As Latin-American music such as reggaetón continues to grow in popularity, festival producers are finally highlighting Spanish-speaking superstars at their mega-events.
Most big-name music festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza and Woodstock ’94 and ’99 have strong roots in rock, alternative, indie genres and techno, dating back to the 1990s. Coachella kicked off in 1999 with Beck, The Chemical Brothers and Rage Against the Machine taking on the big stage. Up until recently, these festivals weren’t known to showcase lineups featuring hip-hop, trap and reggaetón artists, especially as headliners. Beyoncé finally got the top spot at Coachella in 2018.
With Latin music becoming more popular than Country and EDM in America, and considering that the Latinx population is the second fastest growing minority in America, festival producers are finally getting wise.
Colombian artist J Balvin will be the first Latinx artist to headline Chicago’s Lollapalooza, a pioneering institution of the multistage music festival that was conceived in 1991 and revived in 2003. Founded by Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, the band-based fest historically featured hard and alternative rock and grunge, with a bit of gangsta rap thrown in. With Lollapalooza’s standard-bearing pre-Coachella reputation, this opportunity for Balvin, a 2018 Grammy nominee, marks a significant moment for the Latinx community in terms of representation and might just be the end of the beginning of mainstream acceptance. It also — obviously! — speaks to the impact of Balvin’s music has on the both the Latinx and American markets.
Along with being a Lollapalooza headliner, J Balvin is set to perform his first solo set at Coachella, and at Pharrell Williams’s new festival called Something in the Water. He will join also fellow Latinx artists at the Baja Beach Festival.
Stay tuned for the next phase of Latinx music’s U.S. and world domination!