It’s April, which means it’s time for the biggest music festival of the year — Coachella. Starting Friday (April 12) and lasting all off this weekend and next, this year’s Coachella lineup is bringing headliners Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala to the forefront of festival season.
But this year’s lineup also boasts a number of LGBTQ artists, as well. While the owner of Coachella’s parent company Phillip Anschutz has come under fire in recent years over his alleged controversial donations to anti-LGBTQ causes, the queer performers attending this year’s Coachella will offer sets to speak directly to their LGBTQ fans’ experience.
Here are 9 LGBTQ acts you can check out at this year’s Coachella:
FRIDAY, APRIL 12 & 19
Hurray For the Riff Raff — 3:05 – 3:45 p.m., Gobi
Led by queer Puerto Rican frontwoman Alynda Lee Seggara, Hurray For the Riff Raff is here to provide you with the Americana soul that you’re looking for. Bringing a down-South flair to a festival filled with acts to make you dance and move, Hurray For the Riff Raff is the go-to band for those looking for a fun, stripped-down set to start your day off right.
King Princess — 4:15 – 5:00 p.m., Mojave
At only 20 years old, singer-songwriter Mikaela Strauss is ready to take over the pop music industry. Under her stage name King Princess, Strauss has made headlines for her open embrace of her queer identity, especially on the wildly popular alt-pop ballad “1950”, and her more recent offering “Pussy Is God.” Before she officially becomes the next big thing, be sure to check out King Princess at this year’s festival.
SOPHIE — 9:10 – 10:00 p.m., Mojave
2018 was a big year for SOPHIE. After spending years of her already-stunning career refusing to show her face and crafting bafflingly experimental electronic jams, the star finally opened up about who she is with the release of her single “It’s Okay to Cry.” SOPHIE’s full-voiced embrace of her trans identity gives new meaning to much of her music, and her set is not to be missed at Coachella.
Janelle Monae — 9:50 – 10:40 p.m., Coachella Stage
Dirty Computer may have been the queerest album to come out of 2018. Janelle Monáe came out just before the release of her lauded album, giving the lyrics, videos and themes new meaning and purpose. Not only has she proven herself as a force of music, but as one of the most entertaining and inventive performers of her day. Go check out SOPHIE’s set, but if you have to leave early in order to make your way to Monáe’s undoubtedly show-stopping performance, we will all understand.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13 & 20
Serpentwithfeet — 2:40 – 3:25 p.m., Mojave
It’s doubtful that you’ll be able to find too many other experimental neo-soul acts at this year’s Coachella, so Serpentwithfeet should be a must-see stop. The up-and-coming singer’s unique musical voice and instantly memorable fashion sense will make for one hell of a performance, especially considering that he’s used full orchestras in the past.
Javiera Mena — 2:45 – 3:20 p.m., Sonora
For those looking for a Latin-infused performance at this year’s festival, there are a bevy of great performers to check out. But one in particular, Javiera Mena, has made a name for herself in the industry as a queer icon in the community, bringing her at-times moving, otherwise electrifying music to the masses. Be sure to make your way over to the Sonora stage to check out Mena’s fabulous live performance
Christine and the Queens — 7:45 – 8:45 p.m., Outdoor Theatre
For years, Héloïse Letissier has made her fans groove to the sound of her funky, fresh brand of pop music. But with her last album, Chris, the star, performing under her stage name Christine and the Queens, made a bold statement about gender, sexuality and conformity to societal standard. Between her easy-to-dance-to tracks and her excellent vocals, Christine and the Queens is an act you must see at Coachella
SUNDAY, APRIL 14 & 21
Blood Orange — 6:10 – 7:00 p.m., Outdoor Theatre
Dev Hynes, the singer-songwriter and producer behind Blood Orange, knows how to put together a great song. Blending rock, funk and R&B, Hynes has managed to become one of the most talked-about R&B stars of this day-and-age, and rightfully so. Also known for his well-produced live performances, you’re going to want to see his set before you leave the festival this year.
Kaytranada — 10:55 p.m., Mojave
Listen, we understand that Ariana Grande is the biggest set-to-see this year, but consider taking a break from the pop princess’ to waltz over to the Mojave stage and check out electro-hip-hop DJ Kaytranada. His blend of genres and more-than-amazing stage presence will make him one of the weekend’s best watches, even if he is playing against Ariana.