Coachella’s organizers have undoubtedly been busy: in a season marred with last minute cancellations, controversies, and inevitable left turns, Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice have definitely been putting in some overtime hours. Hence, one of the latest schedule drops in the festival’s history — nearly 24 hours before the festival begins, to be exact.
Such a late set time release means there’s even less time to make decisions about who to see, especially given the festival’s conflict-heavy time table. There are some traditional surprises with the schedule drop — Ari Lennox has moved her set to Friday and J.I.D.’s set will go down on Saturday, for instance — but no surprise is more intriguing than the news that Arcade Fire will be performing a special set in the Mojave Tent at 6:45 p.m. (sidenote: the run of Carly Rae Jepsen, to Arcade Fire, to IDLES in the Mojave is pretty remarkable).
There are some more creative stage choices by Coachella’s organizers that stick out: legacy space rock act Spiritualized will play a set undoubtedly filled with new songs from their upcoming album Everything Was Beautiful in the cozy, air-conditioned Sonora Tent, 100 gecs will be bringing their gloriously absurd hyperpop to the appropriately massive Sahara Tent, and the buzzy collective 88 Rising will take a prime slot on the mainstage on Saturday evening.
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But with all these unmissable acts come some tough choices. Here are the six biggest conflicts at Coachella 2022. Choose wisely!
Japanese Breakfast vs. Arlo Parks vs. Emo Nite
Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
This is a bit of a cruel one, especially for fans of both Arlo Parks and Japanese Breakfast. Both artists had massive breakthrough years in 2021, including nominations for Best New Artist at the Grammys last month (they even took a photo together!). Not only is choosing between these two incredible artists tough, there’s also Emo Nite—which is a DJ set that promises emo and pop punk classics and will certainly include some special, scene-specific guests—around the same time in the Sahara tent.
Our Pick: Japanese Breakfast is truly having a moment right now, and her Coachella set promises to be the victory lap that she deserves. That being said, Arlo Parks’ new track “Softly” is one of her best yet, so you can’t go wrong with either.
Doja Cat vs. Måneskin vs. Fatboy Slim vs. Duke Dumont
Sunday, 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The TikTok Gods are undoubtedly mad about this one. In the same way that Doja Cat’s discography is impossible to ignore on TikTok, Eurovision winners Måneskin have also enjoyed a similar kind of exposure. Though their styles could not be more different, they’re both artists that accurately reflected the melting pot of popular music in 2021.
And then, there’s Norman Cook — AKA Fatboy Slim — playing at the same time as another dance music heavyweight, Duke Dumont. Fatboy Slim’s appearance is undoubtedly more unique, and with a 90 minute set time in the deep house-oriented Yuma tent, his set will likely be worth checking out, if only for a few minutes.
Our Pick: Doja Cat claimed recently that she’s quitting music, and whether that ends up being true or not, her set is sure to be quite the spectacle. It’s unlikely, but there’s also a chance we see The Weeknd show up to perform “You Right” with Doja Cat.