Throughout the 2010s, Millennials dominated the music festival scene. Among the most prominent and noteworthy music festivals is Coachella. Coachella is a music festival that is held once a year during the month of April in Indio, California, where thousands of people, especially Millennials, flock to listen to the world’s biggest artists under the desert sun.
Fast-forward to 2023, GenZ is now the new and emerging age group dominating the music festival scene and leading music consumption, concert, and festival participation, followed by Millennials. Moreover, GenZ is almost 2 times more likely than Millennials to have used music streaming apps such as Apple Music or Spotify in the last month. GenZers are also 1.6 times more likely to attend music festivals than Millennials. In preparation for this year’s Coachella music festival, the release of the 2023 lineup caused much commotion on social media and the news.
Since the festival’s early years, 2023 is the first year in which all the headliners are diverse. Headlining this year’s event are Frank Ocean (African American and LGBTQ), Bad Bunny (Puerto Rican), and BLACKPINK (South Korean). Bad Bunny and BLACKPINK are also non-English dominant headliners, as Bad Bunny’s music is primarily in Spanish, and BLACKPINK’s music is in Korean and English. For reference, past headliners have been Lady Gaga, Beyonce, The Weekend, Radiohead, Calvin Harris, Eminem, Guns and Roses, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and more. This year’s lineup of headliners is especially historic, given that BLACKPINK is Coachella’s first-ever Korean headliner and Bad Bunny is the first Latino artist ever to headline any major American music festival. This revelation is especially important given that GenZ is often characterized by its values favoring diversity, inclusion, and progressive schools of thought. This Coachella lineup emphasizes Coachella’s new primary target consumer, GenZ, by putting their values at the forefront of their festival experience.
GenZ is not alone in its love of attending music festivals. Compared to White Non-Hispanics, Asian music fans are 2 times more likely than White Non-Hispanic music fans to attend music festivals, followed by Hispanics, who over-index by 50 percent, and African Americans, who over-index by 15 percent. Compared to other music fan segments, Asian Millennial music super fans have a significantly higher music festival attendance, with almost 1 in 4 attending a music festival in the last year. Music fans who are Asian and Hispanic are also much more likely than White Non-Hispanic music fans to consume music on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. Considering this year’s diverse lineup with Hispanic, Asian, and African American headliners, it’s likely that fans who share the same culture or heritage as the headliners will flock to this year’s Coachella festival.
As the music industry evolves to cater to new audiences, it will be intriguing to watch how GenZ, the new primary festival attendees, will change the landscape for future talent performing in music festivals. We celebrate diversification across all platforms and media, such as broadcast, streaming, music, and entertainment. It’s essential that all consumers see themselves in all the content they consume.