Coachella is not for everyone. Hanging out in the middle of a sun-parched desert while battling acute dehydration, crowds, and Draconian security is not an ideal backdrop for a music festival.
Despite all the obvious logistical hurdles, however, Coachella has consistently broken attendance records year after year, making it one of the most successful music festivals in the US. Everyone from granolas to hipsters to celebrities to straight-up party-goers congregate in the California desert for this annual music extravaganza.
The festival, which takes place every April, grossed $84,264,264 in ticket sales in 2015. It’s pretty safe to say that we can expect a record number of attendees donning fringed bikinis at Coachella 2016.
While Coachella may be several months away, it’s never too early to speculate on the latest rumors. The 2016 lineup has yet to be revealed, but that won’t stop us from making a few educated guesses of our own.
As with past years, the 2016 lineup will likely feature a trifecta of headliners including one rock, one hip-hop, and one pop act. We also know that organizers love nostalgia, which is why at least one legacy act will get top billing (like AC/DC in 2015).
So who will close the Main Stage at Indio in 2016? Here are some early Coachella lineup predictions as well as some odds on celebrity sightings.
Coachella 2016 Lineup Odds:
Guns N’ Roses: 3/2
With the home-run success of AC/DC earlier this year, it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll see another rock band headlining Coachella in 2016. Guns N’ Roses would fit the bill perfectly. Slash and Axl Rose are on speaking terms again, which means a world reunion tour could be in the making. Vintage merchandise has also been spotted on the GNR website featuring its five original members: Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Adler. Coincidence? We think not!
With their mainstream popularity and cult-like fanbase, GNR would be a welcome addition to the 2016 lineup. Let’s hope that they can play nice long enough to make this a reality.
Kendrick Lamar: 4/1
Kendrick Lamar is having an extraordinary year (as his recent 11 Grammy nominations go to show). A headlining show at Coachella would boost him to legendary status.
Lamar is currently touring the US promoting his critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly. But there is a noticeable three-month break in his tour dates, which lines up with the Coachella schedule quite nicely. No one is hotter right now, and we know how festivals love to book big names at the height of their popularity.
LCD Soundsystem: 6/1
Speaking of reunions, it looks like dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem is getting back together after suffering a high-profile breakup 2010. The last time the band played live together was to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in April 2011.
Multiple sources have already confirmed that the group plans to headline several high-profile music festivals in 2016. Since Coachella is basically the biggest of the big (stateside, anyway), there’s a good chance you’ll see James Murphy and company as headliners next year.
Paul McCartney: 8/1
Sir Paul is not a festival regular (he attends about one every two years). In the past year, however, he’s played Lollapalooza and The Firefly Festival. Coincidentally, he wrapped up his Out There! Tour in October, which frees up his schedule for a Coachella appearance. He was also featured on Rihanna’s new single “FourFiveSeconds” alongside Kanye West. A headlining performance at Coachella would be the perfect place to have RiRi and Yeezy appear as surprise guests.
Considering we haven’t seen “Macca” grace the Coachella Stage since 2009, a visit from this legendary performer would be a pleasant surprise.
Kanye West: 15/1
True to his stage-crashing m.o., Kanye Kanye’d The Weeknd’s slot at Coachella in 2015 and performed a four track mini-set to a surprised audience. The controversial rapper hasn’t headlined the festival since 2011, which means he is well overdue for a public rant. His latest album is also slated to drop sometime in 2016, making a headlining gig even more apropos. That is, if Kanye isn’t too busy planning his presidential campaign. And you thought President Trump sounded scary.
Mumford and Sons: 50/1
Mumford and Sons recently released their new album Wilder Mind, which would normally prompt organizers to upgrade them to headliner status. But the popular folk band hasn’t played Coachella since 2011, and is unlikely to join the lineup in 2016. They are already committed to other US tour dates which clash with the Coachella schedule. We will wait, we will wait for you Mumford and Sons.
Odds on Celebrity Sightings at Coachella:
Paris Hilton: 2/3
Joshua Jackson: 2/1
Katy Perry: 4/1
Alessandra Ambrosio: 5/1
Vanessa Hudgens: 8/1
Jared Leto: 12/1
Miley Cyrus: 18/1
(Photo credit: By Andreas Lawen, Fotandi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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