Coachella's Small-Font Bands for 2017 Are Almost as Great as the Headliners
LA Weekly's Andy Hermann argues that the $399 Coachella ticket is a bargain even if just for the "small-font" acts on this year's lineup. Check out Hermann's picks for the lesser-known acts that could make your Coachella experience.This article originally appeared on LA Weekly
Mitski: just one of many great artists you might overlook in Coachella's fine print
The Coachella 2017 lineup was announced yesterday and, although this year's headliners would've been even more exciting a year ago (when they all had new music out and hadn't already played Southern California several times), they're still pretty great: Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar. The presence of Beyoncé on the bill, in particular, is a major coup for the festival, which has never really had a pop star of her magnitude headline (unless you count Drake, who closed out Coachella in 2015 — but pre-"Hotline Bling," he was still more rapper than pop star).
Once you get past the headliners, however, it's easy to find this year's lineup a little disappointing, especially since many of the other big-name acts most heavily rumored to be performing (Frank Ocean, Solange, Daft Punk, Haim) are no-shows. In their place, Coachella 2017 is offering a solid but somewhat predictable slate of hip-hop (Travis Scott, Future, Gucci Mane, Schoolboy Q), a something-for-everyone raft of EDM (Justice, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Dillon Francis, Porter Robinson & Madeon), the obligatory legacy act (New Order) and a whole bunch of the usual festival-circuit suspects (Father John Misty, Empire of the Sun, Mac DeMarco, Bon Iver). For anyone who isn't a hip-hop or EDM fan, only Lorde, The xx, Kaytranada and Future Islands offer much heat among this year's second-tier bookings.
But once everyone stops freaking out about Beyoncé and gets down into the Coachella flier's small fonts, it's hard to sustain any "Coachella sucks this year" arguments. Once again, festival organizers Goldenvoice have booked a compelling, diverse array of talent that, taken collectively, makes the $399 general-admission price tag almost seem like a bargain, even if you don't worship at the altar of Queen Bey...