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Coachella 2023: A (Frank Ocean-free) guide to Weekend 2


Coachella 2023‘s second weekend is starting out with heartbreak.

Frank Ocean announced this week that he will not be performing his headlining set on Sunday due to a leg injury.

His much-anticipated performance last weekend, following an hour-long delay, was controversial among critics and fans. Even so, Ocean was a part of the most diverse and inclusive lineup in the festival’s history, as one of three nonwhite headliners during Weekend 1, alongside Bad Bunny and Blackpink.

Ocean’s replacement was still up in the air as of Thursday, but one thing is clear for those still making the trip into Indio this weekend: The show, albeit a possibly more relaxed and drama-free one, must go on!

With a little more knowledge and wisdom after Weekend 1, here’s our guide to surviving the festival’s finale.

When is Coachella and how do I see it? How much are tickets?

The festival’s second weekend runs Friday through Sunday at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Tickets were still on sale Thurday on the festival’s main website. Before fees, general admission passes are priced at $549, general admission with a shuttle pass is at $599 and VIP passes are $1,069. Car and tent camping passes are all sold out.

A reminder, especially for those mourning the Ocean news: All ticket sales are final, and the festival does not offer refunds, cancellations or exchanges unless the festival itself is postponed or canceled.

If you can’t find passes or accommodations and are tuning in remotely, Coachella promises to livestream all sets from all stages on its YouTube channel. If you want a taste of what to expect, the page is already filled with clips of performances from Weekend 1.

Who is headlining?

Weekend 1 featured the festival’s most global and diverse slate of headliners to date with music superstars Bad Bunny, K-pop girl group Blackpink and Ocean.

But Ocean’s cancellation has thrown the festival’s second weekend into flux.

Several outlets, including Spin, have reported that the reunited pop-punk trio Blink-182 will replace Ocean. Blink-182 performed last weekend as a last-minute addition to the Sahara Tent. Other sources familiar with Goldenvoice’s plans say that EDM artist Calvin Harris, who also performed last weekend, is another possible replacement. But there was no official word as of midday Thursday.

Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny, Spotify’s most-streamed artist in 2022, who is making his second Coachella appearance, will still hold things down on Friday as the first artist from Latin America and the first Spanish-language artist to headline the festival. Last weekend, Bad Bunny gave a two-hour set filled with reggaeton and trap, along with a history lesson on reggaeton’s taxonomy.

And on Saturday, Blackpink, who made a raucous debut at the fest in 2019, will return on the back of its second album, “Born Pink.” With a set praised for the group’s choreography and immaculate vocals, Blackpink became the first Asian act, K-pop act and all-female group to headline Coachella.

Ocean was originally booked as a headliner for the 2020 festival-that-wasn’t because of the pandemic. Last weekend, he became the first out queer artist to headline the festival when he stepped on stage to perform for the first time since 2017.

He was an hour late, the livestream of the set was cut, and Ocean gave a vulnerable yet confusing performance. At the last minute, he axed what was intended to be a large ice-skating display. At the start of the set, he gave a speech about coming to Coachella with his younger brother, who died three years ago at age 18.

A representative confirmed rumors that had circled the performance, announcing that Ocean had suffered a leg injury in the days leading up to Weekend 1, complicating his performance. That same injury — two fractures and a sprain in his left leg — was cited as the reason for his Weekend 2 cancellation.

Who else should I be excited about?

Beneath the mega-headliners, in the festival poster’s finer print, are some artists you don’t want to miss.

Luckily, our music writers and critics shared their picks for those who are returning for Weekend 2.

Top Dawg Entertainment’s newest star-to-be, Doechii, an electrifying rapper, made her Coachella debut last weekend. Another newcomer is Ethel Cain, the singer behind “American Teenager” and the 2022 album “Preacher’s Daughter,” where she wraps the listener in grim tales of the rural South where she was raised. And her stage presence makes it all worthwhile.

Sudan Archives returns to Coachella and remains a must-see performer known for whipping her violin lines into bass-rattling R&B that veers from hypnotic loops to all-out punk mania. Also returning is L.A.-based Kali Uchis, who is coming off the release of her new album, “Red Moon in Venus,” which is a cosmic blend of Latin pop, retro soul and psychedelic rock.

Other recommended artists include Belgian pop singer Angèle; the megaproducer Metro Boomin, whose set is expected to feature some of music’s biggest names; alt-rock veterans the Breeders; Dinner Party, a supergroup featuring Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder and Kamasi Washington; the 3-D EDM experience Eric Prydz’s Holo; rapper IDK; hip-hop duo Paris Texas; and the English singer-songwriter-producer Jai Paul, who blew up in the 2000s, disappeared and returned last weekend for his first-ever live performance.

If you want even more help choosing who to see, look back on Weekend 1 with our music writers, who shared the 13 best things they saw at the festival.

You can find the full Coachella lineup here. Set times will likely be released Thursday.

How do I get there?

If you are planning to drive, there are free first-come-first-served parking lots on the festival grounds. The lots are open Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

There are also ride-share services and an array of shuttle and bus options for getting both to and from L.A. and around the fest locally. The festival also provides bike racks.

For those who already have camping passes, read our complete guide to camping at the festival.

What’s the weather at Coachella?

In short, it’s going to be hot.

With the festival taking place in Indio, where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, this isn’t much of a surprise.

Temperatures at Coachella Weekend 2 may approach 100 degrees.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Temperatures are expected to sizzle. Highs are expected to be in the mid-90s on Friday and approaching 100 on Saturday and Sunday, said Stefanie Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’ll be around 10 degrees above normal,” she warned.

However, Sullivan said it could be worse: Temperatures will be nowhere near the daily records of 108 degrees and 109 degrees set in 1904 and 1958, respectively.

Although dusty winds have been known to cause complications for festival-goers and organizers in the the past, it doesn’t look to be an issue this weekend, Sullivan said.

Gusts are expected to blow about 20 mph in the later afternoon and early evenings, which is typical for the area. “It’s kinda just our typical sea-breeze winds,” she said. “It might actually feel nice to have somewhat of a breeze.”

What’s good to eat on site?

The festival’s food and drink options have range: from noodles to burgers, pizza to tacos and cocktails galore.

There will be food-court areas throughout the festival, including the main Indio Central Market, and separate food areas for VIP-pass holders and campers.

Our food writers have helped us whittle down the options, suggesting Love Hour’s smash burgers at the VIP area and Hawkins House of Burgers near the Spectra installation. Near the Sahara Tent, there’s Best Friend, a pop-up bar modeled after Roy Choi’s Las Vegas bar of the same name. Also consider chomping on Tijuana-style snacks at Tacos 1986 or the cheesy chicken parm from Ggiata‘s East Coast-style deli.

Also, one of this year’s most anticipated tickets is a VIP-exclusive pop-up from the Arts District’s newly crowned Michelin darling, Camphor. Our food writers share how you can score a table.

What do people wear to Coachella?

Outfit indecision is real. Boho or disco? Cowboy or goth?

Luckily for you, festival-goers at Coachella this year have been showcasing all of the above and more.

Some opt for comfort, wearing T-shirts, tank tops and shorts, while others treat the lush green field at the Empire Polo Club as a catwalk for custom pieces.

To get a pulse on what people are wearing this year, check out Weekend 1’s best fashion moments through the lens of our photographers. Or take a tip from fashion icon Iris Apfel, who said, “What’s my style is not your style, and I don’t see how you can define it. It’s something that expresses who you are in your own way.”

In other words, be yourself.

What can I do other than listen to music?

The festival offers immersive art installations, its famous Ferris wheel, the Coachella merch store and a record store where you can sift through crates of vinyl. And then there’s “Accessible+,” an event where BIPOC folks with disabilities can “build community and come together to discuss festival accessibility and learn about professional opportunities in the live event industry,” according to the festival.

Campers have access to morning yoga and Pilates classes; the activities tent with classic games, video games, dance competitions and a raffle; a camp lounge; and an art studio where revelers can accessorize outfits or customize essential oils.

Is Coachella environmentally friendly?

Music aside, Coachella is a massive, profit-generating machine — a 2016 study found that the festival brings about $106 million to the Indio economy and about $600 million to the wider Coachella Valley, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

And as with all titans of capitalism, there is an environmental cost: Coachella generates 107 tons of solid waste each day with only 20% of that getting recycled.

Long shadows are cast on the grass by festival-goers at Coachella 2023

The Coachella festival typically generates around 107 tons of waste each day.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The festival said it is aware and has been making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by minimizing single-use plastics, increasing recycling and compost opportunities, donating leftover goods to local groups, and providing water refilling stations while asking festival-goers to bring their own nonmetal reusable water bottles.

To reduce carbon emissions, Coachella also has a program to incentivize carpooling: Festival-goers who ride with at least four people in the car are eligible to win prizes such as Ferris-wheel rides, food and merchandise vouchers, guest passes and VIP upgrades.

People are encouraged to take shuttles or to camp to reduce daily car traffic.

I forgot how stressful big festivals can be. Can I go somewhere for a break or to get help?

Coachella’s Every One is a mental health and anti-harassment service people can use to report misconduct, get on-site counseling or just take a breather.

When does Coachella end?

Even after the headliners step off the stage, the party hasn’t ended — at least for those who are camping.

Campers will get access to the Dome, which hosts the famous after-hours silent disco, where DJs will spin music live for the headphone-wearing crowd. There’s also the Turn Down, a more soulful, lounge-like venue where DJs will also spin music live. Both will party well into the next day, with the last sets ending at 4 a.m.

Times staff writers August Brown, Kenan Draughorne and Mikael Wood contributed to this report.



This story originally appeared on LA Times

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