Next Friday, Coachella officially kicks off its two-weekend affair. After a light EDM lineup in 2018, Coachella returns with a stacked 2019 lineup. Enjoy bangers and singalongs? Zedd and DJ Snake got you covered. Love dark techno? Nicole Moudaber, Amelie Lens and Charlotte de Witte are here for you. Want to feel all the feels? RÜFÜS DU SOL and Shallou will have you in happy tears.
The schedule has not come out, but expect tough conflicts. With two stages dedicated to electronic music and bigger acts destined for the Coachella and Outdoor Theatre stages, Coachella have will have tough decisions for attendees. Luckily, we’ve got a handy guide for you. We selected 15 artists, five for each day, to catch at Coachella this year. Hopefully none of these artists conflict, but no promises. Check out our picks below:
DJ Snake – The Pardon My French head honcho returns to the desert for the first time since 2017 when he played the Outdoor Theatre. After conquering the top 40 airwaves over the past few years, Snake started going back to his roots in 2018 with songs more suited for the dancefloor like “Magenta Riddim,” “Gassed Up” and “Let’s Get Ill.” 2018 also saw him start his own record label, Premiere Classe, so he should have a ton of new music to debut at Coachella. DJ Snake also has a long history of bringing out special guests at Coachella, so it should be a truly special night with the Frenchman. Seems like he would stay at the Outdoor Theatre in 2019.
Diplo – The Mad Decent boss returns to the desert for the first time since he pulled double duty in 2016 with Jack Ü and Major Lazer. Amazingly, this is the first Diplo solo set (non Do-Lab) at Coachella since 2008, so this is well overdue. Diplo spent much of 2018 working on his collaborative side projects LSD and Silk City. But, he still found time to put out an EP, Europa, as well as just be omnipresent as always. Diplo seems like a pretty solid bet to close out the Sahara stage. That would have been an iffy proposition in the past, but with the new expanded Sahara, it should be one hell of a party. You think he might bring out some special guests?
Polo & Pan – Leave it to a French duo to be the dark horse for electronic set of the year. No, not Daft Punk. No, not Justice. Two guys by the name of Polo & Pan. They may not be a household name just yet, but they’re on their way there. The duo produces light earworms that will have you dancing with a groove. They even play live, including live singing and synth performance. The music itself may evoke Yuma vibes, but we foresee the duo playing in a bigger tent around sunset. Our unlikely-but-possible festival wish? They bring out the legendary Calypso Rose, also performing at Coachella on Friday, for their remix of her track “No Madame.”
RÜFÜS DU SOL – Pop-friendly electronic music continues to go in exciting new directions. One of the best examples of this innovation is trio RÜFÜS DU SOL. Famous for their emotional pop house bangers, RÜFÜS come off their lauded third album Solace with a second-line billing. They’ve got a lot to live up to, but based on their live tour thus far, we anticipate a feel-good, emotionally fulfilling spectacle. Better yet, the trio have contributed a video based on their track “Underwater” for the Antarctic dome. The video will project in the dome throughout the weekend, so be sure to leave so time to get immersed. Perhaps an Antarctic showing into their live set would make for a lovely one-two punch.
Nicole Moudaber – The queen of techno returns to Coachella for a prime slot with a great billing, especially for a Yuma artist. It’s difficult to maintain hype for years on end, but Moudaber has done so gracefully (as graceful as dark techno can really be). She continues to release great tracks and remixes and play intense sets (some going for hours on end). Between going b2b with Paco Osuna and Dubfire and releasing her In the MOOD radio show, Moudaber stays a prolific producer, DJ and overall artist. This marks Moudaber’s first Coachella set since her b2b set with Skin in 2016, and comes right before her new EP Seeing It Through. Friday night is busy, but we’ll still make time to go down the techno blackhole with Moudaber.
Aphex Twin – This might be the most anticipated performance for dance music fans of the festival. The legendary British electronica pioneer will make his first appearance at the polo grounds since 2008! While he’s been active releasing music lately, Aphex certainly haven’t played a lot of festivals, especially in the US. This performance is an absolute wildcard, who knows what to expect. Although, without question, it will be dark and groovy. Also, where will this performance take place. Late night at Outdoor Theatre? Closing Mojave or Gobi? Anything is possible here.
Idris Elba – You read that right, the highly acclaimed actor is a fully-fledged DJ, in fact he was an active DJ well before his acting career took off. Luther, I mean, Elba, has stayed true to his UK roots and usually spins house and techno. You can be sure that he’ll be performing at the Yuma for his first Coachella appearance. While it’s probably not going to change your life, it should still be a hell of a good time. What’s more Coachella than telling your friends you got down to an Idris Elba set!?
Bassnectar – We never thought Bassnectar would play Coachella again, but here we are. A lot has changed since Bassnectar’s 2013 set in the Sahara tent. He’s become a Grateful Dead-like icon of EDM, equipped with a rapid, sometimes polarizing fanbase. His shows are now sought-after experiences, uniquely designed for each occasion. Nonetheless, his music has remained true to his name: bass in all forms, from low-tempo dubstep to relentless breakbeat. Coachella wouldn’t normally be the crowd his fans would likely associate with, so we’re curious to see who turns out for his set. Expect another Sahara headlining set from the master himself.
Stephan Bodzin – Techno rose to crossover popularity over the past year, largely in credit to producers like Stephan Bodzin. The talented producer infuses his track with catchy melodies and satisfying emotional highs. It helps Bodzin’s live show puts all of his musicality on display. From jamming out on synths to mixing his productions together, Bodzin has helped turned techno shows turn into full-on concerts. We’re curious if he gets slotted with similar producers in the Yuma. However, we also wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a bigger tent suited for his live set-up.
Four Tet – Much like Bassnectar, Four Tet has maintained legendary status over his long career. His 2017 album New Energy stands as one of his best releases, and his new singles and remixes keep fans constantly coming back for more. Last year Four Tet toured a new live show to showcase old favorites and cuts from New Energy, so we hope he brings that show to the festival this year. Even if he just DJs, Four Tet has also become one the best DJs in the game, so we’d still be pretty amped. Four Tet played a rare b2b with Floating Points and Daphni (Caribou‘s dancier alias) in the Yuma in 2017. Could he play in the Yuma again, or play a bigger stage for perhaps a bigger show? We’ll find out next week.
Zedd – Zedd makes his first return to the polo fields since 2016. Since then, the German-born producer/DJ has cemented his place atop the top 40 charts and has become one of the biggest musical acts in the world. Last time Zedd played he had the penultimate slot at the Outdoor Theatre. While it’s entirely possible that he plays there again this year, he’s the third name on the bill this year. We think it’s entirely possible that Zedd occupies the same slot ODESZA did last year and plays just before the headline slot on the main stage (his good friend Ariana Grande). Zedd has world-class production and a slew of potential guests who could join him on the Coachella Stage. Regardless of the stage or venue, Zedd always brings the heat.
Cirez D – If you didn’t already know, Cirez D is the darker, more techno-based alias of Eric Prydz. He’s actually been playing more shows under this moniker lately, including an appearance at EDC Las Vegas last year, and a run of b2b shows with Adam Beyer. Prydz is one of the best in the business and a legendary DJ, any opportunity to see him perform should not be missed. Today the man himself confirmed a headlining spot in the Yuma. Given his high billing, Cirez officially becomes the highest billed artist to ever played the Yuma. Leave it to Prydz to accomplish such a feat. Oh, and he hasn’t played since 2013. Six years! It’s a bit insane fans had to wait so long, but at long last, Prydz (well, Cirez D) returns to Coachella.
Dillon Francis – Dillon has actually been a fairly consistent presence at Coachella over the years. Dillon returns to Indio after having last been in there in 2017; him closing out the Sahara on Sunday seems like one of the safest bets of the weekend. It was an interesting year for the L.A. producer/DJ, his main body of work was his Spanish-language album, Wut Wut. Dillon amassed a ton of new fans and acclaim with his 2018 work, so we’re curious to see what he’ll be up to musically in 2019. He’s collaborated with Alison Wonderland and TV Noise for more traditional Dillon-fare, so, the Sahara seems like as good a place as any to unleash some new IDs and bring out a special guest or two.
Jon Hopkins – Jon Hopkins’s crossover success cannot be understated. He achieved early recognized with production credits for Coldplay and his underground solo work. But, Hopkins has reached much wider appreciation with the release of albums Immunity and Singularity. His new live show builds around those two albums, with some choice cuts and remixes sprinkled throughout. Hopkins previously played Coachella in 2013 with a set in the Yuma tent. This year, we expect him to graduate to either the Mojave or Gobi. Even fans of radio EDM can appreciate Hopkins’ glitchy, piano-laden tracks.
Nocturnal Sunshine – Even if techno and house fans may not know this name, but we’d wager any EDM fan would know the woman behind this alias. Maya Jane Coles, a Coachella veteran, brings her bass, downtempo alias Nocturnal Sunshine for a rare set. She released a new EP under the alias last year, with a new album slated for this year. Maya is one of the few artists who follow the “album to tour to break, rinse repeat” style of touring, with some DJ sets sprinkled in. She hasn’t toured as Nocturnal Sunshine in a few years, so we’re very excited to see what she brings. It’s very likely she’ll play in the Yuma tent, a fitting environment for her infectious, head-bopping tunes.
Cover Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella