Coachella celebrates 20th anniversary amid renewed criticism

Apr 15, 2019 | Arts

Both weekends of the SoCal desert fest will be beamed live around the world, including sets from BLACKPINK, Childish Gambino, Billie Eilish, and Lizzo. (FLOOD magazine/Max Sweeny)

Ross Lopes

The highly-anticipated Coachella festival of celebrated its 20th anniversary this weekend with headliners Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), Tame Impala and Ariana Grande.

Coachella is held in the Indio desert in California. According to People magazine, the festival features around 160 acts that will perform on two weekends. The first weekend ran from Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14 while the second weekend takes place April 19-21.

The festival also offered viewers who couldn’t attend the first weekend the option to livestream the event on their YouTube channel.

Here is what happened during the three-day weekend:



Despite the activities and celebrity sightings that took place, the festival has received backlash and boycotts through the years.

According to Myles Tanzer of Out magazine, “When the music lineup for 2019’s Coachella was announced … it reawakened calls for fans to boycott the festival over donations to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations made by Philip Anschutz, the Republican mega donor who owns the event’s parent company, AEG.”

When the anti-LGBTQ donations came to light in 2017, headlining artists at the time did not drop out or speak out, according to Tanzer.

In addition, AZCentral said both weekends for Coachella 2018 sold out in three hours despite fans knowing about Anschutz’s donations. Billboard said this year’s event sold out in six hours.

Tanzer called it a complicated question to answer when boycotting Coachella but found a possible solution with a twitter post by singer-songwriter Mitski.

Tanzer wrote, “In this capitalist hellscape, it’s the work of fans and artists working together to just make the best of things.”