One Festival Closes, Another Festival Opens
Coachella Music and Arts Festival is gearing up for its final weekend. As arguably the most iconic American music festival, Coachella sets the bar each year for the music festival season to follow. Weekend One included many surprise guests, fascinating performances, technical glitches, celebrity sightings, and more. Though Coachella might be ending soon, when one festival closes, another festival opens. Here is the rundown of Coachella 2017 and the incredible music festival season to follow.
Weekend One in Review
Weekend One brought the pinnacle and the pitfall of headliner performances. To not fault of their own, Radiohead’s Friday headliner set, the first night, was full of technical malfunctions that completely hindered their set. However, Radiohead’s set was not the only pitfall of the weekend.
DJ Khaled and all of his empty rap glory performed Sunday at a prime 7:30PM slot with little competition on the other stages. However, he brought out an army of friends including Migos, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, French Montana, Wale, ASAP Ferg, the list goes on. This is because DJ Khaled, for all his likeability, does not truly have talent when he’s not in the producer chair. It’s disappointing that acts like that get noticed as Coachella-level.
Lady Gaga was another slight disappointment. Granted, she was coming into the best slot on the best night of Coachella already on the outside, as she replaced Beyoncé. However, Lady Gaga’s act was a less pressing version of her Super Bowl LI performance. Different stages? Certainly. However, “Telephone” seemed lackluster and sing-a-long out-of-context.
Bon Iver swiped the spotlight before Lady Gaga with the now-working sound system that had failed for Radiohead the night prior. Stars from 22, A Million shone with monstrous bass tones and a major saxophone section onstage. It was the pinnacle of their album’s production at the forefront.
In addition, Kendrick Lamar’s highly-anticipated Sunday night headliner slot completely grew to expectations. He performed hits off of his new album without abandoning To Pimp A Butterfly, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, or even untitled unmastered. His stage elevated during his performance, and Lamar truly capitalized on his album release and current King Kendrick position to perform DAMN. at an excelled level. Lamar also brought out Travis Scott to perform “goosebumps” as well as Schoolboy Q and Future.
Other great moments include Kehlani’s political message while performing on the Mojave stage at primetime on Sunday. She adorned overalls that read “Find Our Girls,” referencing the young and primarily-black women in D.C. who have been kidnapped.
The xx is also not a group to sleep on, as their performance before Radiohead included many songs off of I See You as well as odes to the bandmates’ solo work, as well.
A Look to Weekend Two
I think, out of all the performers, Radiohead is hoping most for a better Weekend Two. Who knows what special guests the Coachella crowd will see this coming weekend, as Weekend One was jammed back with feature artists and foreseeable-yet-pleasant musical guest performances.
Coachella 2017 FOMO? Here are other upcoming music festival options that rival it.
Boston Calling Music Festival
Where: Harvard Athletic Complex│Cambridge, MA
When: May 26th-28th
Why Should I Care: This is one of the non-camping versions of Coachella on the East Coast. Though newer, Boston Calling has really built up its reputation over the years. It is officially moving to Harvard Athletic Complex for more room to experiment with the music festival experience.
Governors Ball Music Festival
Where: Randalls Island│New York, NY
When: June 2nd-4th
Why Should I Care: Move Boston Calling to New York City, and you have Governors Ball. It is secluded from the city because it’s literally on an island, but it’s also near enough that NYC plans before or after the festival are doable.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
Where: Manchester Farm│Manchester, TN
When: June 8th-11th
Why Should I Care: This is the down-in-the-dirt, camping overnight, 90-degrees-but-I’m-having-fun music festival. Bonnaroo is legendary for its woodsy location in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. However, that’s what makes it magical. It truly brings out the kids who want to just enjoy the music and put the world away for a weekend. It is also four days long instead of the standard three.
Firefly Music Festival
Where: The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway│Dover, DE
When: June 14th-18th
Why Should I Care: Firefly is the closest rival to Bonnaroo and therefore shoulders up against Coachella. It’s a little farther north, so the temps might be slightly cooler if you’re lucky. Festival camping at its finest and a mix of genres in the lineup to suit everyone’s tastes.
Where: Gorge Amphitheatre│Quincy, WA
When: June 24th-25th
Why Should I Care: Paradiso is a festival that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, as many festivals on the West Coast are iconic. Paradiso is creative as well as enjoyable. The Gorge Amphitheatre is an ideal summertime festival location.
Where: Hutchinson Field Grant Park│Chicago, IL
When: August 3rd-6th
Why Should I Care: Lollapalooza is the Boston Calling of Chicago, expect Boston Calling most likely imitated Lollapalooza when planning. Lollapalooza has been around for over 25 years, so these people know what they’re doing.