Editorial: Music Festival Season 2019

With the release of Coachella’s 2019 lineup, we are getting closer and closer to 2019’s music festival season that tends to run during the spring-summer of every year. Starting from this lineup, more and more lineups of big festivals will be released, such as Chicago’s Lollapalooza, England’s Reading & Leeds, and Indonesia’s own We the Fest. There are some concerns and thoughts about music festival lineups that have remained year by year, including genre diversity, racial/gender diversity, and relevancy. Some of our contributors have rounded up their thoughts, concerns, and tips regarding 2019’s festival season!


For this festival season, remnants of 2018’s most popular music will be evident. An example is Sheck Wes: after his 2018 frat party hit “Mo Bamba,” he is already headlining 2019’s Governor’s Ball and Coachella. We can also expect artists topping 2018’s best albums lists on festival rosters, including Mitski, Brockhampton, Anderson .Paak, Kacey Musgraves, and Blood Orange. Besides Sheck Wes, we can expect other artists with single hits from 2018, such as King Princess who released the queer anthem “Pussy is God” last year, who, much like Sheck Wes, is playing both Coachella and Governor’s Ball. There are also other artists that might be overlooked but might pop up here and there in the festival circle, such as Rosalía’s Spanish-language flamenco-hip hop music, or Greta van Fleet who have garnered a pretty solid fanbase despite gaining bad reviews from their newest album.


With the exception of international music festivals held in the UK, festivals in 2019, just like music festivals in 2018, seem to be more diverse in terms of musical styles and artist origins, with particularly big artists from Asia being invited to international festivals. Asian music-centered festivals such as 88rising’s Head in the Clouds, headlined by Rich Brian, Joji, Zion T., Keith Ape, Higher Brothers, and friends have been a major hit, and we hope to see similar music festivals again this year. Coachella has previously invited the K-hiphop group Epik High, and to expand the tradition, they’re inviting Korean groups Hyukoh and Blackpink in 2019. Other than racial diversity in music, international festivals are also more focused on diversifying the musical styles of the artists on their lineup, with artists such as Childish Gambino, Bradley Cooper, and The Cure (an unlikely combination) being on the lineup of Glastonbury this year.

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