There is a Buzzfeed article with this title today which does not answer this question. So I will attempt to.
Let’s keep this simple. Here is the complete list of artists playing Coachella on Friday. Artists in bold have a female singer, Buzzfeed’s criteria for counting.
Blur, The Stone Roses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Jurassic 5, Grinderman, Bassnectar, Dog Blood, How to Destroy Angels, Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Beach House, Metric, Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Infected Mushroom, Japandroids, Divine Fits, Stars, Johnny Marr, Luciano, Wolfgang Gartner, Nicky Romero, Modestep, Tommy Trash, Thomas Gold, the Shouting Matches, Dillon Francis, Four Tet, Aesop Rock, Alt-J, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, TNGHT, Jake Bugg, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Sparks, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Purity Ring, Lee Scratch Perry, Dam-Funk, DJ Harvey, Jamie xx, Seth Troxler, Youth Lagoon, Deathfix, C2C, Beardyman, Lord Huron, Palma Violets, IO Echo, Skinny Lister, the Neighbourhood, Sam XL Pure Filth Sound.
What do these acts have in common? They’re all basically rock bands, to varying degrees of indie or electro. Let’s count just the rock-ish acts: I count about 28 total. 9 of those have a female frontperson. That’s over 30% - not parity, but not awful. Do me a favor and count how many female DJs or MCs you see on this list. Go ahead and do that for the other two days. It’s not a good look. Women are seen as a novelty in both genres - a status many artists are fighting, rightfully - and that means, in terms of artists with a festival draw, the pool is slim. (Azealia Banks isn’t on the lineup but she’s playing this year, by the way.) Coachella breaks artists to the mainstream, but it doesn’t break artists, period: that’s a crucial difference when we point fingers. And that’s one reason why women are missing from this bill and not from the more indie-centric Pitchfork’s, which goes much lighter on hip-hop.
Another thing: posting an article like this implies Coachella is being sexist or doing women a disservice, when in fact many of the female performers at Coachella’s audience caliber are too big or too pop for the fest’s indie/underground image. Male artists have become secondary at television award shows, on Twitter and even on stadium tours as Adele, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Nicki Minaj, Madonna and many more make equivalent megastars like Justin Timberlake look small. The No. 1 artist on this week’s Billboard chart? Paramore. They play guitars, even. Beyonce and Madonna have both played Coachella, by the way, though since they weren’t billed, they’re not on Buzzfeed’s list. Coachella’s inherent discrimination problem, if it has one, isn’t a female problem. It’s a pop problem. But being scared of losing its edge means Coachella is losing out on the diversity of what people actually listen to — and the artists who make it. Let’s just get Beyonce to headline next year and pretend this Stone Roses thing never happened.
I am not going to Coachella 2013. If I was, I would do it like this, though there really aren’t bad choices this year. If you’ve never gone before and you can afford it, I really recommend staying anywhere but a camp site, rolling in around 3 or 4 p.m. when it cools down and leaving in the middle of the headliner’s set to beat traffic. It sounds lame until your second hour in the parking lot.
1 p.m. Lord Huron @ Mojave Tent
2 p.m. Youth Lagoon @ Mojave Tent
3:05 Polica @ Gobi
3:30 Stars @ Coachella Stage
4:15 Johnny Marr @ Mojave
4:35 Divine Fits @ Outdoor Theatre
5 Japandroids @ Gobi
“Prepare” for Lee Scratch Perry
6:10 Lee Scratch Perry @ Gobi
7 Local Natives @ Outdoor Theatre
8:15 Beach House @ Outdoor Theatre
8:40 Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Coachella Stage
9:55 Blur @ Coachella Stage
11:40 Stone Roses @ Coachella Stage
12:05 Earl Sweatshirt OR 12 Tegan and Sara OR go home early
12:15 p.m. Vintage Trouble @ Coachella Stage
1 Eat ice cream in the shade and complain about getting here so early
1:55 Wild Nothing @ Mojave
3 Danny Brown @ Outdoor Theatre
3:35 Dropkick Murphys @ Coachella Stage
4 2 Chainz (seriously) @ Mojave
4:50 Cafe Tacvba @ Coachella Stage
5:10 Bat For Lashes @ Mojave
5:55 El-P @ Gobi
6:05 Violent Femmes @ Coachella Stage
7:40 Grizzly Bear @ Mojave
8:20 Spiritualized @ Gobi
8:50 The Postal Service @ Coachella Stage, openly weep
9:40 catch the end of the Descendents set @ Outdoor Theatre
9:55 catch the second half of Pusha T’s set @ Gobi
10:45 Janelle Monae @ Gobi
11:35 Phoenix @ Outdoor Stage OR New Order @ Mojave, holy shit
12:30ish Catch the last couple Sigur Ros songs @ Outdoor Theatre
12:30 Little Green Cars @ Gobi
1:30 Cloud Nothings @ Mojave
2:30 DIIV @ Mojave, realize you’re out of drugs and everyone else is, too
3:55 Kurt Vile @ Outdoor Theatre, see above
4:15 Grimes @ Gobi
5:10 Dinosaur Jr @ Outdoor Theatre while gleefully being unable to hear the Lumineers set across the field
6:25 Tame Impala @ Outdoor Theatre
7:20 Vampire Weekend @ Coachella Stage
7:40 Father John Misty @ Gobi
8:30 The Faint @ Mojave
9:15 Wu-Tang Clan @ Outdoor Theatre
10:15 Red Hot Ch—go home. O.K., stay for “Under the Bridge.”
GQ sent an intern to Coachella to, Seth-and-Amy-really, take photos of pretty girls. Most of them in bikinis. Do I laugh, cry or ogle?
If this actually works, it will be awesome.