Coachella is only a few days away, and so are the excruciating set time match-ups that Coachella presents each and every year. With most artists given under an hour to perform and the sprawling polo field grounds mobbed with music fans, Coachella-goers often have to commit to seeing one artist and giving up the chance to experience another.
We’re here to help provide a little guidance across a hectic three days, and although all of these artists are worth seeing, Billboard is happy to make a recommendation (or 10). Check out Coachella 2017’s 10 toughest set time conflicts and our diagnosis for each problem:
Travis Scott vs. Little Dragon
Look, Travis Scott has the star power in this match-up and hip-hop radio behind him, but Little Dragon is releasing one of the year’s best albums later this week and always makes for a solid festival hang. This conflict is closer than you realize!
The Verdict: …That being said, Scott’s show is the one that could ignite Friday night at Coachella before Radiohead takes the stage. Buy into the buzz and party with Travis to kick off your weekend.
Crystal Castles vs. Glass Animals
While Glass Animals have had their profile grow with their excellent 2016 album How to Be a Human Being, Crystal Castles is soldiering forward as a new entity without founding singer Alice Glass… albeit with a mind-blowing back catalog to choose from.
The Verdict: Check out the beginning of Crystal Castles to make sure remaining member Ethan Kath’s production still delivers the goods; if it doesn’t, head on over to watch the back half of Glass Animals’ main stage set.
Father John Misty vs. Banks
One is a lightning rod spewing press quotes by the truckload; the other is a quiet, equally brilliant R&B artist with a killer new single. FJM has the main stage, but is he worth your time?
The Verdict: Yeah, he probably is, if nothing else but to hear what Josh Tillman is going to say at the mecca of American cool kids. Banks always delivers, but Father John Misty could be a show-stopper.
End of Radiohead vs. D.R.A.M.
Stay for the double-encore or dance in the desert to “Broccoli”? The choice is yours, and while Thom Yorke stans will shrug off an alternative to the headliners, anyone who’s seen D.R.A.M.’s joyful live show knows that this is a close call.
The Verdict: Much love to Big Baby D.R.A.M., but one of these artists recorded “Paranoid Android.” You should see that artist.
Future vs. Dreamcar
The lead singer of AFI, Davey Havok, has joined forces with the non-Gwen members of No Doubt to create a new wave supergroup. Their first big test? Drawing the Coachella crowds away from hip-hop behemoth Future, who starts 15 minutes after them on the main stage.
The Verdict: Why not check out Dreamcar’s deal before moseying over to mess up some commas, to paraphrase Mr. Hendrix? With a few minutes to spare before the conflict begins, Dreamcar is intriguing enough to at least see their intro.
Bon Iver vs. Martin Garrix
One drops beats. The other drops “Holocene.” Frustratingly, their whole Saturday night sets basically overlap. To dance, or to cry?
The Verdict: We’d recommend Martin Garrix, if we hadn’t witnessed Justin Vernon and co. tear down the main stage five years ago, in support of Bon Iver’s 2011 breakthrough LP. Before Gaga on Saturday night, grab a hankie and watch 22, A Million in person.
Gucci Mane vs. Getting to Lady Gaga Early
Forty-five minutes before Lady Gaga’s sure-to-be-show-stopping headlining set, Guwop touches down in Indio — and in the dance tent, no less! Do you dare see the beginning of Gucci Mane’s blistering set or get a good spot in what’s sure to be an insanely packed main stage audience?
The Verdict: Yeah… you have to see Gucci Mane at Coachella. Figure out the time you feel most comfortable with to bounce from his set, and make peace with the fact that you’ll be seeing two A-list stars — even if you see them from really, really far away.
NAO vs. Devendra Banhart
Two artists on the opposite end of the Coachella spectrum (new-school R&B up-and-comer; freak-folk godhead who’s been strumming for over a decade).
Tove Lo vs. Hans Zimmer vs. Beginning of Lorde
Oof, this one is brutal: First, you have to choose between a spectacular pop performer and a legendary composer, and then you have to keep an eye on your watch and debate skipping out early to get close for the “Royals” one!
The Verdict: A Hans Zimmer live performance is one of the most original offerings at Coachella this year. Get your movie-score on, then bounce halfway through and get pumped for Lorde’s live return.
Kendrick Lamar vs. Marshmello vs. New Order
You’re killing us, Coachella! The final day of the festival ends with a pile-up of a hip-hop genius, exploding EDM star and one of the most renowned rock groups to ever do it.
The Verdict: …And yet, the verdict here is pretty simple. Sorry, New Order and Marshmello, but perhaps you guys have heard that Kendrick Lamar is dropping a new album during Coachella weekend? Let the California icon consume your entire Sunday night.