Coachella 2019 Lineup: Childish Gambino A Yes, Justin Timberlake A Not-So-Much
The 2019 Coachella lineup is out. Let's take a look, shall we?
Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande are headlining the show. Gambino and Tame Impala both seem like the kind of big but under-the-radar acts that Coachella's been built on, while Ariana Grande fits the role of Bigger Than You'd Expect Even Though You Should Expect It By Now Coachella Performer, a la Beyoncé, Prince, Lady Gaga, etc. over the years. This also won't be Grande's first Coachella appearance — she was a surprise guest with Kygo during last year's show.
humbled and excited as all hell @coachella 🌵 thank u— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 3, 2019
The full lineup:
Gambino claimed at his second Inglewood Forum show in December that it was the last Childish Gambino show ever, so what's he doing here? Beyond "don't trust celebrities," his out could be that it's not technically a Childish Gambino show, since he's under the broader banner of Coachella.
He was specific when talking about this being the last Childish Gambino tour, and the last Childish Gambino show, with his forthcoming album being the last from Childish Gambino — either he's really bringing it all to an end soon, or perhaps a name change or switching to performing under his real name could be on the way. Either way, he's still got new music coming — that last album has yet to be released, though he talked about some of the new tracks and performed new material on his tour.
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE
While rumors flew about Kanye West and Justin Timberlake headlining, neither is on the lineup. The site that made that initial report did call Childish Gambino being on the lineup, so it's not entirely a puff of smoke.
There are reasons the rumored headliners may have had to cancel plans to be at the festival. Timberlake had to take a break from his tour this past fall thanks to having bruised vocal cords — he did an interview with late night host/Timberpal Jimmy Fallon completely by cue cards "discussing" what happened.
He had to reschedule his November L.A. show for March, among numerous other rescheduled dates running into April, so he may not have wanted to put the extra pressure of a Coachella show on his plate. Coachella also has strict rules about artists not having concerts in the SoCal market anywhere near Coachella's dates, so a March L.A. show ahead of Coachella in April may have been a bump in the road there.
As far as Kanye, there have been reports that negotiations broke down over Kanye wanting a different stage design for the show, but those reports are unconfirmed — we have reached out to his label for comment. Rihanna is also on the list of rumored names to replace Kanye, but she wasn't on the initial lineup, and there's already another big female headliner in Ariana Grande — still, she'd be a bigger name than current headliner Tame Impala, so never say never.
HEADLINERS NOT HEADLINING
The varying font sizes as you move down each line of the Coachella poster always offer a stark look at how big each name is, to the point that the lower-tiered performers become an eye test. The second line of each day's lineups include names that could arguably be at least at Tame Impala's level as far as name recognition, including Janelle Monáe, Kid Cudi, Solange, and Weezer.
Some pretty big performers are even lower on the poster, like country star Kacey Musgraves and rappers Wiz Khalifa and Pusha T. Still, they're a little more off-brand from the Coachella vibe, despite their success.
Some of the other notables on the lineup include the 1975, DJ Snake, Diplo, Jaden Smith (!), Aphex Twin, Christine and the Queens, Mac DeMarco, Khalid, Zedd, CHVRCHES, H.E.R., Blood Orange, Lizzo, Gucci Gang (no word yet on whether this is just Gucci Mane, Gucci and Lil Pump, or something else) and Idris Elba doing a DJ set (!!). As always, this lineup is deep as hell, and you'll likely discover something amazing if you check out some of the lower profile acts.
WATCH IT FROM HOME
Coachella has surprised many by streaming the show the last few years. So far, they've only been streaming one weekend of the two-weekend extravaganza, but this year you've got two shots to virtually enjoy the multiple desert stages from the comfort of your less-deserty home. While it won't be fully streamed, Variety reports that there will be a "curated live experience" on YouTube during the second weekend.
If you want to make the trek out, Coachella tickets go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. YouTube is also offering YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscribers their own special allocation of the hard-to-get Coachella tickets.
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