When it launched almost 25 years ago, Coachella was above all an ode to rock’n’roll, with male and white stars. But with its 2023 edition, the American festival celebrates music that is more diverse and international than ever. Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, Belgium and even Pakistan: half of the artists invited to Indio, in the California desert, come from countries other than the United States.

A program that betrays the end of American musical hegemony, as streaming and social networks bring out artists capable of conquering a global audience all over the planet.

This year, it is the Puerto Rican Bad Bunny who occupies the top of the poster of Coachella. The master of reggateon opened the festival on Friday with a supercharged performance, which paid homage to his Caribbean influences. Some stars are obviously relishing the international success of their music. Like the Spanish singer Rosalia, a hybrid car who made a name for herself by mixing pop and flamenco. “I come from Barcelona, ​​that’s why being on this stage is so special for me,” she told her excited fans on Saturday. “It is thanks to you that I am here.”

On the same night, K-pop group BLACKPINK drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. Tens of thousands of festival-goers rushed to attend their fiery show, punctuated by projectors operated by drones and fireworks. “The constant public demand for K-pop…is clear even to people who watch financial results far more than trends,” said CedarBough Saeji, a professor specializing in East Asia and K-pop. -pop at the University of Washington. “America (…) is a very, very important trendsetter, but global cultural flows have changed,” she told AFP.

At Coachella, the Icelandic Bjork or the Nigerian Burna Boy have this year the honor of being on the main stage. The Indian Diljit Dosanjh and the Pakistani Ali Sethi, are them on secondary stages, but attract large crowds with their concerts full of energy. For “those of us who come from other places, other traditions, (…) the fact that Coachella welcomes us and receives us here, it’s a new journey”, confides to AFP Ali Sethi , whose song Pasoori has over half a billion views on YouTube.

The Internet has completely reshuffled the cards for the music industry, says Ms. Saeji. “The global public is now much more aware of artists from countries unaccustomed to exercising cultural hegemony,” observes the expert. If the American industry still weighs, “we will eventually find ourselves in a situation where the music that appears in the charts will permanently come from several languages”, she predicts.

To be convinced of this, it is enough to examine in detail the programming of Coachella, which notably includes the French singer Christine and the Queens, the Belgian pop sensation Angele, and the Argentinian ska group Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. The Palestinian-Chilean Elyanna has entered the history of the festival, becoming the first artist to perform a concert entirely in Arabic. “Music is music,” says Turkish DJ Omer Mesci, known by his artist name Minus the Light, saying he is inspired by the diversity of the festival. “That’s the beauty of it, it’s so colorful.”