A lot of stages at festivals are the same. You’ve got a five-foot elevation in front of a crowd in a field, and an array of the best sound the event can afford to bring to the table. The trouble with Coachella for the indulgent house and techno music fan is there are nine stages running through the day – including Heineken House and Do LaB - who each run their own independent party at the festival. That sadly leaves a lot of room for missing all that audible splendor on the Polo Fields. Even if there was a way to teleport quickly from one stage to the next there still isn’t enough time to see everything. Fortunately, EDM.com is on the case.
In the sections below, we’ll outline the prime locations for all your favorite house and techno acts. We can look to these as our home base stronghold – or household, if you will. Anyway, it’s the perfect rendezvous location for you and your similarly preferenced friends. We'll highlight some of the most supercharged house and techno profiles ever to grace a stage in the Coachella Valley. Whether you’re new to the sound or you’re a diehard househead, this breakdown maps out a road with a lot of bumps along the way. Proceed with caution and remember to buckle up!
Coachella’s Tech House Triangle
There are three locations primed for top-shelf house and techno. Some other stages will offer samples of the genre but these are the best-known dance parties for purists. Also, for anyone who hopes to really bathe in the sweet melodic embrace of vibe catalysts like Kyle Watson, ANNA, and Damian Lazarus, there’s really no substitute.
The most eminent of the three is the Yuma Stage. It’s here that the heat is most easily dodged. The massive enclosure cuts rain and sunlight to zero, and the industrial-strength air conditioning is a saving grace in the hottest parts of the day. Did we mention there's a disco shark? Yeah, they've got one.
The second in the triangle is the top choice for fun seekers. The Do LaB stage is one of two independent music curators onsite at Coachella. In addition to lineups known to pack cavalcades of budding champions and established elites in house and techno, they also rock one of the most easily spotted stage designs at the event. Like a way over-the-top “big top,” their stage is actually as much an art installation as it is a platform for performance. Plus, they've got water cannons to beat the heat.
From here, those who want to keep reveling in even more house and techno can make their way to the Heineken House. While hardly focused on House music as much as they are hip-hop and funk, the Heineken House delivers something fresh every year so definitely keep an eye on their music schedule. It’s a favorite for acts like Pete Tong, Claude VonStroke, Tchami, and others. Note: Do LaB and Heineken House are expected to announce lineups closer to the event.
Iconic Headliners in House and Techno
Formerly a fierce drummer for an all-girl indie band, VNSSA is Dirtybird’s heroine of tech house and she’s a full-fledged stage crusher. Undulating tracks like "Rave Grave," "The Biznes" and the summer anthem "Let’s Go Camping" became hallmarks of the label and the genre. If you made a list of those not to miss, her set would easily warrant a top spot on it.
With the combination of timeless guitar instrumentals and haunting vocals that became his calling card, Steffen Linck catapulted his way into the hearts of house music fans with euphoria-inducing songs like “Burning Sun” and “The End.” Under the moniker Monolink, he pushes the boundaries between ambient techno and dark melodic instrumentals.
A Brazilian powerhouse and a minotaur in the techno genre, ANNA’s throbbing bass lines and cosmic rhythms will leave you breathless. Sets at Movement Electronic Music Festival, Awakenings Festival, and Tomorrowland have added wood to the fire of her stoked popularity and both DJ Mag and Mixmag have featured her prominently as a white-hot techno sensation.
Steffen Berkhahn, who performs as Dixon, has made a name for himself with his stylish, techno-infused onstage bravado onstage. For four years straight, he was #1 on Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJ Poll. Today, he’s still a force of nature behind the decks and his fashion label is more successful than ever.
Martin Bresso picked up the nickname Tchami on a trip to Africa, and it stuck. With his own honed future house niche, Tchami co-founded the Pardon My French collective and made international splashes collaborating with Dutch dynamos like Oliver Heldens and Don Diablo.
The world was stunned when Joel Zimmerman A.K.A. deadmau5 announced a techno alter-ego, but the production wizard in few flexes has already shown a slick knack for full-length, shoe-destroying sets at Movement and Electric Forest. For Zimmerman, Testpilot is looking like his strongest proof yet that the boxes of genres won’t be able to hold him.
Rocking the signature grit known that speaks volumes to Detroit techno lovers far and wide, Channel Tres is adding West Coast flavor to the genre with powerful hip-hop infusions and urban hooks. Tracks like "Top Down" and "Controller" are already a source of rubbernecking fits at festivals like Intersect, FriendShip, and Movement.
Stefan Kozalla, who produces and performs as DJ Koze, is a bonafide bastion of soul. A feelgood icon in Germany’s burgeoning underground hip-hop scene, his sets are some of the most sought after among North American talent buyers. With disco tracks like "Operator" and "Pick Up" the momentum behind his more than two decades of making waves on the international stage doesn’t seem to be letting up either.
Famed as a venerable deity spanning genres like a bridge from western music to techno, Damian Lazarus packs the potency to bring a dead dance floor back to life and so much more. His four-hour sets are the stuff of legends, and his genre-blending techniques make him a must-not-miss for any technophile.
Johannesburg-based Kyle Watson has released killer tracks on some of the most loved labels in house music today including Ultra Music, Atlantic Records, Dirtybird, and This Ain’t Bristol. As he prepares to descend on Coachella, Watson packs tech-house fury in ways seldom seen. By hauling tracks like "Don’t Talk" and "Moments," this one set will ring enough bells to be a surefire knockout.
Hailing from Denver, Daniel Goldstein is probably one of the most wildly endearing deep house producers of our time. As Lane 8, he represents the label Anjunadeep - where he dropped his catchy new album, Brightest Lights, last month. For many fans, Coachella will be the perfect opportunity to hear the new tunes live for the first time.
Off the Future Classic label, Hayden James is an Aussie on a mission. Having collaborated with the likes of ODESZA and Disclosure, he’s no stranger to big productions. He even won one of Australia's most prestigious music awards, the ARIA, for his studio album Between Us.
Tamer Malki and Rami Abousabe go as Bedouin onstage, and when this Brooklyn-based duo lands at Coachella it will be a show to remember. As one of the few combining western sampling techniques and Middle Eastern sounds, their style is unmistakable and hypnotic – a true cultural explosion engineered for dance floors.
The Martinez Brothers
The American DJing twosome The Martinez Brothers are unparalleled technicians. They sharpened their tools as music producers and made an early start hitting the road together at 15 and 17 years old. Now through their labels Cuttin' Headz and Tuskegee, the latter of which they run with Seth Troxler, their accolades are staggering.
The Afropolitan house pioneer Nathi Maphumulo is both satisfying and unstoppable. As Black Coffee, he hails from Johannesburg with a level of sophistication that music curators are hard-pressed to find anywhere in the world. Through his label, Soulistic Music, his impact on the international house music scene is far reaching and ever growing as well.