Coachella’s 2022 Comeback



Coachella 2022 headliners and other performing artists. (credit: abc7)

For the past two years Coachella’s musical artist lineup was rolled out and the fans were ready whether they were watching virtually or making the trip to the valley, but both years the excitement was replaced with disappointment.   

In both 2020 and 2021, the well known concert Coachella, named for its unique location in California’s Coachella Valley, has been hyped up with the lineups and dates released but then canceled due to Covid. This April will mark the first Coachella festival in three years and fans have been patiently waiting to learn who will take the stage for the long awaited return of Coachella. But the line up has finally been rolled out, and hopefully Coachella organizers will be able to say that this year’s return will not disappoint. 

The music and art festival begins on Friday, April 15 and runs until April 24. The three headlining artists are Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and Kanye West alongside other performances from artists such as Lil Baby, Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, 21 Savage, Doja Cat, and more. 

Harry Styles is the first headlining performer to make his appearance on Friday, April 15. Coachella’s decision to place Styles in the lineup is brilliant considering his unique indie and pop rock style of music. Indie pop has been on the decline over the past few years and many artists who have been trying to create a name for themselves with the indie aura have seemingly been unsuccessful. It does help that Styles was able to get a head start with his extremely popular early 2010’s boy band, One Direction, but if you search for the other once popular members, none of them have seemed to have an uprising quite like Styles.

Although his last album release, Fine Line, was in 2019, it included spectacular songs that dominated the radios. His most popular songs, which fans should expect to hear at Coachella, include “Watermelon Sugar”, “Adore You”, and “Golden”. Each has won multiple awards that can securely place the young pop star as one of the most popular musicians at the moment. Fine Line won the award back at 2020’s American Music Awards for the favorite pop/rock album, pulling along “Watermelon Sugar” to win best pop solo performance at the 2021 Grammy’s and “Adore you” winning best lyrics at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Coachella nailed this one out of the park not only because of his recent musical accomplishments but also through their consideration of his strong presence in the music industry and as an influencer to teens.        

Billie Eilish takes the stage next on Saturday, April 16th. Another phenomenal choice by the Coachella staff due to her popularity and influence on social media amongst the teenage crowd. At only twenty years years old, Eilish writes all of her own music and even produced many of her famous works right out of her own bedroom. Coachella knows that Eilish is most likely the key to drawing teen viewers in since she has proven to be able to do so countless times across the globe. Her appeal is most likely her connection to the younger generations’ struggles and feelings. Her daring wardrobe style of baggy outfits and crazy colored hair also seems to speak to the youth because it is something different and unique that breaks the stereotypical female artist aura. 

Eilish also recently released a new album over the summer, Happier Than Ever, that had Billie fans swooning. The album includes songs such as “Lost Cause”, “Everybody Dies”, and “I Didn’t Change my Number”. The whole album rose on the Billboard charts shortly after it’s release and gained a lot of attention. So much so, that her album has already been nominated for a grand total of seven awards for the 2022 Grammy’s. Some of the award nominations include album, record, and song of the year. But this is not a first for the young star considering her last album, When we all Fall Asleep, Where do we Go?, won a total of six Grammys in 2020. This is why Coachella had no choice but to offer a spot to Eilish as one of the headlining artists. She not only guarantees views but also good feedback for the festival’s return. 

The final headlining artist to make an appearance is Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. He steps on stage on Sunday, April 17th and brings a much different genre of music than Eilish and Styles. West is bringing an unusual mix of rap and gospel to the valley on April 17th, which happens to be Easter Sunday. In 2019, the famed rap star introduced his Sunday Service Choir to the world, which was far from the Kanye West that fans knew. Some fans didn’t necessarily enjoy West’s rebirth, but for Coachella, it can be used as a strategy. By having West perform, especially on Easter Sunday, Coachella can bring in a mix of viewers from music lovers to devoted Christians. Is this idea brilliant, we will have to wait and see on April 17th. 

West also just released a short album in May of 2021, Dear Donda, dedicated to his mother, Donda. While the album wasn’t a huge success, it is just the start of his so-called “rebirth” that will continue as he transitions to more gospel. West still maintains a popular appearance, maybe not so much for his music, but he seems to make headlines regardless. Many of his headlines have to do with outlandish things like running for president or his divorce from Kim Kardashian, but as many know, getting your name out there whether it be positive or negative seems to bring immense attention and promotion. This is probably Coachella’s most risky choice as a headliner, but it could prove to be very beneficial at bringing in a broad spectrum of viewers. 

All in all, Coachella seems to have an understanding of how to not only get their festival attention, but also come back with a boom. It is of the utmost importance that they get back on their feet if they have hopes of continuing their reputation as one of the top music festivals. For many of the festivals the lineup and headliners could make or break their success. Between the eager fans and the three marvelous headlining artists, Coachella should be able to make the rebound and gain back audience viewership without any question. But we will have to wait for the real test when fans tune in on April 15th.