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Coachella 2024 delivered an electrifying weekend of diverse musical acts, star-studded cameos and Y2K-inspired desert fashion, cementing the festival’s status as a trendsetting cultural phenomenon.

The first weekend of Coachella 2024 showcased the ongoing rise of Latin music on the global stage, with a wide array of Latino acts from across genres and countries delivering standout performances. Argentina’s star producer Bizarrap surprised fans by bringing out collaborator Shakira for an explosive set, while Peso Pluma wowed the main stage crowd with his signature blend of regional Mexican ballads, Latin rap and reggaeton.

The strong showing of Latin American artists, including Puerto Rico’s Young Miko, Cuba’s Cimafunk, Ecuador’s Hermanos Gutierrez and various Mexican acts like Son Rompe Pera, Carin Leon and Girl Ultra, demonstrated that Latin representation at Coachella is becoming the norm rather than the exception. This trend follows last year’s historic milestone when Bad Bunny became the first Spanish-language headliner.

In a memorable moment, J Balvin brought out Will Smith, clad in a suit and dark glasses, to perform the iconic Men In Black theme song. While rumored guest Taylor Swift didn’t take the stage, she was spotted enjoying performances by rock band Bleachers and rapper Ice Spice alongside her boyfriend, NFL star Travis Kelce.

Coachella continued to serve as a playground for celebrities, with sightings including Billie Eilish, who joined Lana Del Rey onstage and later debuted three new tracks from her upcoming album at the Do Lab. Other notable cameos included Olivia Rodrigo with No Doubt, Ke$ha and Katy Perry.

The 88rising showcase, promoting Asian American artists, featured a diverse lineup of J-pop groups Yoasobi, ATARASHII GAKKO!, and Number_i, Japanese hip-hop artist Awich, Korean-American rapper Tiger JK, Chinese pop star Xin Lu and Korean rapper Yoonmirae. History was made with the virtual performance of Japan’s famed Vocaloid singer Hatsune Miku.

Coachella’s Saturday lineup offered a nostalgic return to the 1990s alt-rock scene. No Doubt reunited for their first performance in 15 years, while Blur and Sublime also took the stage. Vampire Weekend made a surprise appearance, inviting Paris Hilton onstage for a honky-tonk mash-up.

Festival fashion embraced a mix of cowboycore and Y2K-inspired looks. Western hats, boots, fringe and Americana themes were popular, reflecting the countrified influence of pop stars like Beyonce. 1990s punk and skater fashion also made a comeback with leather, plaid and goth-lite lace. As always, barely-there outfits featuring sheer fabrics, bikinis and thongs were a staple.

Coachella 2024’s first weekend successfully captured the zeitgeist, celebrating diversity in music while paying homage to the festival’s alt-rock roots. With Latin acts commanding the spotlight, surprise celebrity cameos, and fashion that blended nostalgia with contemporary trends, Coachella reaffirmed its position as a cultural compass, setting the tone for the music festival season to come.

With AFP