Six things the Coachella line-up tells us about the year ahead in music

All the secrets we can glean for the 2017 Coachella line-up

For many Californians, the 2017 Coachella line-up is merely a list of acts they’ll be watching in scorching desert heat while dreaming of the pool party they’re attending later that night. But for those of us for whom getting to the Palm Springs hogfest seems about as likely as Paris becoming a country ending in two consonants, the line-up of the first major global festival of the year is more of a series of cryptic clues as to what might be in store for the rest of the year. Here’s what we can read between the lines.


The xx will headline a major UK festival

While the topline news from Coachella is that Radiohead will own the summer, we knew that already thanks to headline slots announced for Glastonbury and Heineken Open’er, amongst others. Tucked in the second row, though, the appearance of The xx on the bill tells us the Wandsworth trio will be jumping feet-first into the festival season around their third album ‘I See You’ rather than tour for eighteen months first. And since their set at Bestival 2012 drew the biggest crowd of the weekend, we can expect a big UK weekender to have snapped them up sharpish. Latitude seems like a cosy fit to us…



Lorde’s long-awaited second album is probably finished

Whenever an act that hasn’t been around for a year or two crops up at Coachella, you don’t have to be Benedict Cumberbatch to deduce that they’re clearly cueing up a new album campaign. This year’s bookings foretell encroaching releases from Jungle, Future Islands, Father John Misty, Mac Demarco and Real Estate, but the biggest news is the re-emergence of New Zealand sensation and sometime dad of Stan from South Park, Lorde. It’s been over three years since her debut and, bar her Bowie tribute at the 2016 Brits, she’s been suspiciously quiet. With no news yet released, we may be looking at a surprise release at some point in 2017, hopefully of an album called ‘I Am Lorde Ya Ya’.



2017 will be light on big reunions

Like holograms of dead people, most earth-quaking reunions tend to premiere at Coachella, keen (as they usually are) to rinse a couple of years’ worth of festival headline slots for all they’re worth. So while rumours still churn about an Oasis comeback tour in 2017, the lack of any reunions on the Coachella line-up suggests we’ll have to wait at least until 2018 for The Smiths. Swizz.



Grime won’t break America this year

With Stormzy the only front-running grime name on the 2017 Coachella line-up, we can safely assume that US festival bookers don’t feel that the States are quite ready for the UK’s fastest growing scene just yet. Wonky-named alt-pop, on the other hand…



The Avalanches are better now

Having cancelled a raft of European festival dates due to ill health last year, the appearance of The Avalanches on Day 2 of Coachella’s bill suggests they’re on the mend enough to reschedule for 2017. Or maybe 2117, depending on how they feel.



2017 might be the year of the novelty soundtrack Slot

With Hans Zimmer scheduled to play a set of his celebrated movie scores at Coachella and Survive making their name on the back of their theme tune to Stranger Things, it seems that the movie soundtrack gig is moving out of the classical music halls and into the range of the piss-lobbing festival crowds. Could we see the moshpits of Reading and Leeds 2017 thrashing wildly to ‘Antman Theme (Reprise)’ or ‘TOWIE Overture’ come August?