I witnessed every imaginable reaction when the Coachella lineup dropped Jan. 3 – admiration, disgust, astonishment, unrequited joy and downright anger. Everyone has a (mostly dumb) opinion; some people think there’s too much hip-hop, others say there’s not enough yacht rock.

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The Real

One friend will text and say “Man, I’m so stoked to see Hot Since 82” and I’ll just play along like I know who that is and write back “yeah, his last album was really atmospheric.”

“What does it all mean?” people will ask each other, over and over.

Here’s the thing: there is no deeper meaning to the Coachella lineup. If there was, Goldenvoice would enlighten us to said deeper meaning instead of announcing their $100 million festival with a three-word email and a jpeg.

Don’t get me wrong; I love Coachella, but each year their PR team makes it a game to see how few words they can use to get the entire Western media to promote their concert for them. Maybe next year they should just send us a picture of Harambe wearing a Future Islands T-shirt or have someone call and grunt into the phone. (I’m kidding, they would never call over here).


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Coachella's 2017 Lineup Poster

The worst part is that everyone gets soooo hyped about who is playing. At the end of the day, the lineup is just a list of bands that were available to play two weekends in April. Their agent, manager and the talent buyers for Goldenvoice were able to work out a deal.

I know it’s not sexy, but that’s the reality. Every year, a couple reporters will call and want to talk about the festival. They expect me to extrapolate all this deep analysis on the lineup and the music industry and how it affects the alignment of Venus and Neptune. Halfway through the interview I start asking myself, “Why the hell isn’t someone from Goldenvoice talking to this person?” which is of course a rhetorical question because the answer is always, “Because they don’t want to.”

And because I’m a nice guy I try to help the reporters that call me. Every time without fail, someone asks, “So Dave … who are you most excited to see?” prompting me to name the first band that comes to my head.

Radiohead,” I’ll say. “Great band that puts on an incredible show. And did you listen to their last album? I thought it was really atmospheric.” 

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