Gather your glitter tats and your big hats. It’s officially Coachella season, and this year’s lineup puts electronic sounds on a big stage. While some fans complained of a perceived lack of bands, we celebrate the diversity of dance offerings.
From classic icons to new favorites, bubbling producers and underground heroes, this year’s Coachella captures the state of the dance floor from around the country and the world. You should see as many acts as you can, but in case you need a road map, we suggest these 15 must-see sets to give your weekend a little direction.
Friday, April 13 and 20
Alan Walker – 6:15-7:10 p.m., Sahara
With approximately 2 billion streams under his belt, Alan Walker is well past the up-and-comer stage. While Walker is viewed as a king overseas, the budding dance music star is still conquering in the states. It’s only a matter of time until he becomes a truly global name. From “Faded” to “Alone” and his most recent single, “All Falls Down” with Noah Cyrus, there’s plenty of sing-a-long hits to party to. — DAVE RISHTY
Black Coffee – 7:20-8:10 p.m., Mojave
Black Coffee is having his moment in the sun — and deservedly so. The South African house star has helped put his home country on the map, working with everyone from Drake to Alicia Keys in recent years. Behind the decks, he’s an enormous talent. Stepping outside the Yuma, his performance from the Mojave on Friday night is not to be missed. — MICHAEL SUNDIUS
Kygo – 8:30-9:25 p.m., Coachella Stage
Kygo is likely already on your schedule to see perform, but in case he’s not, it’s best you know his live performances are refreshing and typically filled with special guests. Kick back with your friends and enjoy the sun-kissed melodies of his set. It’ll be a crowd favorite so be sure to get a good spot for viewing. — D.R.
Soulwax – 10-11 p.m., Mojave
Part of the weekend never dies, but the dance-punk party truly peaks when Soulwax hits the stage. The Belgian Dewaele brothers come together in many incarnations. You may have seen them behind the decks as 2manydjs, but Soulwax is the even more rare live component that inspires manic-eyed dance floors to lose all sense of decency to hits “Krack” and their remix of Tame Impala‘s “Let It Happen.” If you want to hear the nastiest of the nasty, listen to the album Nite Versions. — KAT BEIN
Alison Wonderland – 10:25-11:25 p.m., Sahara
This Australian DJ, producer and singer-songwriter is a quadruple threat coming in hot to take over dance music for the summer. Her sophomore album Awake is a huge win, both professionally and emotionally. It tackles a lifelong fight against depression with experimental electronic textures that prove personal growth is everything artistry is about. Awake features collaborations with MCs Trippie Redd and Chief Keef, among other creatives. We would be surprised if she didn’t have a few guests in tow. — K.B.
REZZ – 11:50 p.m., Sahara
The self-proclaimed “space mom” absolutely dominated in 2017. We named her the Breakout Artist of the Year, and her fast-paced touring schedule shows no signs of stopping. She delivers interstellar techno from the edge of expectations, and bass fans are completely addicted. Her heady, hypnotic sets are something to be seen, and it will leave you brainwashed for more. Check out 2017’s debut LP Mass Manipulation to see what awaits. — K.B.
Saturday, April 14 and 21
Yaeji – 5-6 p.m., Yuma
Another one from our Ones to Watch series, Yaeji is boiling on the club scene with her moody melody “drink i’m sippin on” and the booty-grinding hit “raingurl,” both cuts from her 2017 release EP2. She brings a fresh street-wise style to her breathy, bi-lingual sing-a-longs, and her DJ sets are heightened with her coyish live vocals. Come see why she’s booked up through the summer at festivals across Europe and the States. — K.B.
Jackmaster – 6-7:10 p.m., Yuma
Jackmaster has built his namesake off an uncanny eclecticism. The Glasgow native is just as liable to drop some deep disco on the dancefloor as he is a healthy dose of ripping techno. It’s this kind of unabashed spontaneity that has made Jackmaster one of the most in-demand selectors in the underground, and an unmissable act at this year’s Coachella. — M.S.
Louis the Child – 7:30-8:25 p.m., Sahara
The Chicago duo has been on a tear the past couple of years and while they don’t have a blockbuster hit in their back pocket, they have head-bobbing jams for days. Louis the Child‘s exquisite pairing of future bass and pop make for a perfect experience to be had at Coachella. — D.R.
The Black Madonna – 9:30 p.m., Yuma
The Black Madonna has become a veritable cultural force within dance music. One part activist, one part vinyl extraordinaire, the Chicago-bred DJ has cemented her name as one of the most thrilling performers of the moment. With a headlining slot from Coachella’s coveted Yuma Tent, The Black Madonna is a must-catch-act for any dance fan this weekend. — M.S.
Sunday, April 15 and 22
Kolsch – 2-3:10 p.m., Yuma
Kolsch has led many different lives over the course of his two-decade career, producing everything from pop to club-savvy techno. If there’s one defining factor that encapsulates his work, however, it’s an infectious tendency towards melody. The Danish producer never fails to elicit genuine emotion with his work — and doubly so for anyone lucky enough to catch him on a dancefloor. — M.S.
San Holo – 2:50-3:40 p.m., Sahara
The headmaster of bitbird is taking his role seriously. He’s updated his set to feature 100 percent bitbird originals, which means tons of energetic jams from DROELOE and the gang. His live set at Ultra Music Festival in Miami featured shining moments on the mic and electric guitar. Fans will love singing along to hits “Lights” and “We Rise,” and he’s quite likely to play some new joints for you, too. — K.B.
Peggy Gou – 3:10-4:20 p.m., Yuma
We named Peggy Gou One to Watch earlier this year because the producer, singer and songwriter is turning heads from her native Korea to her New York City headquarters and everywhere between. She’s proven herself a master of the house groove with skills to set Berlin on fire, and her most recent EP Once deftly merges noises from around the world to create an everlasting groove fit to ‘pon the repeat. She’s also jumping on the mic, singing in her native tongue, bridging the gaps between dance culture’s expanding communities. Her set should be a hip-shaking good feeling that lingers for months. — K.B.
Illenium – 7:50-8:50 p.m., Sahara
If you’re in a glass case of emotion and want to release all those emotions in front of thousands of other people, we suggest you check out as much of Illenium’s set as possible. The performance is not only uplifting, but will pull at your heartstrings at times. His sophomore album, Awake, peaked at No. 3 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and is filled with gems such as “Feel Good,” “Fractures” and “Crawl Outta Love” which you will likely hear live. — D.R.
ODESZA – 8:40-9:40 p.m., Coachella Stage
2017 was a banner year for Seattle duo ODESZA. The group’s next level stage production and stunning showmanship are not to be missed, especially with songs like theirs. They had several records land on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, including “A Moment Apart,” “Higher Ground” and “Line Of Sight.” — D.R.