In just a few days, countless thousands of music lovers and those who simply need to be where the action is will flock to the Coachella Valley in California for the region’s namesake music festival.
Coachella isn’t just another concert or even a major festival, but what might very well be the most famous — and one of the most lucrative — musical events of the year. As of a few years ago, the show takes place across two weekends, with the same artists performing for enormous crowds so big, they couldn’t even fit in three days.
While the man who runs the company behind Coachella has been called out for possibly supporting anit-LGBT causes, the festival remains incredibly popular among people of all walks of life, including gay, lesbian, and trans music lovers.
In recent years, bookers have gone out of their way to try to make the lineup more diverse, and the 2022 roster of players includes quite a few artists who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, as well as others who are known as icons and allies.
Here’s a rundown of all the LGBTQ musicians and faves Coachella attendees need to check out.
It all begins for festival attendees on Friday, whether the first one or the second. When it comes to events like Coachella, placement on the poster matters quite a bit, and managers and booking agents negotiate for weeks regarding where one name will land. Phoebe Bridgers is the highest-placed musician who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, as she’s listed fourth, behind only Harry Styles, Lil Baby, and Daniel Caesar, who have all won Grammys and charted top 10 hits.
Fellow LGBTQ musicians Mika, Princess Nokia and The Regrettes are all worth seeing, and they represent different sounds and styles, so there should be something for everyone.
Looking beyond just those artists who say they are part of the LGBTQ rainbow, there are a handful of stars that gay audiences love. First and foremost among that list is Carly Rae Jepsen, one of the most beloved gay icons of her generation. She may have new music to perform by the time she takes to the stage, as will heartthrob and former boy band member Harry Styles, who’s headlining Friday night.
Gays who just want to dance must check out Purple Disco Machine for some throwback-but-modern tunes.
The second day on each weekend is packed with LGBTQ musicians, with what appears to be more gay, bi, lesbian, trans, and nonbinary artists taking to the many stages than any other day. In fact, there are enough performers who are a part of the community that if any attendee only wants to see those acts, they still might miss some of them. Names like Brockhampton, Japanese Breakfast, Anitta, Pablo Vittar, Girl in Red, 100 gecs, Rina Sawayama, Arlo Parks, and Steve Lacy will make it an especially queer day of fun.
Beyond just those artists who identify as LGBTQ, stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, gay favorite Caroline Polachek, Stromae and the hilariously-named Mannequin Pussy are all worth catching…if there’s room in the schedule, that is.
In a lot of ways, Sunday is the quietest day, but that doesn’t mean it should be skipped. No! The final stretch of performances are for those who are committed and who have the energy to keep going! Make sure you pace yourself so you don’t miss some excellent artists.
Looking specifically at those musicians who identify as part of the LGBTQ community (at least publicly), Orville Peck, Honey Dijon (with The Blessed Madonna), Jessie Reyez, and, perhaps most notably, Kim Petras are all scheduled to perform. From dance to pop to alt-R&B, there’s a genre for everyone.
Plenty of non-LGBTQ musicians are worth seeing, and chances are, some of those performances may rank among the most-attended of the night. Of course, The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia, who recently snagged the headlining spot that Kanye West gave up, will be packed.
Doja Cat’s show is also sure to be incredibly busy, and there are bound to be plenty of gay fans there dancing along to tunes like “Kiss Me More” and “Say So.” Also worth checking out are Ari Lennox, Jamie XX, and Maggie Rogers, to name just a select few.
Coachella 2022 is April 15 to 17 and April 22 to 24. Visit www.coachella.com for more information.
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