Billie Eilish and Kanye West are slated to headline the 2022 Coachella festival, sources tell Variety, on Saturday and Sunday night, respectively. Swedish House Mafia is also on the bill, although it is unclear whether the group is the festival’s third headliner — the traditional “throwback” slot for the reunion of a more veteran artist.
West headlined the festival in 2011 and Eilish had a breakthrough performance in 2019 (she would be the youngest artist to top the Coachella bill); SHM previously performed at Coachella in 2012.
The festival, which is already sold out, is scheduled to take place over the weekends of April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022, at its usual location of the Empire Polo Ground in Indio, Calif. However, the alarming omicron surge and the postponement of the Grammy Awards this week have many wondering whether the festival will take place in April, or be moved — for a fifth time — to a later date.
Coachella is North America’s largest music festival and has already sold out its 125,000 per-day tickets, and the sheer logistics of more than 100,000 people traveling to and gathering at a single location create immeasurable possibilities for disease transmission.
While the original headliners of this 21st installment of the festival — first announced in January of 2020 — were Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and Rage Against the Machine, the festival has been postponed due to the pandemic four times. Last year, Ocean moved his appearance to 2023, and Scott was removed from the bill in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy in November, although sources tell Variety that his agent fought to keep him on the bill. West and Scott are frequent collaborators and related by a former marriage (West’s ex Kim Kardashian is the half-sister of Kylie Jenner, who shares a daughter with Scott).
TMZ recently reported that Rage is off the bill.
An announcement of confirmed performers is expected in the coming days.
Reps for West, Eilish and the festival either declined or did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.
Dates for the 21st Coachella moved first from April to October 2020, then to April 2021, and then October of that year — although the October 2021 dates were never officially confirmed by promoters — and last fall the current dates appeared on the festival’s website. Goldenvoice rarely comments to the press and has made no statement on most of the postponements; the one in January of last year came from the Riverside County public health officer.
Plans for the April festival have been moving full speed ahead as the concert business began a partial return to normal activity last summer. Several major festivals, including Lollapalooza and Rolling Loud, were held without major incident, although both Travis Scott’s Astroworld in Houston and the Once Upon a Time in L.A. festival were marred by tragedy: 10 people died of asphyxiation in a massive crowd surge at the former, while rapper Drakeo the Ruler was murdered at the latter in a still-unexplained incident backstage.
The 2022 festival also raised some controversy when it reversed its previous required-vaccination policy in favor of proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event, although the controversy was due more to the curiously surreptitious way it made the announcement — via the festival’s official Instagram story — than the move itself. Sources tell Variety that move was made more for the country-themed Stagecoach festival, which is also promoted by Goldenvoice and takes place the weekend after Coachella.
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