Entertainment

Coachella 2016: 5 things to look out for at the festival

Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety.com

Axl Rose of Guns N'Roses performing live in concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Liverpool, England, May 20, 2012. (<a href="http://wenn.com" target="_blank">WENN.com</a>)

Axl Rose of Guns N'Roses performing live in concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Liverpool, England, May 20, 2012. (WENN.com)

LOS ANGELES - Guns N' Roses, Re-loaded:

The legendary rock band is reuniting for the first time in over 20 years -- but there's still much room for speculation in what could turn out to be an even more major surprise reunion.

Coachella will bring together Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, but no word on remaining originals Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler, nor which members from Guns N Roses' latest lineup will be involved. Axl Rose and Slash have not reunited since 1993 so that reunion alone is huge news for hardcore fans, but rumbling rumors on social media have hinted that Stradlin and Adler could turn up in Indio, Calif.

The festival will serve as a kickoff of sorts for the upcoming Guns N' Roses "reunion" tour, which the band has confirmed will span across 21 cities in North America with Axl Rose, Slash and McKagan -- but yet again, no word on who else will be touring with the original trio.

Though Coachella has famously housed many DJs, EDM artists and rappers, the fest has served as a re-launching pad for '70s and '80s rock icons, as the 2015 event was headlined by AC/DC and also welcomed Steely Dan.

LCD Soundsystem return from brief hiatus:

With Guns N' Roses headlining on Saturday, Coachella will stage another rock reunion for LCD Soundsystem on Friday.

In anticipation of their upcoming studio album, the electronic dance group will topline the first night of the desert fest. Up until recently, LCD Soundsystem had not played together since a 2011 farewell show, but leading up to Coachella, the band put on two smaller shows in New York City over Easter weekend, which were promoted with the tagline "back from the dead."

Calvin Harris:

The Scottish DJ will make his third appearance at the desert festival, but this year marks a big milestone for Harris: he's the first DJ to ever headline Coachella.

While house music is a favorite genre for the fest, which houses a DJ-centric stage at the Sahara tent, no other DJ has ever landed the premiere headline title like Harris, whose set is the main Sunday attraction both weekends. He's in the company of other headliners, rock legends Guns N' Roses and electronic rockers LCD Soundsystem.

Harris made his Coachella debut in 2012 when Rihanna made a surprise appearance during his set for their hit single "We Found Love." His last Coachella stop was in 2014 when, at the time, he attracted the event's second most popular set ever, only behind Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's 2012 performance which welcomed Tupac Shakur's much-talked-about hologram.

No stranger to surprise guests (see above: Rihanna), Harris could welcome more of his famous friends such as recent collaborators Disciples ("How Deep Is Your Love") and Dillon Francis ("What's Your Name"). Though the two powerhouses have not collaborated on any music, Harris' publicly supportive girlfriend Taylor Swift, who's been present at many of the DJ's shows, may very well be on-site, though on on-stage cameo seems less likely.

Straight outta Indio:

On the same night Guns N' Roses takes the stage, another '80s icon will grace Coachella.

Ice Cube, the legendary rapper who was a founding member of West Coast hip hop group N.W.A., has had his name thrown heavily into mainstream media this past year with the release of "Straight Outta Compton" so it only makes sense his set is one of the most anticipated at the festival.

While additional guests haven't been announced, it wouldn't be totally unexpected for Ice Cube to welcome some of his famous friends on the stage -- it was only four years ago that his N.W.A cohort Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg took over Coachella with a Tupac hologram, plus previous rappers at the festival have brought on surprise musicians in the past (Kanye West with The Weeknd; Madonna with Drake). Another musician who could join Ice Cube this year? His son O'Shea Jackson, who played his father in the popular 2015 flick.

Speaking of "Straight Outta Compton," audience-goers will be listening closely for the rapper to reference to the movie -- or its lack of Oscar nominations -- during his performance.

Virtual Coachella:

Last year Coachella sold nearly 200,000 tickets, but even with the millions of dollars made annually at the festival, not everyone was able to snag tickets for either the April 15-17 or April 22-24 weekends. But fear not: this year, Coachella is putting out a VR app so that at-home music-lovers can feel like they're smack in the middle of the desert sun.

All ticket purchases for the fest, produced by AEG's Goldenvoice, came with a cardboard VR headset for on-site festival-goers to hook their smartphones to with the Coachella VR app, and fans at home can also enjoy the app -- that is, if you already have (or purchase) a VR headset. If you do, you can watch 360-degree panoramic footage, including performances, from the grounds before, after and during Coachella.

 



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