Here’s What Went Down On The Festival Grounds At Coachella 2023

Fresh off the heels of spring break in a post-pandemic world hungry for the consistent thrill of live music again, the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival made its annual return to a desert playground. For two weekends, Indio, CA became the site of musical genres from across the globe, including R&B, Hip Hop, EDM, Indie and Rock. Over 200,000 people weaved between stages, food vendors and each other to catch acts from the afternoon into the late night during the three-day festival. 

The first weekend ended with the news that headliner Frank Ocean would not be returning due to a leg injury. It was the artist’s first live performance in six years, much of which included remixed songs and DJ interludes that left some fans disappointed. During an exchange with the audience, he shared a glimpse into the pain of losing his brother, Ryan Breaux, who died in a car crash in 2020. He told the crowd,  “I want to talk about why I am here…my brother and I, we came to this festival a lot…and one of my fondest memories was watching Rae Sremmurd with my brother…I know he would have been so excited to be here with all of us. I want to say thank you for the support and the ears and the love over all this time.” 

Here’s What Went Down On The Festival Grounds At Coachella 2023
Jacob Mulka

Coachella’s closing weekend included a nearly hour-long set from Afrobeats superstar Burna Boy, who performed hit songs like Last Last, It’s Plenty and Science from his latest album, Love Damini. “Last time we were here was like four years ago, and you guys were like a quarter of the size you are now, you feel me? So that is a big blessing to me,” he told the crowd while decked out in a silk shirt and sequin pants.

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Friday’s last performer, Bad Bunny, was the first Spanish-language singer to headline the festival. His set included a live orchestra of trumpets, tubas, bongos, and drums. Other notable performers during the weekend included Pusha T, South African DJ Uncle Waffles and Björk.

Coachella was also full of surprise appearances. Zendaya pleased fans when she joined British singer and rapper Labrinth onstage for her first singing performance in 7 years. The star performed two songs, “I’m Tired” and “All for Us,” the latter of which was written for her HBO series, Euphoria.

“I can’t thank you enough for the love I received tonight, made all my nerves melt away, I’m so grateful,” she told the crowd.

Here’s What Went Down On The Festival Grounds At Coachella 2023
Beth Saravo

On the Sahara stage, producer Metro Boomin’ was joined by The Weeknd to perform “Heartless” and their latest collaboration “Creepin.” He was also joined by 21 Savage, Diddy, Future, Don Toliver and John Legend. Ciara joined Hong Kong-born singer Jackson Wang to perform “Lose Control,” “Level Up,” “Goodies,” and “1,2, Step.”

Latto performed her hit “Big Energy” and was joined onstage by Saweetie to perform her “BFDS Remix.” Producer Kaytranada spun an energetic set to a bouncing crowd and brought out H.E.R. to perform “Intimidated,” Tinashe to sing “The Worst in Me” and Anderson.Paak to perform “Glowed Up.” It was a family affair on Sunday night when Willow and brother Jaden Smith performed their duet “Summertime in Paris” with their dad Will Smith cheering them on from the crowd

Check out more of what happened at Coachella’s second weekend in the gallery below:

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