YouTube is upping its Coachella game.
The popular video site will be live streaming from the Indio, California, music festival for the ninth consecutive year, but for the first time will continue its coverage into the fest’s second weekend.
With Beyonce reigning at Coachella 2018, YouTube had a massive audience of more than 41 million live streams from the festival viewed from more than 232 countries and territories.
YouTube could connect viewers with more pop cultural moments this year including a performance by Childish Gambino and the premiere of his new film, “Guava Island,” featuring Rihanna.
The Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy-Award winning rapper/actor, also known by day as Donald Glover, has already delivered a big hit on YouTube with his video for “This is America” earning 12.9 million views in its first 24 hours, making it one of last year’s 10 biggest music video debuts.
Also on the schedule: an Easter Sunday morning (April 21) performance by Kanye West.
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YouTube’s live stream (www.youtube.com/coachella) during Coachella’s first weekend starts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Friday and runs through the weekend and will pick up again Friday, April 19 (Subscribe to the channel for updated schedule information.)
Viewers can watch across various devices such as smart TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones. You can also watch or listen using the YouTube Music app, which has a free tier and a $12.99 monthly subscription (no ads and you can download music).
Coachella lineup also includes Kacey Musgraves, Billie Eilish
YouTube will offer three simultaneous live streams with performances by more than 80 artists including Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Khalid, Maggie Rogers, Weezer, Billie Eilish, Chvches, Tame Impala, Wiz Khalifa, and Soccer Mommy. Some content will be available on-demand.
“In many ways if you’re not able to get to the desert, you can do the next big thing and stream” the festival, said Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music. “Instead of the Super Bowl with pizza and beers, this is another opportunity to get a bunch of friends together and watch your fave bands.”
In addition to Kanye West’s Easter morning performance, YouTube’s second weekend from Coachella will include encore and live performances, interviews, artist commentary, mini-documentaries and other curated content.
“For years the YouTube Livestream has helped us reach an international audience. I’m still overwhelmed by how many people saw last year’s event across the world,” said festival founder Paul Tollett in a statement to USA TODAY.
The second weekend’s offerings will include profiles of international artists. “We’ve been spending the past few months traveling to artists’ home countries to film their stories,” Tollett said. “Can’t wait for the viewers to enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.”
Also in lineup: K-Pop group BLACKPINK
Another artist you may want to add to your streaming plans: BLACKPINK. The K-pop group recently saw its ‘Kill This Love’ music video become the fastest to 100 million views (less than three days), and was the most viewed music video debut in YouTube history, with 56.7 million views in its first 24 hours.
YouTube will be broadcasting the band’s performance, scheduled for
11:50 p.m. ET on Friday , on The Beast jumbotron in Times Square.
“It’s a not to be missed performance,” Cohen said.
For artists, the live stream takes a Coachella appearance to another level.
“YouTube has been a big factor in helping my music and Música Urbano as a whole reach a growing global audience,” said Colombian-born reggaeton singer J Balvin in a statement to USA TODAY. He assisted Cardi B, along with Bad Bunny, on “I Like It,” and won a 2018 Latin Grammy Award for best urban music album for “Vibras,” released in May 2018.
“I am really excited and grateful that they will be sharing my performance with fans worldwide when we bring a full Reggaeton set to the mainstage at Coachella for the very first time!” he said.
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Beyonce surprised fans with a trailer for her new Netflix documentary about her iconic Coachella performance called “Homecoming.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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