Ranging from Los Angeles’ Skrillex to Palm Desert’s Queens of the Stone Age, the Southern California area has no shortage of big names at this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. But zoom in on the small type on the festival’s lineup and there is a wealth of up-and-coming artists who could be from your neighborhood performing this weekend and next.
Garth Trinidad, a longtime DJ for the Santa Monica radio station KCRW, said the connection between Los Angeles area bands and Coachella is a basic one.
Coachella Valley Music & Arts FeStival
Some local acts at this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival include Young & Sick, Makj, Gabba Gabba Heys!, Mako, +++ (Crosses), Jhene Aiko, TJR, The Internet, Classixx, Poolside, Foxygen (with roots in New York and L.A.), Fishbone, Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Broken Bells, Foster the People, Skillex, Warpaint, Haim, Grouplove, Shlohmo, and more.
Where: Empire Polo Grounds, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio.
When: Venue opens at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday and again April 18-20.
Cost: Sold out.
Read More: Complete festival coverage.
“There is an immense wellspring of talent in Coachella’s backyard,” Trinidad said. “There’s a phenomenal community of independent artists, labels, DJs, bloggers and fans based in L.A. that sustain an unspoken network of support. Goldenvoice by way of what they do is part of that network, so it’s only natural that local talent on the rise be given an opportunity to shine at Coachella.”
Goldenvoice, which has offices near LACMA, created Coachella in 1999 and has continued to grow as a musical powerhouse promoting shows for such local venues as the Glass House and Fox Theater in Pomona and helping smaller festivals like downtown Los Angeles’ FYF Fest up the ante on their musical offerings.
Trinidad said some local bands to watch this year include Warpaint, Poolside, The Internet, and Classixx. Others include Laurel Canyon residents of the band Mako, a progressive and cinematic electronic dance music duo consisting of Alex Seaver and Logan Light, who hope to take its success in the San Fernando Valley to the Coachella Valley.
“Our set up is pretty unique,” said Seaver of the two-man group. “We’re really complimentary and we have the opposite skill set. Logan is all about the live stuff, DJ work. I do all the music in my bedroom studio while in Laurel Canyon.”
Light currently studies law at UCLA, but is considering a break during the fall semester after being on the Coachella bill. A longtime festival fan himself — he’s has attended five times — Light attributes his musical career to Coachella.
“The first time was in 2006, which I guess started me down this journey,” Light said. “I saw Daft Punk and still to this date it’s the coolest show I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been plenty times. I love it. It’s really what propelled me into music and wanting to pursue it in a live sense. It’s a dream come true to play the stage where I started watching from.”
Mako is scheduled to perform at 1:40 p.m. Friday in the Sahara tent with hopes to surprise potential fans and loyal ones.
“We got a couple of brand new releases that we’ve either never played or never mentioned,” Seaver said. “One of the bigger ones is we collaborated with Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia. I’m not sure if he’ll be at the festival, but if he’s there he can come and give a curtain call.”
DJ HeavyGrinder, a Los Angeles resident who played the festival in 2011 won’t be at this year’s Coachella but is on the bill to spin at HempCon at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino on April 20. She said the festival put her on the map.
“Coachella can be a milestone or a hurdle,” said HeavyGrinder, whose real name is Bobbie Merveille. “It’s a different experience. It’s a world renowned festival. For me, it was a huge, huge experience for my career.