Latinos shine in 2024’s Coachella lineup

By: Kristine Pascual Feb. 13, 2024

Coachella’s 2024 musical lineup was announced on Jan. 16 featuring a stacked list of Latin artists across the globe including Peso Pluma, J Balvin, Deftones and Ice Spice. 

As a music festival, Coachella is known worldwide and draws around 125,000 fans each weekend. Last year’s lineup was historic, featuring three POC headliners: Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK and Frank Ocean; two headliners whose primary language is not English. Like the Hollywood acting scene, lineups were not always as culturally diverse as they are today. For decades the music industry has been dominated by whites and males.  

Looking at the most popular music festivals aside from Coachella, including Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, the headliners are typically white. For years music festivals have lacked diversity. But more recently, the musical lineups have sparked change toward diversity and inclusivity. 

Music industry studies major Sara Severova finds that diversity in a musical lineup is a must in order to develop a deeper relationship with culture. 

“Diversity is important, so everyone expresses themselves, you know – where they come from, what their life is about, their experiences, their culture. I think it’s very important, so we see the world the way that it is,” Severova said. 

Just last year Bad Bunny made history as the first ever Spanish-language artist to be chosen as a headliner on the main stage for the popular music festival. The Puerto-Rican artist turned Grammy-winning global superstar performed hits including, “Me Porto Bonito” and “Neverita.” His set even included special guests like Jhayco, Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow and Post Malone. 

Dominican American rapper Ice Spice will make her Coachella debut this year. With over 24 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Ice Spice has dominated the rap scene and was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2024 Grammy Awards.  

Peso Pluma is back with his own set after making a surprise appearance after joining Becky G last April. This is his second time performing at Coachella but the first time he will be performing on his own. The duo of Peso Pluma and Eslabon, released the first Mexican song to ever enter the Billboard Top 100 and make Number One on the Billboard Global 200. Also in 2023, Peso Pluma became the most viewed artist of the year beating out Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny. Columbian star J Balvin makes a comeback as he plans to return to Coachella after his lively performance back in 2019. 

Math and statistics major Anna Vazquez pointed out that cultural lineups draw fans of many cultures. Festival goers are exposed to music they may not have been exposed to before. 

“Through diversity, festivals like Coachella can draw more diverse audiences and fans may have the opportunity to expand their music taste,” Vazquez said. 

The Coachella lineup highlights Latin stars on the rise to fame including R&B artist Girl Ultra and indie pop trio Latin Mafia who are both making their Coachella debuts. Despite not being signed to a record label, Latin Mafia was selling out arenas in Mexico last year. The trio can seamlessly blend genres including R&B, EDM and trap. Fans are anticipating the release of their debut album later this year.  

Additional Latin acts include Mexican lyricist Santa Fe Klan, rapper Eddie Zuko and singer-songwriter Cimafunk. The Cuban-born star Cimafunk is most known for funk music taking inspiration from his Cuban and African roots. Along with his smooth dance moves, Cimafunk is best known for his collaboration with Lupe Fiasco in the hit disco song, “Rómpelo.” 

Music is universal and despite not being able to recognize every language, listeners are still able to feel emotions expressed by artists through song. Diversity within a musical lineup exposes festival attendees to a variety of cultures and promotes inclusivity. With a diverse lineup, fans are able to see themselves and their culture reflected through music. 

Alaina Austin, civil engineering student, points out that many musical fans look for artists who relate to their own backgrounds and experiences. 

“I think it’s important to have diversity at music festivals because even though I don’t explicitly look for someone who has the same background as me, I think a lot of people do value that,” Austin said. 

Seeing diversity increase within musical lineups is not only inspiring but can be seen as a historic milestone and festival goers see there is still a long way to go for inclusivity and diversity, but Coachella is making a step in the right direction. Coachella will take place over two weekends in Indio, California from April 12-14 and April 19-21. 

Feature Image Courtesy of Lauren Wong

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