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Here is why everyone has FOMO for 2024’s Coachella and why you should too

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Bringing the whole Gobi Stage crowd to a waterfall of tears, rising synth-pop icon Chappell Roan cried along with her fans while singing her heartfelt song “Casual.” Her passion for performing translated through her engagement with the audience by letting the crowd sing along with her, bouncing her curly red hair across the stage and staring into the crowd with her beautifully crafted drag makeup. Chappell Roan was just one among many artists who rocked the stage at 2024’s Coachella. 

To stir up the fear of missing out (FOMO) even more, many other cherished superstars made grand appearances at 2024’s Coachella Music Festival — No Doubt, ATEEZ, J Balvin, Sabrina Carpenter and more. The two-weekend festival exhibited theatrical and euphoric performances that left the audience with both criticism and praise as they experienced the highly coveted festival. 

Coachella is known for challenging the talents and prestige of artists, and one question that intrigues audiences at such an acclaimed experience is who is worthy and talented enough to hype up a huge crowd on such grand-scale stages. 

Many pop culture references made their way onto the stage, such as Doja Cat responding to the hate she got for buzzing her head by choreographing a whole set, including lusciously hairy costumes. 

Fans watching from home also missed out on No Doubt’s long-awaited appearance. The reunited 90’s rock band performed “Just A Girl,” which got a massive audience to shout, “I’m just a girl!” along with the band. As this song, and many of No Doubt’s songs, evoke a nostalgic vibe of ska punk, fans from home longed to shout along with the crowd. 

Another nostalgic moment that audiences felt FOMO from was when “The L Word” cast introduced Renée Rapp’s performance on Weekend 1. As if her stage could not get any more nostalgic, she brought out every Gen Z-er’s well-known iconic musician Ke$ha to sing “TikTok.” Through her pop-rock setlist and a blast from the past with her surprise guests, Rapp transported the Coachella audience to their most beloved, nostalgic memories. 

The invitation of some of the performers was questioned, like when Grimes played a very disappointing set in which her DJ system kept straying off tempo. Another artist who was heavily criticized was LE SSERAFIM, specifically their live vocals which did not live up to their title as K-pop idols. 

Quirky techno artist Grimes lived every DJ’s worst nightmare, having to play half of her set at double tempo without bringing a backup USB in case of this situation. This led her to play ecstatic and extremely messily mixed EDM tracks in random explosions, screaming her frustrations. Some fans were disappointed in the interruptions and lack of preparation, while other fans argued that this chaos and clumsiness of forgetting a USB is very on-brand for Grimes, as she is known to put on unexpected publicity stunts like this. 

K-pop girl group LE SSERAFIM also had the audience raving about the qualifications of performers who belong on the Coachella stage. 

LE SSERAFIM’s Weekend 1 performance was a hot mess, failing to uphold the traits of a true K-pop idol — the superpower ability to sing, dance and entertain with powerful stamina and an attractive character. Inevitably, so much backlash from fans and festival goers led LE SSERAFIM to improve their performance for Weekend 2, using a backtrack to support their vocals and lessen the amount of dance movement when each member sang their part. 

One of the many great representations of pure talent and raw vocals was Tyler the Creator, who brought the space cowboy theme to the next level on Day Two of Weekend 1, flashing radiant lights at the crowd and shooting flames from the ground. Sweating from the heat of the desert canyons and dramatically freaking out from the U.F.O. hovering above him. The legendary rapper continues to elevate the Coachella performance game by putting his greatest efforts into a storyline on stage. 

As if the audience wasn’t already excited to see Tyler the Creator, the rapper made the experience even wilder by bringing out his close friend and famous rapper, A$AP Rocky, along with renowned rapper, actor and producer Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) during Weekend One. The crowd was more than happy to see the surprise guest performers taking on such an esteemed stage that lives up to their talent level.  

Another artist who rocked the Coachella crowd was Doja Cat. Rising as one of the iconic faces of the female rap industry, Doja Cat officially became the first female rapper to headline Coachella. From her staging to her visuals to her vocals, Doja Cat became one of the most remarkable Coachella performances the audience could not stop raving about. 

On Day Three, Doja Cat brought Yetis onto the stage, responding to the hate that she got from buzz cutting her head by performing with a very hairy costume. It was blonde, floor length, had a silk pressed hair-do, with long-haired boots and a long-haired bralette. She then went on to execute extraordinary choreography on a mud-covered stage for her song “Wet Vagina.” Doja Cat outdid herself this year, maintaining high energy throughout her whole set without losing the crowd’s attention.  

Although easy access to social media and streaming platforms allowed people to watch the Coachella performances from the comfort of audiences’ homes, the amount of spammed content from influencers and festival-goers alike evoked a collective sense of FOMO because of how thrilling the experience was. 

The cultural significance of some of these performances, like ATEEZ being the first K-pop boy group to perform at Coachella and Doja Cat being the first female rapper headlining for Coachella, also stirred up proud fans’ FOMO. 

Now that social media has taken such a pivotal role in people’s lives and acts as a window into pop culture events, the overwhelming intake of such content has stimulated a stronger longing for those unable to participate in said events. No matter how little one is invested in these culturally significant moments, social media and influencers have never failed to spam Instagram feeds and For You pages with the latest trending events. 

This year’s Coachella Music Festival presented many more culturally significant pop culture moments, and there will be many more to come. Even amidst the technical difficulties and drama, pure talent kept people talking for days. 

Cameryn Nguyen is an Arts & Entertainment Staff Writer. She can be reached at camerynn@uci.edu.

Edited by Annabelle Aguirre