By Tamara Palmer
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg have been announced as key headliners alongside Radiohead and the Black Keys at this year’s edition of Southern California’s mammoth annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in Indio (near Palm Springs). Coachella 2012 will take place on consecutive weekends for the first time since its inception in 1999; the 2012 dates are April 13-15 and April 20-22. Dre and Snoop will headline the Sunday events on April 15 and 22.
Last year, Coachella welcomed Kanye West as a headliner, a rare main stage showing of hip-hop in an event that’s typically quite heavy on indie rock and dance music. Speculation for the next year’s list of artists begins shortly after each Coachella, a tradition that has grown into a hilarious Internet meme of parody posters and fantasy lineups. It would take a big surprise in 2012 to top West’s appearance, and organizer Goldenvoice has done it by putting LA’s most classic dynamic duo on this year’s bill.
Other hip-hop artists appearing at Coachella this year include SoCal upstarts Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar (April 13 and 20), Harlem’s promising A$AP Rocky and moonlighting Hollywood actor Childish Gambino (April 14 and 21). Brooklyn’s Company Flow and the Bay Area’s DJ Shadow (April 15 and 22) are also expected highlights.
Goldenvoice has stated that it will attempt to reproduce the same festival each weekend in April, which will open Coachella up to a much larger audience than the estimated 200,000-plus attendees of previous weekends. There’s no guarantee that the live sets will be identical and without surprises, though, and the people-watching promises to be interesting and different each time.