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COACHELLA 2024 REVIEW: Biggest Moments, Suprises and Features

Every year in April thousands of music fans flock to the desert for Coachella. While this year saw a massive dip in ticket sales and a slew of criticism around lackluster headliners and Coachella losing its appeal, Weekend 1 proved Coachella is much more than massive headliners. Weekend 1 also proved the festival is still the best place to discover new music & see a side of artists you don’t get anywhere else. 

Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator, and Doja Cat headlined, bringing a large part of their unique personalities to the massive stage while proving they belong on it. Lana entered riding a motorcycle through the crowd, Doja Cat brought every bit of weirdness she's become known for with a giant T-Rex skeleton blowing fire behind her, Tyler the Creator was catapulted out of a fake RV and used a Grand Canyon-esque backdrop that he rope climbed up. It was, in fact, a weekend of performances you couldn’t imagine.

The headliners also brought out a slew of surprises: Billie Eilish, Jack Antonoff, and Jon Batiste joined Lana Del Rey. Tyler the Creator brought out Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Charlie Wilson, and Kali Uchis. Doja Cat was joined by A$AP Rocky, Teezo Touchdown, and 21 Savage. But the headliners weren’t the only performers who brought out guests. Here’s some of the biggest surprises from the weekend: 

  • No Doubt duetted with Olivia Rodrigo
  • Peso Pluma brought out Becky G, Santa Fe Klan, Junior H, and Arcángel 
  • Shakira joined Bizarrap 
  • Reneé Rapp brought out The Cast of The L Word, and Kesha
  • YG Marley had a mini Fugees reunion during his set, bringing out his mom, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Busta Rhymes
  • Tems brought out Justin Bieber and Wizkid, who both stepped onto the stage for a performance of their hit “Essence.”
  • Nelly Furtado Joined Dom Dolla on stage 
  • Will Smith came out to sing “Men in Black” with J Balvin
2024 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3

Photo: Arturo Holmes / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

2024 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 1

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

2024 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3

Photo: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Every day of the weekend was filled with an onslaught of undercut artists who used their moment at Coachella wisely, cementing their place in the music world as artists to watch. Coachella is often a place where you are driven to a stage of someone you don’t know in between big acts. Those in between performances are where the magic happens. What Coachella does well is not simply emulate what is already trending in the music industry but bring light to artists we should be paying attention to. Artists like Chapelle Roan, Tems, and Olivia Dean proved exactly why they belong on stage. Victoria Monet held as much stage presence as a headliner, Tems drew a crowd so big she stated being surprised by the size, Renne Rapp proved she is so much more than a big personality but also a true performer, and Suki Waterhouse entertained from beginning to end taking you to a magical place with a set that matched. 

The music isn’t the only big facet of the festival, the food and art have become part of the personality of Coachella. This year was no different with popular LA restaurants like Kazu Nori, Monty’s Goodburger, Cena Vegan and Prince Street Pizza returning and some new favorites like Tacos 1986. Several artists had food collaborations including Benny Blanco’s Postmates hot sauce pop up and Victoria Justice with a sweet cream coffee activation. 

In recent years the features outside the festival have become just as much a part of the festival as what lies inside. This year added a new prominent name alongside the popular Neon Carnival, Framework in the Desert. Framework managed to get musical acts not just in line with Coachella's musical acts but big names from the festival's lineup including popular electronic acts John Summit and Dom Dolla. Framework transformed an airplane hangar into a kaleidoscopic dance floor, and secured itself as the place to be after hours in the desert.

The lead up to Coachella featured an onslaught of predictions of Coachella’s demise due to its newfound influencer culture. But this year's Coachella marked a true return to the era when it was all about the music. Taylor Swift was in the audience but Billie Eilish DJ’ed a surprise set at fan favorite stage The DoLAB. Lauryn Hill was on stage with her son. Justin Bieber was jumping on stage with Tems. Mac Demarco was making a rare appearance with Lil Yachty. It was a Coachella led by the music. 

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