 22-24, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., will be returning after two years mothballed by the pandemic.
After weeks of speculation and leaks in the music press, the festival announced its complete 2022 lineup, which will also feature performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Doja Cat, Phoebe Bridgers, the reunited electronic dance group, Swedish House Mafia, and dozens of others.
The event is expected to run at its full capacity of up to 125,000 concertgoers a day.
Coachella has long been the California’s most influential festival, hosting viral moments like Tupac Shakur’s hologram in 2012 and Beyoncé’s 2018 tribute to the marching bands of historically Black colleges and universities.
It has usually been the first big festival to announce its lineup each year, ushering in the touring season. However, this week, Coachella was scooped by the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., which on Tuesday January 11, 2022 announced that it would return in June with Tool, J. Cole, Stevie Nicks, the Chicks, Machine Gun Kelly, Robert Plant, and Alison Krauss, and others.
Coachella was one of entertainment’s first major casualties of the coronavirus. Its 2020 edition, which would have featured Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, was shut down by health officials on March 10 last year, two days before Broadway and the concert business at large went dark.
Goldenvoice, the promoter that puts on Coachella in partnership with the corporate concert giant AEG Presents, had hoped to bring the festival back that fall, then in spring 2021. However, each time, the pandemic forced the plans to be kicked further down the road. Bonnaroo, which is presented by Live Nation, AEG’s corporate rival, had scheduled a full-scale return last September, but it was canceled after heavy rains flooded the festival grounds.
About half of the ticket holders to Coachella’s 2020 edition requested refunds, Paul Tollett, one of the festival’s founders, disclosed in an interview in August 2020. Tickets cost $449 and up, not counting fees.
Despite a batch of recent cancellations related to the coronavirus, the music world is viewing Coachella with hope as a bellwether for the full-throttle return of the multibillion-dollar touring industry. Major tours by Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Elton John, Bon Jovi, and Justin Bieber are expected this year.
Recently, Goldenvoice hoped to bring back most of the headliners planned for 2020. However, Rage Against the Machine has an extensive tour planned this year, with five dates booked at Madison Square Garden in August, therefore, it is not playing Coachella. Ocean will return to Coachella in 2023. Also, since the disaster at Scott’s Astroworld aFestival in Houston in November that left 10 people dead, the rapper has largely withdrawn from public appearances, canceling his performance as a headliner at the Day N Vegas festival, which is also presented by Goldenvoice.