Beyoncé is the Hero Coachella Needs but Doesn’t Deserve

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07: Entertainer Beyonce performs on stage during closing night of "The Formation World Tour" at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage)

Serious question: Does Beyoncé wake up every morning and ask herself, “How can I casually make history yet again?”

As of this spring, she will be the first woman of color to headline Coachella. EVER. She is also the first woman in ten years to headline the festival (the last woman to headline was Bjork in 2007).

This news marks a significant shift for the notoriously male-dominated Coachella lineup. Last April, The Los Angeles Times wrote an article titled “Coachella: Plenty of Bros, But Where Are the Female Headliners?” They noted that out of last year’s 167 acts, fewer than a quarter were female artists or groups fronted by women. Andi Zeisler, a former music columnist and author of “We Were Feminists Once,” makes a great point about why this ratio is both problematic and ironic: “Coachella is marketed so explicitly to young women as this place where you can go, dress up, and it’s all about aesthetics and young cute celebrities. There is this real chasm between how it’s marketed to women in this very superficial way and how it approaches female musicians.”

The absence of female performers at Coachella is also literally at odds with the audience; according to a 2015 Nielson report, women typically outnumber men at music festivals.

Despite this statistic, I will confess that I have personally only attended one music festival (Governor’s Ball), and I was miserable from start to finish. Here is a list of things I found problematic about the experience:

Direct sunlight.
The “Valencia” Instagram filter.
The idea of not being at home, in my own bed, watching Gilmore Girls.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. But now my fellow scrooges and I have to eat our hats (flower crowns), because Beyoncé headlining changes everything. She is probably the only performer on the planet who could make standing for hours in the middle of a desert seem like the best idea since some genius thought of putting avocado on toast.

What do you think? Are you tempted? I sure am.

Photo by Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage via Getty Images. 

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive