×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Avicii Mourned at Coachella by Musicians, Fans, Industry

The Swedish DJ, who died on April 20, received a loving tribute from Kygo.

The unexpected death of EDM superstar Avicii on the first day of the second weekend of the 2018 Coachella festival brought a somber tone to the desert fest, especially near the Sahara Tent — the EDM stage where (in a different location on the field) the DJ closed out the night in 2012.

Avicii received a loving tribute from the stage thanks to Norwegian DJ Kygo. Towards the end of his set, an image of Avicii appeared in triplicate on the giant video screens while the 2017 song “Without You” played. The screens then flashed to Avicii’s name and the words: “Rest in peace. We will miss you.”

On Saturday night, Nile Rodgers, who had collaborated with Avicii, said from the stage: “Just yesterday, one of my best friends in the world, Avicii, passed away.” Rodgers, who survived cancer after being diagnosed eight years ago,  remarked that he was lucky to be alive, and with his band Chic played the “Daft Punk” hit “Get Lucky” (on which Rodgers also appears) in tribute.

Fans, too, felt the loss. “A bunch of people texted me and were like,’Did you hear about Avicii?'” said Brooke Brush, 23, outside the Sahara tent on Friday. “It’s crazy because, honestly, he’s the reason I got into electronic music. All his music totally turned me on to EDM.”

The Boston native was confident that the DJ would get his dues on the field this weekend. “I hope a lot of people do tributes this weekend,” she said.

Shylo Taylor, 26, was also outside the Sahara tent. “It’s really sad,” she said. “It sucks.”

Josh Rittenhouse, an agent at APA, likened Avicii to Kurt Cobain.”What [Cobain] was to grunge music, Avicii was for dance music,” he said. “It’s always sad to see someone die at such a young age. I think it’s going to inspire people — like how Cobain inspired so much — and more growth in dance music. That guy left such a mark, and it’s going to keep evolving. He’s a pioneer.”

Added Ferry Rais-Shajhaghi, head of electronic music at APA: “He pioneered a sound and was able to open up so many doors, not just for artists, but managers, agents, influencers, curators… It’s such a horrific and tragic thing to happen. … I hope people are able to manage their clients better, make sure they maintain a healthier lifestyle. Because at the end of the day, as much as it sounds like a rock ‘n’ roll life, you’re a human being. You have to take care of your body, your mind and your health.”

Alexandra Greenberg, an executive at MSO Public Relations, represents several electronic musicians, and though Avicii was never a client, they ran in the same circles; Greenberg was a publicist for Ultra, where the Swedish DJ performed many times. “It’s a really sad day, because he’s the first icon of EDM to pass away,” she said. “There are so many people around the world who cherish his music deeply, and its so sad we will not get more of him.”

Jeremy Hulsh, of Oleh Records, was backstage when he heard the news, and was visibly shocked. “It’s obvious his passing is going to have ripple effects,” he said. “I place him in the same realm as when Kurt Cobain passed away [for my generation.] There are a lot of kids probably hurting right now.”

Avicii’s death hit the music industry hard, particularly those who worked with the DJ, like Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson, who spoke to Variety hours after the news broke.

More Music

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Jussie Smollett's Attorneys Say He Was Victim of Police 'Spectacle'

    Jussie Smollett’s legal team issued a defiant statement on Thursday night, saying the “Empire” actor feels betrayed by the justice system and hinting at a political motive for his prosecution. Smollett was arrested early Thursday on a felony charge of filing a false police report. He was released after a court hearing on $100,000 bond, [...]

  • Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat Is

    Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat to Skip Oscar Ceremony

    Best score nominee Alexandre Desplat will be unable to attend Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies because of recent throat surgery, a rep for the composer confirms. The French native, already a two-time Oscar winner (for 2014’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” and 2017’s “The Shape of Water”), is nominated this year for his Japanese-flavored score for Wes Anderson’s “Isle [...]

  • Credit: Photo by Adela Loconte/REX/Shutterstock (9788964b)Gary

    Gary Clark Jr. Finds the Right Words, as Well as Solos, on New Album

    From the scorched earth rock and anti-racist (and anti-Trump-ian) howl of its title tune to the pounding country-blues of “The Governor,” with its cynical take on social justice issues, Gary Clark Jr.’s third studio effort, “This Land,” does what none of the 35-year-old singer-guitarist’s albums have in the past: it puts his mouth where his [...]

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Heather Parry Fired From Live Nation Productions

    Live Nation Entertainment announced Thursday that Heather Parry will leave the company following a Variety investigation into allegations of workplace bullying. Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the TV and film arm of the touring conglomerate, for three years. In December, Variety reported that Live Nation’s human resources department had been repeatedly warned that Parry was [...]

  • Maxine Waters

    Maxine Waters Reacts to Jussie Smollett Arrest: 'I Would Be Disappointed' if It's a Hoax

    Maxine Waters said she “would be disappointed” if it’s proven that her friend Jussie Smollett staged his own attack. Speaking with Variety‘s Marc Malkin on Thursday at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards, the U.S. representative from California said, “If in fact it’s a hoax, of course I would be disappointed.” Smollett faces one felony [...]

  • Beck House

    Beck Lists Updated Vintage Traditional in Los Feliz (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mononymically known indie music iconoclast Beck, who took home his sixth and seventh Grammys earlier this year for his 13th studio album (“Colors”), has put one of the three homes he and wife Marisa Ribisi own along the same, gated street in a coveted neighborhood of L.A.’s Los Feliz area for $2.45 million. The couple [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content