A Queer Guide to Coachella 2019
The performances, events, and information that all LGBTQ festival-goers need to know.
April 10 2019 4:14 PM EST
April 11 2019 12:50 AM EST
The performances, events, and information that all LGBTQ festival-goers need to know.
Dust off your flower crowns and break out your glitter -- Coachella is coming, whether your outfits are ready or not. As many prepare for their trek out to the desert over the next two weekends, The Advocate has prepared an extensive guide to the festival's LGBTQ and queer-friendly offerings.
From LGBTQ artists like Janelle Monae and Sophie to icons like Ariana Grande and Kacey Musgraves, here are the queer highlights of this year's festival. For more information on Coachella, which runs April 12 to 14 and April 19 to 21 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, visit Coachella.com.
Festival Policy on Inclusion:
Coachella has launched its "every one" campaign this year, which aims to "co-create a festival and culture that is safe, inclusive and fun for all."
The "every one" website reads: "We are pushing ourselves and our guests to do better and to be better. We are taking deliberate steps to develop a festival culture that is safe and inclusive for everyone. Persons of any gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or ability are welcome at Coachella."
It goes on to say, "Along with the Code of Conduct, Coachella will NOT tolerate any form of assault or harassment, be it sexual, physical or verbal. Anyone found to be in violation of this policy is subject to immediate removal from the festival site and law enforcement may be notified. The offender's Festival Wristband may be revoked and no refund will be issued."
While this sweeping language sounds promising, here are some tangible policies that may affect LGBTQ folx:
- There will be restroom locations offering male, female and all-gender restrooms.
- All restrooms are for anyone regardless of gender identity or expression.
- The festival will deploy trained ambassadors throughout the festival grounds to facilitate access to care services for anyone in distress.
- "every one" tents will be staffed with trained counselors for anyone that needs extra support or a quiet moment away (available in the venue and camping).
More information can be found at Coachella.com/Every-One.
Information for Disabled Folx:
The festival's official policy reads, "Coachella welcomes attendees with disabilities. We are dedicated to continually improving our efforts to ensure attendees have access to all festival goods and services, regardless of ability."
Disabled festival-goers will be able to obtain an ADA wristband, which will grant them access to ADA services. One companion ADA wristband will be given out with each ADA wristband. Services and wristbands can be obtained at ADA access centers located throughout the festival.
- Elevated viewing areas
- American Sign Language interpreters
- Assisted Listening Device System
- Shuttle service to Entrance/Exits
More information can be found at Coachella.com/ADA.
Additional accessibility requests can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 12 & 19
King Princess (Mojave 4:15pm-5:00pm)
King Princess showed audiences that "Pussy is God" in 2018. Now, the young queer artist will deliver her preaching at Coachella in the form of cool, romantic pop tunes.
Kacey Musgraves (Coachella Stage 5:50pm- 6:40pm)
Kacey Musgraves, the reigning queen of queer-friendly country music, is a must-see for LGBTQ festival-goers. Musgraves' Grammy-winning album, Golden Hour, will provide for a diverse setlist -- with chill and trippy songs like "Slow Burn" accompanied by more upbeat hits like "High Horse."
BLACKPINK (Sahara 8:00pm-9:00pm)
K-pop has finally landed at Coachella. BLACKPINK, a Korean girl group with a sizable LGBTQ fanbase will give Coachella-goers an opportunity to see the K-pop phenomenon first hand.
The 1975 (Coachella Stage 8:25pm-9:20pm)
The 1975 frontman Matt Healy made headlines in 2018 when he revealed he was attracted to men -- although not sexually. Though we bet you'll be happy if you make it to the band's set time as their critically acclaimed album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, provides a pop-centered existential look into the digital age.
SOPHIE (Mojave 9:10pm-10:00pm)
SOPHIE, the openly-transgender electronic-producer who took Charli XCX from Boom Clap to Vroom Vroom, will deliver her own set at this year's festival! If her 2018 Grammy-nominated album Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides was any indicator of the energy and power she will bring to the Coachella stage, listeners are in for a wild ride!
Janelle Monae (Coachella Stage 9:50pm-10:40pm)
The pansexual Prince-protege will bring the funk-inspired hits off of her Grammy-nominated album, Dirty Computer, to the desert this year. We're ready to watch Monae boogie to her bi-anthem "Make Me Feel" and hopefully bring out her "PYNK" pants for a spirited and electric performance.
Framework Presents: Rhonda Queen of the Desert (April 12 ONLY @ HITS, Desert Horse Park 10pm-4am)
Infamous L.A. based "poly-sexual dance party" A Club Called Rhonda has infiltrated the Coachella Valley as Rhonda Queen of the Desert. Rhonda returns to her throne at HITS, the Desert Horse Park. A singular venue, with a singular line-up, the Desert Queen will host the inimitable techno force of Russia's Nina Kravitz, and the multi-hyphenate creative force Virgil Abloh deep into the night. Ticketing and additional information can be found here.
Saturday, April 13 & 20
Virgil Abloh (Mojave 6:20pm-7:10pm)
While primarily known as the creative director of Louis Vuitton and the man responsible for placing BDSM-inspired harnesses on stars like Timothee Chalamet and Adam Rippon, Virgil Abloh is also a DJ. If you're curious at how a fashion designer can manage to hype up crowds enough to book Coachella, you may want to check out his set.
Christine and the Queens (Outdoor Theatre 7:45pm-8:45pm)
The French, queer pop artist known for her hypnotic music videos will take her unique energy from Paris all the way to the dusty Coachella Valley. Christine's dynamic talent is sure to deliver a truly conceptual performance.
Billie Eilish (Outdoor Theatre 9:35pm-10:40pm)
Billie Eilish, the 17-year-old pop-wunderkind with an ever-shifting palette of dyed hair, captures an energy that resonates with a sizable group of young-LGBTQ people. Festival-goers present at the songstress' set will be some of the first to witness her new material off her newly released debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Sunday, April 14 & 21
Bad Bunny (Coachella Stage 5:40pm-6:30pm)
Latin trap star Bad Bunny, who is known for his eclectic and rather flamboyant taste in clothing, has spoken out against homophobia in the past and had gender-nonconforming subjects in his music videos. His Spanish-language high-energy music will cause crowds to flock to his stage, so, get ready to move fast for a prime location in the masses.
Lizzo (Mojave 5:45pm-6:30pm)
Many LGBTQ music fans are already aware that Lizzo can bring the bangers! The body-positive R&B singer has been boosting the self-esteem of queer listeners for years and has recently captured the attention of mainstream ears. Her highly anticipated performance is the place to be -- if feel-good and extremely danceable music sounds like your kind of party.
Blood Orange (Outdoor Theatre 6:10pm-7:00pm)
A.K.A. Dev Hynes, the gay singer-songwriter will be delivering his unique, synthy R&B stylings to this year's festival-goers. Blood Orange's last album, Negro Swan, included the voices of trans activist Janet Mock and queer actress Amandla Stenberg.
Clairo (Mojave 6:55pm-7:40pm)
This dream-pop singer first got noticed for a music video shot on her laptop. The 20-year-old toured with Dua Lipa last summer, building up a young queer fanbase.
Zedd (Coachella Stage 7:10pm-8:00pm)
This ultra-producer has worked with queer-icons like Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and Troye Sivan. His performance will surely feature music LGBTQ festival-goers can get down to!
Ariana Grande (Coachella Stage 10:30pm-)
There's little doubt that Ariana Grande's performance will be the pinnacle event for many queer people at this year's festival. Ariana's allyship with her LGBTQ fans and near-constant output of hits in the last year has cemented her as a must-see act. The only thing up for debate will be which songs Ariana decides to play!
Kaytranada (Mojave 10:55pm-)
Gay producer, DJ, and electronic artist Kaytranada has perfected the craft of creating danceable, low-fi synthy beats. Those in the know will arrive at the Canadian DJ's set ready to dance with high energy and witness a stylish crowd.
Other Coachella Related Developments
Coachella announced on April 7, 2019 that Solange would not be performing at this year's festival due to production delays.
Beyonce's new Netflix documentary Homecoming will begin streaming on Thursday, April 17 and catalog the artist's headlining performance at last year's festival.
Childish Gambino and Rihanna
While Childish Gambino (AKA Donald Glover) will deliver the headlining performance on Fridays, April 12 and 19, YouTube recently announced that his new film, Guava Island will premiere on their Livestream of the festival.
The mysterious new movie is of note to LGBTQ audience, mainly, because Rihanna will join as co-star with Glover.