At this year’s festival, we photographed performers like Cardi B and Miguel and their adoring fans.
While Cardi B made headlines for rocking $400,000 in diamonds, twerking while pregnant, and bringing out a host of A-list collaborators during her Coachella performance, she wasn't the only person from the Latinx community representing. According to Remezcla, this year's festival boasted the largest Latinx presence ever with 15 performers on the bill, playing styles ranging from cumbia to rap and indie rock. Naturally, their Latinx fans came out in droves to show love and support.
On Coachella’s first day, cumbia sonidera all-stars Los Angeles Azules took to the main stage to play to one of the largest and most vibrant daytime crowds ever seen at the festival. Mexican flags and “Baile!” totems dotted the boogying expanse. The daytime dance party suggested a bridge across the longstanding gap between mainstream festival crowds and Latinx artists, who’ve long been nudged by the industry into separate festivals.
As music festivals struggle to differentiate themselves from cookie cutter lineups and experiences in a saturated market, this felt like a badly needed homecoming for the Southern California festival. It’s the first time we heard such a large crowd singing every word in Spanish for various musical acts. Fifteen artists out of nearly 100 acts on the lineup isn’t much, especially considering that Latinos make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population. But Coachella is a barometer of mainstream culture; and if the breadth, stage placement, and fan presence of this year’s Latinx contingent—from Princess Nokia and Kali Uchis to wunderkind Cuco—is any indication, we may be in for a big shift in future years.
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Editor's Note: A previous version of this post referred to Los Angles Azules as Azules. The post has been updated.