The 2020 Coachella lineup is already causing controversy for undervaluing women and LGBTQ artists

Ollie Millington/Redferns / Steven Ferdman/Visionhaus#GP/Corbis/Getty ImagesRage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean will headline Coachella in 2020.
  • The 2020 Coachella lineup was announced on Friday morning, and three male acts are billed as headliners: Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean.
  • Many acclaimed women are also set to perform, but fans have criticised the festival for undervaluing them.
  • Lana Del Rey, for example, released one of 2019’s best albums – but she’s billed below Ocean, who hasn’t released an album since 2016.
  • Coachella has only ever had four female headliners in its 20-year history.
  • Other fans have criticised the lineup’s treatment of LGBTQ artists like Kim Petras and gay icons like Carly Rae Jepsen, who are both billed on the poster’s fourth line of names.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2020 Coachella lineup is already courting controversy over its treatment of female and LGBTQ artists.

When the lineup was revealed on Friday morning, many fans were thrilled to see rock band Rage Against the Machine, rap heavy hitter Travis Scott, and the ever-elusive Frank Ocean listed as headliners. Other fans, however, were disappointed that all three headliners are men – a trend that Coachella has been criticised for in the past.

Coachella has only ever had four female headliners in its 20-year history, and three of those were in the past three years: Bjork in 2007, Lady Gaga in 2017, Beyoncé in 2018, and Ariana Grande in 2019.

While many women are also set to perform, fans are criticising the festival for undervaluing them

Carly rae jepsenMichael Tullberg/Getty ImagesCarly Rae Jepsen shot to fame with her diamond-certified single ‘Call Me Maybe.’

Traditionally, festival lineups are organised in order of importance and acclaim. The smaller and lower a name is on the lineup poster, the lesser known that name tends to be.

According to this logic, there are 18 male artists or all-male bands set to perform on Saturday that Coachella considers more important or acclaimed than Carly Rae Jepsen, one of the defining pop stars from the past 10 years.

As culture writer Zach Schonfeld noted on Twitter: “Carly Rae Jepsen is in smaller font size than King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard on the Coachella lineup.”

Arts and entertainment editor Mike Roe voiced a similar critique: “What monsters put Carly Rae Jepsen on LINE FOUR of the Coachella poster for Saturday?!”

Other fans reacted similarly.

Lana Del Rey fans are particularly angry that she’s not billed as a headliner

Lana del reyStephanie Keith/Getty ImagesLana Del Rey is nominated for album and song of the year at the 2020 Grammys.

Del Rey released one of 2019’s best albums (the Grammy-nominated “Norman F—ing Rockwell!”) and has been a major figure in pop music since her debut album in 2012. It would be reasonable to assume she’s reached the cultural and artistic status of a headliner.

But Del Rey is billed below Ocean, who – while an immensely important musical icon in his own right – hasn’t released an album since 2016.

As Billboard writer Chris Payne simply put, “How is Lana Del Rey not a Coachella headliner at this point?”

While Payne didn’t argue that Del Rey deserved the slot over Ocean specifically, he did note, “I have doubts about how much of the Coachella crowd will show up” to watch Rage Against the Machine perform.

Some fans believe the billing is ‘homophobic’

Kim petrasShirlaine Forrest/Getty ImagesKim Petras, who is transgender, performed during Manchester Pride 2019.

In addition to its male-heavy top billing, others have criticised the lineup’s treatment of LGBTQ artists like Kim Petras, who’s billed on the fourth line of the poster’s names. Gay icons like Jepsen and Charli XCX were similarly shafted.

Coachella has long battled a reputation for homophobia, as its founder, Philip Anschutz – who also owns AEG, the company that organizes the festival – has donated lots of money to extremist anti-LGBTQ groups.

It is worth noting, however, that 2020 headliner Ocean is famously queer.

And indeed, other fans have celebrated the very inclusion of many queer artists and singers who are beloved in the LGBTQ community (others include Brockhampton, Lil Nas X, Girl in Red, and Conan Grey), with some even calling this year’s lineup “for the gays.”

Representatives for Coachella did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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