Coachella, identified as a mega-festival universe, decided on a diverse 2023 roster with artists like Becky G, Kali Uchis, and Rosalía. Bad Bunny, last year’s most-streamed global artist, made history as the festival’s first Spanish-language headliner. It also marked the first year since Coachella’s founding in 1999 that none of the headliners were white.
José Valentino Ruiz-Resto, an assistant professor in the School of Music at the University of Florida, co-authored a paper for the Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Education, which focused on how the music industry would evolutionarily change after the pandemic and ultimately predicted the 2023 Coachella trend.
“The rise of Latin artists/headliners at festivals like Coachella is really a reflection of what has been happening in the music industry for the past two decades,” said José Valentino Ruiz-Resto who is also the program coordinator of Music Business & Entrepreneurship at UF.
Ruiz-Resto’s research showed that the post-Covid era music industry would encourage more people to stay home and listen to music digitally, but the traditional Latin music experience is an outlier to this.
The world-renowned multi-instrumentalist explains, "In order for concerts and festivals to maintain success, they needed to branch out to other markets to bring in those people who were still very much passionate about experiencing music in a live context.”
Although this shift was initiated by the pandemic, it has been patiently anticipated by Ruiz-Resto for over 23 years, starting with the founding of the Latin Grammys in 2000.
“Because the amount of production within the Latin recording academy is almost equivocal to that of all of the other genres in the American market combined. Latin music is the No. 1 meta genre in the music industry in terms of sales and fan support,” Ruiz-Resto, now a four-time Latin Grammy Award winner, said.
Ruiz-Resto's data predicted the need for a stronger focus on the Latin music enthusiasts who still actively go to concerts like Coachella, “In order for Coachella to ultimately succeed in the post-Covid era and attract people, they needed to bring in artists like Bad Bunny.”
This historic Coachella moment followed an announcement from the Recording Industry Association of America, stating that Latin music revenues in the United States were at an all-time high, exceeding over $1 billion in 2022. All of this was no surprise to Ruiz-Resto, who observes, researches and directly participates in the Latin music industry.
“Now bigger shows are catching up to what has been the largest-selling music market for years. It’s a testament to how positively Latin American cultures are inspiring listeners across the U.S.”
By Halle Burton
José Valentino Ruiz Assistant Professor
José Valentino Ruiz is a Grammy® and Emmy® award winner who is an authority in music business and entrepreneurship.