Indie News

Epik High React to Historic Coachella Announcement: ‘Dream Came True’

After Blackpink’s buzzed-about set at Coachella 2019, hopes were high for more K-pop acts to be announced for this year’s festival, which returns after two years off due to Covid. Unfortunately, no K-pop artists made the bill for Coachella 2022, although the lineup does include Korean hip-hop trio Epik High, who are headed back to Coachella for the second time.

Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz first played Coachella in 2016 where they became the first major Korean act to hit the desert stage (the now-defunct Korean-American indie rockers EE played Coachella in 2011). With their name once again on the bill for Coachella 2022, Epik High are now the first Korean act to be invited back to the festival.

The group’s Coachella appearance is set to take on additional significance: Tablo announced on Twitter that the group will drop a new album before the festival, expected to be the second part of their 2021 release, Epik High Is Here.

The two weekends at Coachella also mark the last two dates on Epik High’s 2022 North American tour, and there’s speculation they could be the trio’s last performances together as well. The group has been rumored to go on hiatus after Coachella.

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The outfit hasn’t commented on the rumors of disbanding, telling IndieLand that their focus, for now, is on putting on a memorable show for their fans. “Coachella added to Epik High’s North America Tour? Dream came true,” the guys say in a statement. “The last two years were tough for everyone, so we’re gonna go 1,000% to make the crowd forget the world and enjoy themselves.”

Related: Epik High’s ‘Rosario’ Is One of the Best Songs of 2021

This is actually the third time that Epik High has been announced as part of the Coachella lineup. The group was also scheduled to perform in 2020 before the festival was canceled due to Covid. K-pop icons BIGBANG were also confirmed for Coachella 2020 but their names were left off the bill for 2022, meaning fans hoping for a BIGBANG comeback at Coachella were left disappointed.

Still, there will be other Asian acts represented at Coachella, including Japanese Breakfast, Rich Brian, Joji, and Niki. The Asian music label and collective, 88rising, also got special billing on the 2022 Coachella lineup poster, with organizers teasing something called “Head in the Clouds Forever,” a nod to 88rising’s annual Head in the Clouds music festival, which highlights Asian performers and artists.

While details about 88rising’s involvement in Coachella are still under wraps, a rep for the label tells IndieLand that “Head in the Clouds Forever is going to be a historic, live experience culmination of what 88rising represents,” adding that the collective will take part in “celebrating Asian culture [and] championing Asian and Asian-American talent and stories” through the festival.

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