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Guess What’s Missing From Coachella’s 2016 Lineup?

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Earlier this week, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announced its highly-anticipated-as-ever 2016 lineup. And the headliners left us a bit puzzled.

An LCD Soundsystem reunion would be exciting had we not gotten over their split back in 2011. After all the fanfare surrounding their massive farewell concert at Madison Square Garden, we’ve already gone through the mourning process. (Why are you doing this to us, James Murphy? Whatever happened to the subway symphony thing? Did the coffee gig fall through? Win Butler not available for those busy weekend shifts at the wine bar?)

In the other headlining spots we have Calvin Harris, DJ, boyfriend of Taylor Swift, and very tall human (6’6” according to Wikipedia), and a reunion of Guns 'N Roses, whose divisive frontman, Axl Rose, has already cancelled a scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! shortly after announcing the band’s reunion tour.

Questionable stylistic choices notwithstanding, we can’t help but feel like something’s missing.

An op-ed for Billboard makes the point that while the newly-announced lineup for the 2016 edition of the iconic SoCal music festival will feature more women artists performing than ever before, Coachella has only ever had one female headliner. Iconic experimental artist Björk headlined in 2007 and in 2002, which begs the question: if an avant-garde performer like Björk can headline Coachella not once but twice, why haven’t the festival’s organizers slotted any one of the countless other, maybe even more accessible, women artists who’ve graced their stages?

“Part of the gender equality issue is probably due to Coachella's alt-rock roots (a very gendered genre) and its penchant for persuading acts out of quasi-retirement for reunion shows,” as VICE channel i-D points out. Yet another problem with the major music festivals: not only do they fail to give deserving women artists their top-most spots, but the ambition of their curation falls short overall. It seems contrary to the spirit of a millennial-favorite festival that Coachella puts these dinosaur reunion bands in the headlining slots; there are plenty of fresh artists who deserve a good draw. Is it really that risky to innovate with one of the most (in)famous popular music festivals in the country, which sold out in under an hour last year?

But if you’re headed to Coachella, the 2016 lineup is offering sets by women artists to get excited about. We think the festival’s organizers easily could’ve put another of their top-tiered female artists in a headlining slot. Allison Moss's The Kills would make a rocking headliner. Embracing the fest’s indie spirit, there's French chanteuse Melody’s Echo Chamber, whose debut album was a stellar psychedelic collaboration with her former flame, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker; and dream-pop demagogues Beach House, who dropped two resounding albums last year. Ellie Goulding or Sia could've easily taken a top spot, too.

Sia hasn’t performed live in at least half a decade, but at least she hadn’t, like, just quit music. No take-backsies, Murphy.
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