Whether you’re attending the Coachella music festival this weekend or following along on YouTube or Sirius Satellite Radio, the most important info you need at this point is the schedule of which bands are playing when.
Coachella is around 250,000 square feet, which equates to about five football fields. So imagine if there’s two bands you wanted to see, playing at the same time, yet on opposite sides of the field. Well, let’s just say you’ll probably need a good pair of track shoes.
Phillip Cosores, contributing editor for Consequence of Sound, helps us make some decisions on who to watch this weekend:
What's the usual response on the internet when the Coachella schedule is announced?
Confusion, horror, fear. [laughs] You realize that there's a lot that you're not going to be able to see, and that's disappointing, but it's to be expected every year.
The people who are putting together the schedule have to factor in a couple things — they obviously have headliners who need prime times, but I suspect they also try to make sure that people who like different kinds of music aren't going to have to compete against themselves in terms of what they want to go see.
Yeah, that's what you would think goes into it, though sometimes you look at the schedule and you wonder if that actually happens. On Friday, three rap acts — Lil B, Ab-Soul and Action Bronson — are all playing at the same time on three different stages. You'd think they would want to stagger them throughout the day so hip-hop fans could have the option to see them all. In this case, you can only really see one of them.
Jack White/FKA Twigs?
Jack White's one of the headliners for this year. You might know him from the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, but this is his first time headlining Coachella as a solo artist, and that's going to demand attention. On the other hand, FKA Twigs is a rising young female artist and this is her first time at Coachella, while Jack White's played several times. It's a tough call.
But Jack White's not closing out the main stage — R&B act the Weeknd is. Was that surprising to you?
It was surprising, but they hinted at that a little bit ahead of time. I think the Coachella frame of mind might be that the Weeknd has a younger audience and Jack White's audience skews a little bit older, so that older audience might want to leave Coachella at a more reasonable hour. [laughs] They want to be in bed by midnight or 1 in the morning, and that makes sense. Maybe Jack White wants to be in bed earlier. [laughs]
Another conflict that's upset some people is that between Tame Impala and Todd Terje.
Yeah, Tame Impala is a psych rock band from Australia that's looking to be more than a psych-rock band. Their third album is going to be released at any moment, and while they haven't announced it yet, the singles are coming out. On the other side, Todd Terje's a DJ, but he's more than a DJ — it's '80s-inspired, funky music. There's a lot going on, especially with his band, the Olsens, backing him up. It's a tough call, since they're both really great acts.
What is it like as a music fan to actually get this? Do you start marking up your calendar and figuring out where you have to be and how fast you have to get there?
Well, it assumes that everything's going to start on time, and if that doesn't happen then things become very confusing. I have an idea of how long it takes to get from stage to stage, and I'd say that 15 minutes is a good window of time if you wanted to get from the start of one set to the start of another. If they're 15 minutes apart, you can do it.
And you take a personal jetpack too, don't you?
Yeah, exactly. [laughs] I train six months out of the year to do this.
It's probably going to be up in the 90s this weekend, so is weather ever a factor in terms of who plays when? Are there some artists who don't want to be out in the sun?
I don't know if anybody makes those calls. Perfume Genius is playing outside at 1:55 in the afternoon, and he seems like a person who might not like the sun.
Are you saying he's a vampire?
[laughs] His music skews towards things that are played in the dark, I guess.
What to see and when?
Don't try too hard. If it's too hot, sometimes I show up a little later or miss some acts, but you're going to have a great experience either way.