"I am excited about South Asian headliners"
Coachella 2023 is offering blockbuster attractions from the South Asian community, with Diljit Dosanjh and Ali Sethi leading the way.
One of the most well-known music festivals, Coachella takes place over two consecutive weekends every April in Indio, California.
It began on April 14, 2023, and Diljit Dosanjh and Ali Sethi are among the South Asian acts performing alongside international acts like Charli XCX, Frank Ocean and BLACKPINK.
In 2022, Ali’s track ‘Pasoori’ was the most searched song on Google.
Meanwhile, Diljit will be the first Punjabi-language singer to perform at Coachella.
The 2022 lineup included South Asian artists like Raveena Aurora and Arooj Aftab, but the elevated profiles of this year’s performers make it a huge moment for fans.
Gauree Patel, of Brooklyn, said: “If there was going to be a time to go to this festival, it was now. This is the year.”
Texas-based Garima Singh could never have imagined a “South Asian artist at a prominent American music festival”.
She said: “Who hasn’t heard his music! I am excited about South Asian headliners, it’s crazy!”
Gauree says a dozen of her friends spoke about “our community” being at Coachella and felt a the sense of affinity.
She added: “Music festivals allow white people to experience joy, connect with each other, centring their experience.
“This is what it will mean for us South Asians. We too will have the experience of being centred at Coachella.”
Diljit has taken to Instagram to share pictures of himself rehearsing for his performance, which will take place at 6:50 pm (PST) on April 15.
Meanwhile, Ali’s performance will be on April 16 at 1:50 pm.
At Coachella, music fans get to display their dazzling wardrobes for the festival.
For Radhika Kalra, she plans to wear an anodised silver necklace with coins on it she bought from India over a white crop top with jean shorts for a “typical Coachella boho look”.
Meanwhile, Garima Singh got her nails done in a henna motif to go with her Indo-western attire.
As fans accessorise their looks, they are mindful of the cultural appropriation linked to American festivals.
Fans say it has brought up a conversation about how one shows up at the festival as young South Asians try to reclaim their culture.
“So much of [the] music festival style [here] has been appropriated from Indian culture.”
She highlighted that common jewellery includes anklets and nose rings.
Popular Los Angeles Neha Assar is used to drawing henna designs on festivalgoers.
She says: “People want to show off their bodies and henna has become a universal accessory to go with outfits at Coachella.
“The reason is to tap into the ‘bohemian’ look. But henna is Indian for me, not bohemian!”
Fans hope Coachella 2023 inspires non-South Asians to listen to South Asian music.