With about a billion acts spread across three days and five stages at Coachella this weekend, trying to figure out who to check out and when can be an overwhelming experience. Fear not, boys and girls, CraveOnline has assembled a list of must-see acts for each day, as well as our recommended game plan for what to do when the sun goes down each night.
Just remember: when in doubt, stay mobile and follow your ears. It's good to have a schedule to work with, but one of the best things about the Coachella experience is the opportunity to discover tons of amazing new music entirely by accident.
Coachella performers you shouldn't miss:
Friday: Battles, LuckyIAm, Goldfrapp, Black Kids, Diplo, Datarock, Les Savy Fav, The Verve, Serj Tankian, Aphex Twin, Aesop Rock, The Raconteurs, Professor Murder.
Saturday: Cold War Kids, Minus the Bear, Dredg, MGMT, Scars on Broadway, Cafe Tacuba, VHS or Beta, Mark Ronson, Hot Chip, Rilo Kiley, Kraftwerk, Portishead, Prince.
Sunday: Modeselektor, the Cool Kids, Black Mountain, Holy Fuck, Autolux, Simian Mobile Disco, Gogol Brodello, My Morning Jacket, Roger Waters
Here's CraveOnline's suggestions for what acts to check out after sunset:
Eighties electropop group Cut Copy might be worth checking out while you're waiting for your fill of indie-wannabe yuppie hipsters Vampire Weekend at 5:40. If you want to get your dance on early, hit up the Sahara tent to catch DJ Sandra Collins tearing it up. Bounce over to the Mojave tent to catch what's sure to be a great performance by Goldfrapp, but leave early to get a good spot for the Raconteurs at 7:30 on the main stage. They are not to be missed, unless you took something in one of the tents, in which case it's best to stay where the hell you are, get some water in you and get ready to have your mind blown by Aphex Twin at 8.
For those still on this plane of reality, it's a tough call between the reunited Verve and Datarock after Aesop Rock (both play at 8) and simply comes down to a matter of taste. Whatever your choice, Serj Tankian is bound to be a festival highlight, so be at the Outdoor Theater when he goes on just before ten.
Look, I don't care if you surf in your Birkenstocks and smoke weed all day, Jack Johnson can kiss my ass. Forget about Fatboy Slim or Black Lips – dance punkers Professor Murder are on at 11:10, and they're guaranteed to be a hell of a lot more danceable and fun than Mr. Bubbletoes. Gobi tent. Be there.
If you're looking for a little latin fun-rock, don't miss Cafe' Tacuba on the main stage at 5:15. Vocalist Rubén Isaac Albarrán Ortega's cartoonish stage presence alone is nearly worth the price of admission. If you're a System of a Down fan, you'll want to check out Scars on Broadway, featuring System members Daron Malakian and John Dolmayan. They're on at 6:10, as are Hot Chip in the Sahara Tent, which the indie kids might find a better fit. With the sun starting to go down, the tents aren't likely to be the saunas they are in the heat of the day. The Sahara and Mojave are where most of the real nighttime action takes place, so make sure you gravitate in that direction after sunset.
Kraftwerk plays the main stage at 7:50, but do3n't miss Mark Ronson at the Outdoor Theater, even for a few minutes before you make your way to catch the second half of M.I.A.'s set in the Sahara tent. Don't worry about missing Portishead; they're set to go on five minutes after M.I.A. finishes, and Portishead's not exactly the kind of group you need to be on the rail for. Like Air in years past and Roger Waters to come, it's best to find a spot on the grass towards the back, light up and take in the atmosphere. If you're of the recreational pill variety, you'll be in good shape whether you stick around for Prince on the main stage at 10:45, or head over to the Sahara tent to catch the last half of Sasha & Digweed's set.
Resist the temptation to follow the herds to the pan-flash UK kids Does it Offend You, Yeah? and hit up Gogol Bordello's unique brand of gypsy party rock on the main stage at 5:30, followed by… uh, Sean Penn. Yeah, we don't know what the hell he's doing there either. Rumors are swirling of a possible Eddie Vedder appearance, but nobody seems sure at this point. Surprise appearances are a Coachella staple by now, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Breathy nutjob Sia's playing the Mojave tent at 7:45, so you better come up with something good if you don't want your girlfriend dragging you into that mess.
Electro glitch wizards Modeselektor are right over in the Sahara at 8, so ditch the girl and hit that up for a while instead. Trust us, they're worth the cold shoulder later on.
It doesn't matter if you're a too-cool hipster, indie poser or raver, you'd be a damned fool to miss Roger Waters as he plays Pink Floyd's 1973 masterpiece "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety. But if being comfortably numb aint quite your thing, hold your spot in the Sahara after Modeselektor and dance your ass off to Simian Mobile Disco. Head over to the Mojave to catch Black Mountain when that's done, or stick around to watch French un-tiss un-tiss beatmakers Justice as they close out the night.
Friday, April 25
- Rogue Wave, 1:30-2:15 p.m.
- John Butler Trio, 2:30-3:20 p.m.
- Slightly Stoopid, 3:45-4:35 p.m.
- The Breeders, 5-5:50 p.m.
- Tegan and Sara, 6:15-7:05 p.m.
- The Raconteurs, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
- The Verve, 9-10 p.m.
- Jack Johnson, 10:45-midnight
- LuckyIAm, 2-2:50 p.m.
- Les Savy Fav, 3:10-4 p.m.
- Architecture in Helsinki, 4:20-5:15 p.m.
- Vampire Weekend, 5:40-6:30 p.m.
- The National, 6:55-7:45 p.m.
- The Swell Season, 8:25-9:15 p.m.
- Serj Tankian, 9:55-10:45 p.m.
- DJ Mehdi, opening-2 p.m.
- Midnight Juggernauts, 2-2:50 p.m.
- Sebastian, 2:50-3:40 p.m.
- Busy P, 3:40-4:40 p.m.
- Adam Freeland, 4:40-5:50 p.m.
- Sandra Collins, 5:50-7 p.m.
- Diplo, 7-8 p.m.
- Aphex Twin, 8-9 p.m.
- Pendulum, 9:20-10:20 p.m.
- Fatboy Slim, 10:45 p.m.
- America Bang, 1:15-1:55 p.m.
- Redd Kross, 2:15-3:05 p.m.
- Black Kids, 3:25-4:10 p.m.
- Jens Lekman, 4:35-5:25 p.m.
- Mum, 5:50-6:45 p.m.
- Goldfrapp, 7:10-8 p.m.
- Aesop Rock, 8:20-9:10 p.m.
- Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 9:35-10:25 p.m.
- Black Lips, 10:50-11:40 p.m.
- Porter, 2-2:40 p.m.
- Battles, 3-3:45 p.m.
- Dan Deacon, 4-4:50 p.m.
- Cut Copy, 5:15-6:05 p.m.
- Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, 6:30-7:20 p.m.
- Santogold, 7:45-8:35 p.m.
- Datarock, 9-9:45 p.m.
- Spank Rock, 10:05-10:50 p.m.
- Professor Murder, 11:10-midnight
Saturday, April 26Coachella Stage
- VHS or Beta, 1:35-2:20 p.m.
- Minus the Bear, 2:45-3:35 p.m.
- Cold War Kids, 4-4:50 p.m.
- Cafe Tacuba, 5:15-6:05 p.m.
- Death Cab for Cutie, 6:30-7:20 p.m.
- Kraftwerk, 7:50-8:50 p.m.
- Portishead, 9:15-10:15 p.m.
- Prince, 10:45 p.m.
- Jupiter’s Ring, 12:30-1 p.m.
- Little Brother, 1:15-2 p.m.
- Dredg, 2:20-3:10 p.m.
- Devotchka, 3:35-4:25 p.m.
- Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, 4:50-5:40 p.m.
- Dwight Yoakum, 6:05-6:55 p.m.
- Rilo Kiley, 7:20-8:10 p.m.
- Mark Ronson, 8:35-9:25 p.m.
- Flogging Molly, 9:50-10:40 p.m.
- Institubes, opening-1:30 p.m.
- Uffie featuring DJ Mehdi, 1:30-2:20 p.m.
- Kavinsky, 2:20-3:10 p.m.
- James Zabiela, 3:10-4 p.m.
- Boyz Noize, 4-5 p.m.
- Erol Alken, 5-6 p.m.
- Hot Chip, 6:10-7 p.m.
- Junkie XL, 7:05-8:05 p.m.
- M.I.A., 8:20-9:10 p.m.
- Sasha & John Digweed, 9:10-11:10 p.m.
- Above & Beyond, 11:10 p.m.
- The Bird and the Bee, 12:30-1:10 p.m.
- The Teenagers, 1:30-2:10 p.m.
- Man Man, 2:30-3:15 p.m.
- MGMT, 3:40-4:30 p.m.
- Kate Nash, 4:5-5:45 p.m.
- Scars on Broadway, 6:10-6:45 p.m.
- Islands, 7:10-8 p.m.
- Animal Collective, 8:25-9:15 p.m.
- Yelle, 9:30-10:20 p.m.
- Enter Shikari, 10:45-11:35 p.m.
- Yoav, 1-1:30 p.m.
- Carbon/Silicon, 1:45-2:35 p.m.
- 120 Days, 3-3:45 p.m.
- Bonde de Role, 4:05-4:55 p.m.
- St. Vincent, 5:20-6:10 p.m.
- Cinematic Orchestra, 6:35-7:20 p.m.
- Yo! Majesty, 7:40-8:20 p.m.
- Akron/Family, 8:40-9:30 p.m.
- Calvin Harris, 9:55-10:45 p.m.
Sunday, April 27Coachella Stage
- Austin TV, 1-1:45 p.m.
- The Cool Kids, 2-2:40 p.m.
- Shout Out Louds, 3-3:50 p.m.
- Stars, 4:15-5:05 p.m.
- Gogol Bordello, 5:30-6:20 p.m.
- Sean Penn, 6:45-7 p.m.
- My Morning Jacket, 7-8 p.m.
- Roger Waters, 8:30-11 p.m.
- Vas Defrans, 12:45-1:10 p.m.
- Grand Ole Party, 1:20-2:05 p.m.
- Electric Touch, 2:30-3:20 p.m.
- Manchester Orchestra, 3:45-4:35 p.m.
- Autolux, 5-5:50 p.m.
- Metric, 6:15-7:05 p.m.
- Love and Rockets, 7:30-8:25 p.m.
- Institubes, opening-2 p.m.
- Perry Farrell, 2-2:45 p.m.
- Dimitri From Paris, 2:45-4 p.m.
- Deadmau5, 4-5 p.m.
- Booka Shade, 5-5:50 p.m.
- Danny Tenaglia, 5:50-7:50 p.m.
- Modeselektor, 8-9 p.m.
- Simian Mobile Disco, 9-9:50 p.m.
- Chromeo, 10-10:50 p.m.
- Justice, 11 p.m.
- Plasticines, 1-1:30 p.m.
- Annuals, 1:45-2:25 p.m.
- I’m From Barcelona, 2:45-3:30 p.m.
- Duffy, 3:55-4:40 p.m.
- Swervedriver, 5:05-5:55 p.m.
- Spiritualized, 6:20-7:20 p.m.
- Sia, 7:45-8:35 p.m.
- Murs, 9-9:50 p.m.
- Black Mountain, 10:15-11:05 p.m.
- Brett Dennen, 12:30-1:15 p.m.
- Linton Kwesi Johnson, 1:25-2:10 p.m.
- Sean Penn, 2:10-2:40 p.m.
- Holy F, 2:50-3:35 p.m.
- The Field, 4-4:45 p.m.
- Does It Offend You, Yeah?, 5:10-6 p.m.
- Kidsister With A-Trak, 6:20-7:20 p.m.
- Sons & Daughters, 7:40-8:30 p.m.
To make your own personalized Coachella schedule, click here.