Coachella 2024: Shakira makes surprise cameo during Bizarrap

Welcome to our live coverage of Day 1 of the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Friday’s headliner is Lana Del Rey, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on Peso Pluma, who precedes her on Coachella’s biggest stage. Tyler, the Creator tops Saturday night’s bill, following a much-anticipated reunion set from No Doubt. And Doja Cat closes out the festival Sunday, marking her first time headlining the fest.

The first weekend is sold out, but tickets are available for Weekend 2.

There’s more than just the big names to see. Other artists on our radar for Friday include Justice, L’Impératrice, Chappell Roan, Deftones, Sabrina Carpenter, Young Miko and Suki Waterhouse. And with rumors circulating that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are headed to Coachella, we’ll keep an eye out to see if Swift hops onstage with any of her friends performing this weekend.

From the fashion to the new Quasar stage to the best eats, we’ll keep you in the loop on what you won’t see on the livestream from home.

Check back Friday afternoon as The Times’ Mikael Wood, August Brown, Vanessa Franko, Danielle Dorsey and Nate Jackson will be roaming the festival grounds, reporting on all the action as it happens.

And follow @latimes_entertainment on Instagram to see more from the field.

2:25 p.m. Greetings and happy Coachella! I’ve been covering the fest since 2007 and when you count the twin weekends, this is No. 25 for me.

There was a big cheer when the gates opened at 1:20, a little bit behind the published 1 p.m. opening times, but people were still feeling the good vibes.

The fest feels a little busier than normal on a Friday for the opening time. This weekend is sold out and I suspect the warm temps in the lower 90s brought some of the campers out of their tents and into the festival early.

The biggest change to the festival grounds at the Empire Polo Club in Indio this year is that they are significantly larger. I joked that the Sahara Tent, which has also grown, is now in its own ZIP Code. It is not quite that far, but it is beyond the previous footprint and along the blue parking path. If you are trying to go between Sahara and the Outdoor Theatre, plan accordingly. It is a hike.

Also new for 2024 is the Quasar Stage, which is beyond the Craft Beer Barn where Sahara was previously located. It is set up for longer sets from DJs and won’t get going until later today.

I asked for the Coachella booklet at an info kiosk and I was told they didn’t have them and weren’t expecting them. That makes downloading the app even more important.

As far as the art goes, there is less this year. Beyond the perennial Spectra rainbow tower and the iconic balloon chain, there are only three other large pieces. One, Babylon, by Nebbia, looks like a big tower of gray rocks and is not part of the usually colorful Coachella nature. However, art at Coachella always has a different vibe at night, so we’ll see how it looks when the sun goes down.

— Vanessa Franko

2:30 p.m. After initially heading to the VIP Rose Garden, I had my first Coachella snack at the Craft Beer Barn. (Pro tip: The Rose Garden food vendors were still setting up when I arrived so maybe don’t make it your first stop, unless you want hand rolls from Kazunori, which had a full bar and a growing line shortly after gates opened.)

I ended up grabbing a birria quesadilla from the Goat Mafia, which was ready almost immediately with piping hot consommé and juicy goat birria melding with gooey cheese. Afterward, I ducked into the Cabin for a cool craft cocktail to fight the punishing desert sun.

— Danielle Dorsey

4:40 p.m. Walking across Coachella under the high afternoon sun feels akin to that scene in “The Lion King” when Simba is banished by Scar from Pride Rock and collapses in the desert from dehydration before he’s saved by Timon and Pumba. But while trekking from 12 Peaks VIP Area to the VIP Rose Garden, I discovered this Coachella hack: Cut through the Basement speak-easy that’s tucked in the back corner of the Pies and Lows pizza pop-up (maybe order a drink in the dark, air-conditioned, albeit slightly claustrophobic, bar before you find your way out — dealer’s choice) that spits you out at the Craft Beer Barn. You’ll need a password to enter the hidden bar and I was sworn to secrecy, but I’ll give you a tiny hint: When Amanda Seyfried embraced camp.

— DD

5:27 p.m. I went to Coachella and entered some sort of time warp. Not only do we have Deftones, Blur, No Doubt and Sublime on the bill, but there have been a lot of throwbacks as I’ve criss-crossed the field this afternoon. When I popped into The Basement speakeasy to cool off among black-light posters of “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and Cheech & Chong, I heard the Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom,” Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” and Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” Then, as I was walking by the Outdoor Theatre, Fundido was spinning a house remix of Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart” and later some Celine Dion. I’m not mad about any of it. — V.F.

rainbow tower at Coachella

Indio, CA – April 12: People experience the Spectra art structure on the first day at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Indio, CA. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Chappell Roan at Coachella

Chappell Roan performs during the first day at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Indio, CA.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

5:31 p.m. Punishing is the word! Maybe I’ve just gotten too accustomed to our new rainy reality in L.A., but the polo field feels especially hot at the moment as I take in what’s changed and what hasn’t at Coachella. Beyond the sun going down, what I’m looking forward to this evening is Deftones, Chappell Roan and Lana Del Rey, whose headlining set I can envision either as a bare-bones singer-songwriter session or a full-on pop spectacle. We shall see. — M.W.

6:00 p.m. French disco pop act L’Impératrice brought the dance party I needed to recharge and get ready for the evening of Coachella’s first day.

The band, which has an upcoming album called “Pulsar,” came out dressed in matching light blue outfits that gave “Fifth Element”/sci-fi vibes and included glowing discs.

“Peur des filles” was an early highlight before the band led the crowd in synchronized choreography for “Voodoo?” A fun, funky time was had by all. — V.F.

Chappell Roan at Coachella

Chappell Roan performs during the first day at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Indio, CA.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

6:36 p.m Best flex we’re likely to hear this weekend: “This one goes out to my ex because, bitch, I know you’re watching.” That’s how Chappell Roan — long red hair spilling over a T-shirt reading “EAT ME” — introduced “My Kink Is Karma” near the end of her electrifying set in the Gobi tent. And she was probably right: This proudly theatrical pop singer is on a serious come-up right now, having just dropped her acclaimed debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess,” and wrapped an opening gig on Olivia Rodrigo’s current tour. Thanks to streaming and to the infinite hype factory of social media, music is fuller than ever of next big things. But what makes you think Roan might convert buzz into a real career is songs like the throbbing “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” and “Casual,” a killer ‘80s-style power ballad with echoes of Pat Benatar and Laura Branigan. Watch out for more for from her. — M.W.

Sabrina Carpenter at Coachella

INDO-CA-APRIL 12, 2024: Sabrina Carpenter performs at Coachella on Friday, April 12, 2024. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

6:47 p.m. The sun’s still up but Sabrina Carpenter already put more effort into her mid-day set than some past Coachella headliners. Trucking in a full facade of a blue roadside motel with one room destroyed by an errant car crash. A dozen backup dancers, a full rock band behind them and a platform riser worthy of an arena set denouement. Clearly, she learned from the best as a recent opener on Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour. It’s rare an emerging act arrives for a Coachella debut with such composure and poise up there. Songs like “Fast Times” and “Read Your Mind” were pitch-perfect pop delivered with some winks to 40’s noir and Gen Z-melodrama. “There’s so much dust in my throat, if I hit a flat note, I swear I’m a good singer,” she implored, but didn’t need any such warning. Whatever Coachella’s paying her for this stage rig, double it and see what she can do with even more room up there. –AB

7:20 p.m. As the sun slowly sinks behind the hills surrounding the polo fields, things go from dusk to pitch black as the Deftones erupt for a sunburned Day 1 crowd. Despite starting a few mins behind, Chino Moreno makes up for lost time with a shrill pterodactyl wail that rises above the bombast of the band and reconnects the crowd to KROQ’s alt-rock heyday. Nothing like hearing Zoomers and OG Coachella heads alike shouting the chorus of “Digital Bath” at the top of their lungs as Moreno strums the chords on a white Gibson SG. The band follows up with back to back bangers “Tempest” and “Swerve City’ as the wind kicks up, the band reminds us why they still blow us away.—Nate Jackson

8:25 p.m. Shakira may not be headlining Coachella (as she was widely rumored to be gunning for), but to judge by the roars for her surprise set with the Argentine DJ Bizarrap in the Sahara Tent, she may as well have been. His set of churning trap and hard house was already a dance music highlight of the night, but his cut with Shakira – an all time torching of her ex, who will never recover – was a phenomenon, and she performed it here with a vengeance deserving of the main stage soon enough. –AB

8:26 p.m. “Y’all wanna keep going?” Lil Uzi Vert asked maybe half an hour into his performance on the Coachella stage. “Well, due to my schedule, I have nowhere else to be.” One of hip-hop’s true oddballs, Uzi ripped through a couple dozen of his hits — nearly all of which layer hypnotic chants over thudding yet whimsical beats — as he twirled, stomped and shimmied across the stage, his giant diamond pendant and his fetching red finger wave shining under the bright lights. Uzi’s songs contemplate some very grim topics, including addiction, depression and suicide; live, he can give the impression of someone trying to outrun a busy mind. — M.W.

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