How Much Does Coachella Pay Artists? The Behind-The-Scenes Numbers

Coachella is one of the biggest and most famous music festivals in the world. For artists, playing Coachella can be a career-defining opportunity to perform in front of tens of thousands of music fans. But how much does Coachella actually pay the artists who perform there?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Headlining artists at Coachella typically get paid $3-5 million or more. Mid-tier and up-and-coming artists can make anywhere from low five figures into the low six figures.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down exactly how much artists make at Coachella, from the top headliners down to lesser-known acts.

Headliner Pay at Coachella

Coachella, one of the most popular music festivals in the world, is known for attracting top-tier artists to its stages. But have you ever wondered how much these headliners actually make for their performances? Let’s take a closer look at the behind-the-scenes numbers.

How Much Do Headliners Make?

Headliners at Coachella can earn substantial amounts of money for their appearances. While the exact figures are not publicly disclosed, it is estimated that headliners can earn anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars for their performances.

The payment amount depends on various factors such as the artist’s popularity, demand, and negotiating power.

It’s important to note that headliners not only get paid for their performance but also for the exclusivity of their appearance. In many cases, headliners are prohibited from performing at other festivals or venues for a certain period before and after their Coachella appearance.

What Goes Into Headliner Offers

When it comes to determining headliner pay, several factors come into play. The festival organizers consider the artist’s popularity, current chart success, and overall demand. The headliner’s ability to draw a large crowd and generate buzz is also taken into account.

Additionally, the artist’s performance fee can be influenced by factors such as their touring schedule, album release plans, and the festival’s budget.

It’s worth mentioning that headliner offers can also include additional perks and benefits. These may include travel and accommodation arrangements, VIP treatment, and other amenities to ensure the artist’s comfort and satisfaction during their stay at the festival.

Notable Headliner Pay Examples

While specific figures are often kept under wraps, there have been some notable headliner pay examples at Coachella in the past. For instance, in 2018, Beyoncé headlined the festival and reportedly received a payment of $8 million.

This made her the highest-paid artist in Coachella’s history at the time.

Other headliners, such as Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar, have also received significant payments for their performances. Lady Gaga, who filled in for Beyoncé in 2017, was rumored to have received a fee of $4 million.

Kendrick Lamar, who headlined in 2017 as well, is said to have earned around $3 million for his performance.

It’s important to remember that these figures are based on estimates and may vary depending on individual negotiations and circumstances.

Mid-Tier and Up-and-Coming Artist Pay

Typical Pay for Non-Headliners

While the exact amount that Coachella pays mid-tier and up-and-coming artists can vary, it is generally considered a lucrative opportunity for these musicians. According to industry insiders, the typical pay for non-headliners at Coachella can range from $25,000 to $100,000 per performance.

This amount is often negotiated based on factors such as the artist’s popularity, demand, and stage time.

It’s important to note that these figures are just estimates and can be influenced by various factors. Some artists may receive higher pay if they have a strong fan base or if they are in high demand at the time of the festival.

On the other hand, lesser-known artists may receive lower pay as they are still building their careers and may not have as much bargaining power.

Other Perks and Benefits

Aside from the monetary compensation, Coachella offers other perks and benefits for mid-tier and up-and-coming artists. One of the most significant advantages is the exposure and visibility that comes with performing at such a high-profile event.

Coachella attracts a massive audience, both in-person and through live streaming, which can significantly boost an artist’s career.

In addition to exposure, artists also have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other musicians, industry professionals, and potential fans. This can lead to future collaborations, record deals, and increased recognition within the music industry.

Negotiating a Coachella Deal as a Lesser-Known Artist

For lesser-known artists looking to secure a spot at Coachella, negotiating a fair deal is essential. While the festival may have a standard pay range for non-headliners, it’s still possible to negotiate a higher fee or additional benefits.

One strategy for negotiating a Coachella deal as a lesser-known artist is to emphasize the potential for growth and exposure that comes with performing at such a renowned event. Artists can highlight their unique sound, fan base, and social media following as assets that can contribute to the overall success of the festival.

It’s also important for artists to do their research and gather information about previous deals made with similar artists. This knowledge can be used as leverage during negotiations and help ensure fair compensation.

Other Factors Impacting Artist Pay at Coachella

While the overall financial compensation provided by Coachella to artists is a significant factor in determining their pay, there are several other factors that come into play as well.

Artist Popularity and Draw

One important factor that impacts artist pay at Coachella is their popularity and draw. Artists who have a larger fan base and can attract a larger audience are typically paid more than those who are lesser-known.

This is because the festival organizers want to ensure that they are booking acts that will attract a large crowd and help sell tickets.

The popularity of an artist can be measured by various metrics, such as their streaming numbers, social media followers, and chart rankings. The higher an artist’s popularity, the higher their negotiating power when it comes to securing a higher pay at Coachella.

Scheduling and Billing

The scheduling and billing of artists also play a role in their pay at Coachella. Headlining acts that are given prime time slots and top billing on the festival lineup tend to receive higher compensation compared to artists who are scheduled for earlier time slots or have lower billing on the lineup.

This is because headlining acts are considered the main attractions of the festival, and their performances are expected to draw a larger crowd. As a result, they are often paid more to reflect their importance in the overall lineup.

Production Costs

Another factor that impacts artist pay at Coachella is the production costs associated with their performances. Artists who require elaborate stage setups, special effects, or additional production elements may have higher production costs, which can affect their pay.

These production costs include expenses such as stage setup, lighting, sound engineering, and visual effects. Artists who have more complex production requirements may receive a higher compensation to cover these additional expenses.

Artist Relationships and History

Lastly, the relationships between artists and the festival organizers, as well as their past performances at Coachella, can also influence their pay. Artists who have a long-standing history with the festival and have delivered memorable performances in the past may have more leverage in negotiating their pay.

Additionally, artists who have established positive relationships with the festival organizers may be able to negotiate better terms and higher compensation. These relationships and past performances can contribute to the overall value that an artist brings to the festival and can impact their pay.

It’s important to note that while these factors can influence artist pay at Coachella, the specific details of artist contracts and negotiations are not publicly disclosed. The festival organizers and artists typically keep these details confidential.

For more information on Coachella and artist compensation, you can visit

The Business Side of Coachella

Coachella has become one of the most popular music festivals in the world, drawing in thousands of attendees each year. While it’s known for its impressive lineup of artists and unforgettable performances, there’s a whole business side to Coachella that many may not be aware of.

In this article, we’ll explore the financial aspects of Coachella, including its revenue sources, operating costs, and artist payouts.

Coachella Revenue Sources

Coachella generates its revenue from various sources, including ticket sales, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and food and beverage sales. Ticket sales alone account for a significant portion of the festival’s revenue.

In recent years, Coachella has consistently sold out, with tickets selling out within hours of going on sale. This high demand for tickets contributes greatly to the festival’s profitability.

Sponsorships also play a crucial role in generating revenue for Coachella. The festival partners with major brands and companies, such as clothing lines, beverage companies, and technology brands, who pay a hefty sum to have their products and logos prominently displayed throughout the festival grounds.

These sponsorships not only provide financial support but also contribute to the overall experience for attendees.

Operating Costs and Expenses

Organizing a massive event like Coachella requires significant financial investment. The festival incurs expenses such as artist fees, production costs, venue rentals, security, marketing, and staff salaries.

The artist fees alone can be substantial, with some headliners commanding multi-million dollar payouts. These expenses, coupled with the costs of creating a visually stunning and immersive environment, contribute to the overall operating costs of Coachella.

Furthermore, Coachella’s reputation for delivering a top-notch experience means that the festival must continually invest in innovation and improvements. This includes upgrading stages, sound systems, and lighting equipment, as well as incorporating new technologies and interactive installations.

These ongoing investments ensure that Coachella remains at the forefront of the festival scene and continue to attract attendees year after year.

Profits and Artist Payouts

Despite the high operating costs, Coachella has been consistently profitable. The festival’s revenue streams, coupled with careful financial management, allow for substantial profits. While exact figures are not publicly disclosed, it has been reported that Coachella’s parent company, AEG Presents, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the festival each year.

Artist payouts at Coachella vary depending on various factors such as popularity, demand, and contractual agreements. While headliners and top-billed acts typically receive significant payouts, smaller artists may receive lower fees or even perform for exposure.

It’s worth noting that Coachella’s platform has helped launch the careers of many artists, making it a highly desirable opportunity for both established and emerging acts.


Coachella earns its reputation for booking some of the biggest names in music. For artists, performing at the iconic festival can be extremely lucrative, with top headliners earning multi-million dollar paydays.

While lesser-known acts won’t command the same massive payouts, Coachella still represents a major opportunity for exposure and earnings potential. Understanding how much artists make can provide valuable perspective on the economics and business side of one of music’s premier festivals.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts