Coachella 2022: Epik High Make History as the First Korean Group Invited Back to Perform

Coachella is finally back after a two-year hiatus. Tonight, the music festival kicks off in Indio, CA, with headliner Harry Styles. Korean hip hop trio Epik High will join Styles as part of the Friday night lineup on April 15 and April 22. They are the first Korean group to be invited back to perform at the Coachella Arts and Music Festival

Tablo and Mirtha Jin of Epik High perform onstage during the 2016 Coachella music festival in Indio, CA.
Tablo and Mirtha Jin of Epik High | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

Epik High will play Coachella for the second time

In 2016, the groundbreaking Korean hip hop group Epik High performed at Coachella. While they weren’t the first Korean group to perform, that title went to disbanded rock group EE in 2011; Epik High was the first big-name Korean act to garner an invitation to the California desert. 

Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz were invited back in 2020, but the festival was canceled due to coronavirus (COVID-19.) Epik High’s performance at Coachella will mark the end of their North American tour. The group expressed their excitement to Rolling Stone when they were announced as part of the lineup.

 ​“Coachella added to Epik High’s North America Tour? Dream came true,” they continued, “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.”

According to Rolling Stone, there are rumors the group may go on hiatus after their Coachella performances. Epik High is set to go on at 10:45 pm PT in the Gobi Tent on Friday, April 15, and April 22. Fans unable to attend can watch a free live stream on Coachella’s YouTube page. 

Only one K-pop group has performed at Coachella

In 2020 the “kings of K-pop” BIGBANG were supposed to perform at Coachella. It would have been a historic comeback for the K-pop supergroup. Unfortunately, Coachella was canceled in 2020 due to coronavirus and would not return until 2022. Fans were disappointed this year when BIGBANG was not part of the lineup.

The only K-pop group to ever perform at Coachella was BLACKPINK. Jennie, Rosé, Lisa, and Jisoo brought the house, or tent, down in 2019 with a spirited performance. Their experience was recorded for the Netlfix documentary BLACKPINK: Light up the Sky

In a recent interview with Vogue Korea, Jisoo said, “With our Coachella performance, I was too busy thinking about finishing without making any mistakes that I couldn’t tell how big that stage actually was and how much fun everyone was having.” 

Will Jackson Wang perform at Coachella this year?

A K-pop superstar may surprise fans with a performance at Coachella. GOT7 member and solo artist Jackson Wang is currently in LA. Wang is part of the music label and collective 88rising. 

88rising was given a prime Saturday night spot on the Coachella main stage. They’ll perform on Saturday, April 16, and April 23 at 6:45 pm PT. Although their performance is sharded in mystery, fans should expect to see some of the labels’ biggest stars. A representative told Rolling Stone, “Head in the Clouds Forever is going to be a historic, live experience culmination of what 88rising represents.” 

Wang just released an English language single, “Blow,” in preparation for a new album titled Magic Man. On Friday, Apr. 15, one day before 88rising’s Coachella spot, they tweeted, “MAGIC MAN ON THE MAINSTAGE OF COACHELLA. A DREAM? NO REALITY.”

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