Hip-hop and electronic music will collide Sunday at the Empire Polo Fields for the final day of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival’s first weekend.
Dance music trio Swedish House Mafia will be one half of Sunday’s headlining slot days after releasing their 17-track debut studio album “Paradise Again.”
The Swedes will share the stage with Canadian R&B and hip-hop superstar The Weeknd, who is featured on a track on their new LP. Also with features on the album are Police frontman Sting and rapper A$AP Rocky, brewing speculation about potential surprise guests during the headlining performance.
Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd are replacing Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West — who dropped out of the top spot last week.
When the substitution was announced on Instagram, the festival captioned the post with “the party and the after party,” hinting at the format of the shared set while referencing one of The Weeknd’s songs.
Also on Sunday’s bill is 26-year-old rapper Doja Cat, who earlier this month took home a Grammy, along with SZA, for best pop duo/group performance.
Other highlights include masked country singer Orville Peck, Los Angeles psychedelic quartet Chicano Batman and Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, who already made a surprise appearance during electronic musician Flume’s Saturday night set.
Saturday night also saw L.A.’s Billie Eilish return to the polo grounds to make history as the youngest performer to headline the event three years after making her debut appearance at the festival,
Fresh off an Oscar win for best original song, the 20-year-old Eilish packed her set with crowd-pleasing stunts and collaborations with singer-songwriter Khalid, Blur frontman Damon Albarn and her brother, Finneas, who will make his own solo appearance on Sunday.
Day 2 also featured a high-energy performance by Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion, a K-pop reunion with 2NE1 joining former member CL following her solo turn and an offering from composer and former Oingo Boingo member Danny Elfman that included his music from TV and films including “The Simpsons,” “Batman” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
American hip-hop boy band Brockhampton took the stage for the final time in the Sahara tent. After 12 years together and six studio albums, the group announced earlier this year that Coachella would be their final performance. On Saturday they also announced that their final album will be released this year.
Isaiah Rashad opened his set with a pre-recorded clip stitching together various media footage reacting to a leaked sex tape that appeared to out the 30-year-old rapper. Near the end of his set, Rashad addressed the tape for the first time since the video leaked in February.
“I see all the messages and all the positivity,” he said to cheers and applause. “Y’all kept me alive these last couple months.”
At 51 years old, electronic music pioneer Richie Hawtin made his seventh appearance at Coachella, closing out the Yuma tent on Saturday. Hawtin, who was on the inaugural Coachella lineup in 1999, recently released a re-imagined version of his 1998 album “Consumed,” which was put out under his musical alter ego Plastikman.
The festival, which will feature the same lineup next weekend, opened Friday at the Empire Polo Club following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a shirtless Justin Bieber and a Harry Styles-Shania Twain duet among the first-day highlights.
Festivalgoers have been met with strong winds and desert dust storms, but Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron said there were no significant arrests or traffic incidents during the first days of the festival.
He encouraged attendees to stay hydrated, follow the rules and use designated traffic routes.
Attendees are not required to show proof of COVID vaccination or testing, and masking is not required at the outdoor event. But health officials continue to urge precautions against spread of the virus, and testing is available on site and around the Coachella Valley.
This year’s festival also features an innovation that has never factored into previous events — a commemorative NFT. Two years ago, NFTs were almost unheard of, but the Coachella Music & Art Festival is offering all attendees a free 2022 In Bloom seed digital NFT, redeemable through the FTX app with each individual’s ticket wristband. Once redeemed, the NFT comes with perks, including a dedicated entry lane, limited-edition merchandise, along with food and beverage vouchers.
As the In Bloom seed NFT blossoms into a desert flower, owners could get one of six rare flowers that can grant them premium upgrades at the festival. Upgrades include a 2023 weekend-two general admission festival pass, premium merchandise, access to the FTX VIP Lounge, Ferris wheel rides, Goldenvoice Concert Tickets or a 2022 VIP upgrade.
For those who can’t attend the festival, performers including Louis the Child, Tokimonsta, Tchami, John Summit and more are scheduled to perform at events such as Day Club at The Hilton in Palm Springs this weekend and next.
Performances are also being livestreamed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3jFQ_UrIxU.