For the ninth consecutive year, YouTube will stream the Coachella Festival’s two weekends so fans outside Indio, California can watch the spectacle on their screens. The streams of over eighty acts at the festival will be available on YouTube’s Coachella channel and the YouTube Music app.
This year, YouTube Music announced it was “turning it up a notch.” What that means is, the first weekend (April 12th-14th) will include a premiere of festival headliner Childish Gambino’s new film “Guava Island,” featuring Rihanna. Viewers will have their choice of three simultaneous live stream feeds throughout the weekend, with a new feature that will allow users to create a “personalized viewing schedule” and flip to their most anticipated acts automatically.
YouTube will also stream Coachella’s second weekend for the first time ever, on April 19th-21st, with a somewhat different viewing experience. Coachella Curated, hosted by radio personality Jason Bentley from Santa Monica’s NPR affiliate KCRW, “will take a deep dive into the festival experience and deliver fans a slate of original content – encore and live performances, artist commentary, mini-docs, animated adventures and more.”
The Coachella announcement is the latest push from YouTube to craft its music content into a communal user experience, in the same vein of live-broadcasted performances on television and music video “premiere” events during MTV’s heyday. At the end of 2018, the video service unveiled their YouTube Premiere feature, allowing users to join together in a live stream and live chatroom before and during a music video premiere from their favorite artists.