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News November 19, 2017

Australians represent onstage and off at Coachella

Australians represent onstage and off at Coachella

If it feels like half your social circle was in the California desert over the long weekend, this might be why: a report from secondary ticket market giant StubHub ranks Australians as the fourth largest national cohort attending Coachella’s first weekend.

Tickets were sold to Americans from all 50 states and from seventeen nations, with punters from Canada and the UK making up the next two spots and Mexico rounding out the top 5.

According to StarHub, sales to international audiences were up 125% this year.

Now in its eighteenth year, Coachella’s 2017 edition will draw the festival’s largest ever crowd, after Indio City Council last year agreed to expand the festival’s attendance cap from 99,000 to 125,000. Last weekend alone was up 60%.

Artists include Kendrick Lamar making his festival debut; Lady Gaga, filling in for a pregnant Beyoncé and becoming the first solo female in a decade to headline since Björk; Radiohead on their third time (though the band had to leave the stage twice due to sound issues); Future, Bon Iver, complete with horn section); The xx; Father John Misty; DJ Khaled; ScHoolboy Q and Travis Scott.

British grime star and Mercury Prize winner Skepta was a no-show after visa problems.

The seven Australian acts on the bill are The Avalanches performing their first US set in 15 years, which got rave reviews for its punk energy; Empire of the Sun, who drew one of the biggest and loudest crowds; Flume collaborator Anna Lunoe, who shared the stage with Skrillex at one point; What So Not (aka Sydney producer Emoh Instead), King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard; Pond, and Jagwar Ma.

Lorde and Broods flew the New Zealand flag. Lorde revealed a new track, the pulsing and infectious Homemade Dynamite from upcoming album Melodrama, due June. The night before, she played a warm-up set at a nearby 300-capacity honky tonk bar, for which tickets sold out in under a minute. It was her first full show in the US in two years.

Of the acts that patrons most wanted to see make a surprise appearance were Red Hot Chili Peppers (they were playing on the East Coast the first weekend), Kings of Leon, Twenty One Pilots, U2, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd.

None of them transpired. But Drake joined Future, Ms. Lauryn Hill came on during DJ Snake’s set to do some Fugees songs, Todd Rundgren came on with The Lemon Twigs, The Doobie Bros’ Michael McDonald appeared with cult jazz-soul auteur Thundercat, Martin Garrix got Dua Lipa to sing on their hit single Scared To Be Lonely, and Mura Masa brought out Charli XCX and A$AP Rocky for 1 Night.


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