The Return of Coachella

Written by: Ibrahim

Edited by: Ines

Visual by: Ethan

When the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise in 2020, large gatherings and social events disappeared from calendars. One of the many canceled events included the 20 year-long beloved music and arts festival Coachella. Annually held in April at Indio, California, Coachella has acted as a catalyst for individuals, particularly teens and young adults, to bond through music. From Beyoncé to Ariana Grande to Jay Z, each attendee will find an artist that resonates with them, as the festival features an extensive lineup of music megastars. The event’s allure consistently attracts about 250,000 individuals every year and over 100 million dollars in ticket sales since tickets sell anywhere from 450 to 1,100 dollars; after all, Coachella is arguably one of the most popular music events in the world.

As global lockdowns led to the immediate shutdown of Coachella in 2020, fans were devastated but remained optimistic for its recurrence. Unfortunately, Coachella 2021 did not push through due to the surge of COVID-19 cases and virus variants. After a long-held deprivation from the festival, 2022 did not disappoint. As April approached, more and more artists from every genre of music announced that they would once again be performing on the beloved Coachella stage.

As the gates opened and lights dimmed, the atmospheric tone was immediately set. Apart from the artists themselves, the event also felt the presence of pre-pandemic exhilaration, excitement, and most of all, connection. So far, the first weekend has had many incredible performances and BT has compiled a list of some of the most memorable ones from the festival.

Harry Styles Starts Off Coachella With A Bang

With Harry Styles being one of the first performers of opening night, the reaction garnered from his performance proved that his appearance at the event significantly benefited its ticket sales. His performance brought in 125,000 fans all at once, and in the secondary stages an additional 25,000 thousand fans were also present. Styles sang many of his latest songs, such as ‘Watermelon Sugar’, ‘Golden’, and his newest hit single ‘As It Was’.

Harry Styles’ incredible performance was also able to attract fans beyond the typical age bracket for the event, as Variety reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook and television personality James Corden, were also present in the audience. 

Billie Eilish Makes History

Headlining Coachella is an incredibly unique privilege only a select few artists can ever claim to have, requiring years of experience in mastering their craft and cultivating a supportive fanbase. However, on Saturday night during Coachella’s opening weekend, 20-year-old breakout star Billie Eilish stormed the stage and made history as the youngest artist to ever headline the event. Out of her performances at the festival, the one with the loudest cheers was that of ‘Lovely’, a collaboration with brought R&B artist Khalid. Furthermore, her brother, known as FINNEAS, also joined her on stage, responsible for each performance’s guitar accompaniment. Eilish was beyond ecstatic to be able to headline an event like Coachella and stated that she owed it all to her fans, sharing her appreciation saying, “I’m so… grateful that I’m here and that you guys are all here. This is such a dream come true. I feel crazy.” 

Lil Baby’s BLM Representation

Over the last few years, the #BLM movement has been heavily promoted through artists’ social media, music, and motivational speeches. Most artists attend Coachella mainly for entertaining a crowd or for the thrill of a live performance, but few ever go past that. Abiding to his strong morals on racial equality, rapper Lil Baby arrived at the festival and rocked the hearts of the audience through an emotional performance of his song, ‘The Bigger Picture’. The song, released several months after the murder of George Floyd, aimed to support the Black Lives Matter movement and portray the racial injustices present in the United States today.

After his emotional performance, Lil Baby was later joined on stage by fellow rapper and close friend Gunna, and together they performed songs from their collaboration album ‘The Voice of the Heroes’. The main gist of the album for Lil Baby was highlighting his journey of success in the music industry and obstacles he faced, which felt fitting for audiences given the Coachella setting. 

Post Malone’s Surprise Performance

Arguably one of the biggest songs of the 2010s and the 21st century, ‘Rockstar’, by Post Malone and 21 Savage, was undoubtedly a fan favorite. Post Malone was not on the published list of artists attending the festival this year, which is why it  came as a surprise to attendees when he jumped onto the stage as 21 Savage performed, and together they sang their hit song ‘Rockstar’.

The crowd erupted in cheers, singing along, and fans even got to see a dance performance by Post Malone, which received playful criticism but was overall well-received. 

These are only a few of many performances from Coachella 2022’s first weekend. The concerts have matched or exceeded expectations, ultimately making it worthwhile for both artists and fans. 

Highly-anticipated events, such as Coachella and other concerts, festivals, and parades, have been missed for over two years. Having the ability to attend them once again is a collective blessing, as they have the importance of acting as a symbol for music and bringing forth a connection between millions of people. 


GMA News Online. “Coachella 2022 Reveals Full Lineup.” GMA News Online, GMA News Online, 14 Jan. 2022, 

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