Attending Coachella in 2022, I was overwhelmed with emotions and excitement. This festival tends to have that effect on people. Maybe it’s the countless hours you spend on your feet, the exhaustion, the beautiful outfits, or the good music. 

Regardless of it all, there is always a trek to your car, the buses, or even your tent that ensues after every night. After day three, I sat there waiting in line for the bus that never seemed to arrive and I told everyone around me, “Next year, Bad Bunny is going to headline.” This meant that I would return to the Indio desert and I would do so willingly. 

When Coachella announced the performers for 2023 earlier this year, it was clear that I had guessed correctly and that meant only one thing. I booked my ticket, bought my outfits, and prepared for another tiring yet beautiful weekend in a desert surrounded by people I didn’t know. I grew up with music, I love and listen to all types of genres from different periods and find an appreciation for all sounds. 

Although I do not have the money to attend all of the concerts and festivals I would like to, I have been fortunate enough to go to a few. However, there is one artist that hadn’t seen live, Bad Bunny. His shows sell out and tickets resale for over $600. I could not bring myself to pay that amount for one person even if every bone in my body loved them. For the past three to four years I have dreamt of meeting him. Seeing him live, and being only a few feet away from him were all things I have already envisioned happening. 

This was a big moment, not only for myself but for fans and the Latinx community everywhere. Bad Bunny is the first Latin artist to headline at Coachella. He represented all of us. He continues to elevate our community and share our music with all those interested in listening. For that, I will be forever grateful to him. I find it beautiful when crowds gather to sing along and I find it crazier that oftentimes so many of these individuals are not Spanish speakers but simply fans who have learned and bonded with the sounds and the music that Bad Bunny has produced.

This year Coachella showcased the diversity and beauty within the music industry. We have Puerto Rican and Korean headliners, and artists from different backgrounds and ethnicities including Bjork from Iceland, Rosalia from Spain, Burna Boy from Nigeria, and Jai Paul a British-Indian Singer, which are just a few of many. The music industry is changing and with it so are we. 

While I have been a Bad Bunny fan since he guest-starred in Shakira’s and Jennifer Lopez’ Super Bowl performance back in 2020, many others have known him for far longer, and many continue to learn more of his music. We are normalizing learning more about other cultures and their sounds. We are appreciating good music for what it is and I find some beauty in that. Despite not knowing what all the words mean, we are simply enjoying it and enjoying one another. 

Being there to witness history was amazing. It didn’t matter that I had spent over six hours alone, on my feet, in 90 degree weather because the reward of  having him just feet away from me made the whole experience worth it.

His show began with an homage to the many Latinx artists that have inspired him throughout his career. His voice echoed through the desert and fans became emotional, eager to see him live. There is so much love and appreciation that came from his community of supporters, I felt it, the people around me felt it and I am almost certain that when he hits that stage, he feels it too. 

Bad Bunny featured Jose Feliciano, Grupo Frontera and Jhay Cortez during his weekend two performances and the crowd absolutely loved it. There is no doubt in my mind that Bad Bunny has paved the way for up and coming latinx artists who one day wish to headline festivals dominated by artists of the English language. 

I don’t know where music will be tomorrow, or in the next few years, but I do know that we will find ways to appreciate it and that the Latin genre is constantly increasing in popularity because of artists like Bad Bunny. 

Music will continue to change and what is considered popular will continue to be up to interpretation but that is the beauty in all of it. I am just glad we are getting some Latinx representation worldwide and that is something I hope to continue to witness.

Read more news about Coachella 2023 here.

Kate Michel is a senior studying journalism and public relations at Cal State Long Beach.