By virtue of social media hype and YouTube streaming, Coachella has become something of a global festival. Yet, even as Afrobeats emerges as Africa’s international music genre, it seems Coachella isn’t listening.
With the 2019 lineup announcement on Thursday, African fans quickly noticed that only two artists from the continent were booked: Burna Boy and Mr Eazi. What’s more both were in the third line of artists, requiring a smaller font size on the poster and eliciting strong feelings.
“Coachella I appreciate you. But I don’t appreciate the way my name is written so small in your bill,” Burna Boy wrote in an Instagram live screen-grabbed by press. “I am an AFRICAN GIANT and will not be reduced to whatever that tiny writing means. Fix tings quick please.”
After the Instagram live expired, it seems Burna Boy’s feelings have cooled and nothing more was said, especially after being ridiculed by Nigerian fans for an overinflated ego. Instead he focused on hyping his upcoming Coachella appearance.
For artists outside of the popular mainstream, an appearance at Coachella is an opportunity to access a new fanbase of monied influencers. For international artists it’s a potentially even more important opportunity for breaking into the US, which remains the world’s largest and most lucrative music market. Read more