Beat the Coachella Crunch: Plan Your Music Map Around Set Times

Coachella 2018 Kicks Off


Coachella Music and Arts Fest features many great musical acts across all genres. But whether you’re a fan of soul, rock, hip hop or punk, you’re bound to run into the “Coachella Crunch,” when the sets of your favorite artists overlap.

Beyonce, Eminem and The Weeknd are the headliners most people will not miss this weekend and next. But until the big letters hit the stage, it can be frustrating trying to squeeze in every band you’d like to see. We put together a plan that can help Coachella-goers see some solid acts.

Ed. Note – Suggested schedule subject to musical taste.

Coachella set times - Friday
Coachella set times – Friday


With some clever planning you can check out all the bands on your list, but be ready to run at a moment’s notice. PVRIS (Gobi, 3:45-4:30 p.m.), an electronic-indie powerhouse featuring the hypnotizing vocals of Lynn Gunn, takes the Gobi stage at 3:45 p.m. That gives an agile festival-goer 10 minutes of great music before darting off to see Marias (Sonora, 3:55-4:35). Marias is a soft samba-esque band in the vein of an alt-style Brazil 66, bringing latin flavor and smooth sounds.

Greta Van Fleet - Photo courtesy band
Greta Van Fleet – Photo courtesy band

Greta Van Fleet (Mohave, 4:45-5:35 p.m.) is a great rock band, which hails from the Detroit suburbs. Greta Van Fleet puts a Led Zepplin-meets-Marshall Tucker style spin on today’s alternative and has grabbed the hearts of mainstream fans. Jazzy soul fans can head over to the Gobi Stage for Tank and the Bangas (Gobi, 4:45-5:40) if rock isn’t on the to-do list. Tank and the Bangas play hip, thought-provoking tunes and keep it moving.

Buttertones at Coachella
The Buttertones – Photo © Donna Balancia

Like surf music? The Buttertones (Sonora, 7:20-8:10) bring a cute-guy surfer vibe to their act. Beware, this is a crush of love-smitten ladies who will knock down the barricades to get to the guys. War On Drugs (Outdoor Theatre, 7:30-8:25) may be a somewhat safer choice and there’s a good chance you’ve heard their popular tunes already.

St Vincent ( Outdoor Theatre, 8:55-9:50 p.m.) is the hands-down winner of the time slot in our book. Mainly because Annie Clark’s vision is unique and appealing to the #MeToo generation. She’s an award-winning musician who takes her songs in another direction from the ordinary. Particularly on her latest album, Masseduction, she tells it like it is.

The Weeknd whose new album My Dear Melancholy, has brought attention, headlines the fest (Coachella Stage, 11:25 p.m.). But Jamiroquai, who rarely plays here, faces off at the Mohave stage (Mohave, 11:35 p.m.). Jamiroquai is probably best known in the U.S. for the victory performance in Napoleon Dynamite. (See story)

Coachella Saturday set times - illustration courtesy of Goldenvoice
Coachella Saturday set times – illustration courtesy of Goldenvoice



Declan McKenna (Mohave, 2:40-3:20) goes up against Sir Sly (Outdoor, 2:20-3 p.m.). It’s a tough time slot in the late afternoon with Django Django (Mohave, 3:45-4:30 p.m.), a band that’s getting a lot of heat lately, up against Sigrid (Gobi, 4:15-5:05 p.m.) and throwback king Nile Rodgers and Chic (Coachella 3:55-4:55 p.m.)

Read the inspiring story of Nile Rodgers and Chic at

Cherry Glazerr - Photo © 2018 California Rocker
Cherry Glazerr – Photo © 2018 California Rocker

First Aid Kit (Outdoor, 4:35-5:20 p.m.) has captured the hearts of audiences around the world with their cool songs. Try to squeeze in Flatbush Zombies (Mohave, 4:55-5:40 p.m.) before running to BORNS (Outdoor, 5:45 p.m.- 6:35 p.m.) at the Outdoor Stage. BORNS has amassed a huge fan following for his beautiful and upbeat tunes and interesting look. Cherry Glazerr is a local LA favorite (Sonora, 6:30-7:15 p.m.) and they overlap a little with David Byrne, whose set starts at 7:05 p.m. at the Outdoor Stage. Byrne (Outdoor, 7:05 p.m.) has a new album, American Utopia (See Review).

John Dwyer of Oh Sees - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
John Dwyer – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Another local favorite, the Oh Sees (Sonora 8:50-9:40 p.m.) overlap Fleet Foxes (8:40-9:30 p.m.) and it’s tough because both are excellent although different styles. Oh Sees bring crowd surfing and wild times so get ready. Even if you aren’t too into rap, Post Malone (Sahara 10:05 p.m.) is worth checking out if only to learn how a guy can be a rapper rock star. He’s got millions of fans so he’s doing something right.

Beyonce (Coachella 11:05 p.m.) headlines Saturday and is making up for her no-show due to pregnancy last year. But Queen Bey is worth the wait in anyone’s book and her act is not to be missed. That is, unless you’re a hard rock fan, because X Japan (Mohave, 11:10 p.m.) is among the few hard rock acts at Coachella this year.

Coachella set times for Sunday - illustration courtesy of Goldenvoice
Coachella set times for Sunday – illustration courtesy of Goldenvoice



Pax (Mohave, 11:30-12:20 p.m.) opens up on Sunday and it’s worth it to stick around to see the outstanding Australian alternative band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (Mohave, 12:30 p.m.). The band is lauded in their home country, but if you miss them you can catch them at the Echo on Tuesday, April 17. Better not to miss them though, because the phenomenal LP (Mohave, 1:35-2:20 p.m.) follows at Mohave. LP has an immense following in Europe, and is breaking out strong in the U.S. Just about at the time her set ends, at the Outdoor Stage, catch Magic Giant (Outdoor, 2:15-3 p.m.) who are followed by LANY (Coachella, 3:35-4:25 p.m.).

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

At 4:55 p.m., FIDLAR (Mohave, 4:55-5:40 p.m.) is worth the stroll across the grounds and leaving yourself a little time before seeing cultural phenomenon Cardi B (Coachella 6-6:35 p.m.) who has risen very quickly to the top of the charts in hip hop. Stay for Portugal. The Man (Coachella, 7-7:55 p.m.), or go to Kamasi Washington to hear him play the new album, Heaven and Earth. Worth checking out at Mohave is King Krule (Mohave 8:30-9:20 p.m.) or if you like trendy pop, there’s Miguel (Outdoor, 8:30-9:20 p.m.)

Cardi B’s fiancee, Offset is a member of the rap trio Migos (Sahara, 9:30) which closes out the Sahara Stage. Eminem (Coachella, 10:20 p.m.) wraps up the festival with his headlining spot at the Coachella Stage. This music veteran is pitching a new album.

And if you’re not going to the party in the desert, check out the livestream on the Coachella YouTube Channel the first weekend.