ATEEZ kpop group dancing on stage.

All K-Pop Groups at Coachella, Ranked Worst to Best

It’s officially Coachella season! This year featured a star-studded line-up, but for K-pop fans, there are two artists that stand out: LE SSERAFIM and ATEEZ.

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Both groups already performed their first weekend, garnering huge crowds and standing on the global stage as representatives of the K-pop genre. However, ATEEZ and LE SSERAFIM garnered wildly different reactions from festivalgoers and the fans watching at home. While ATEEZ earned acclaim for their memorable setlist, LE SSERAFIM received polarizing opinions due to their vocal ability.

As discourse on the two groups’ performances makes its rounds online, let’s take a look at all the past K-pop groups who performed at Coachella, ranked from worst to best.

8. LE SSERAFIM

2024 marked LE SSERAFIM’s first-ever Coachella stage, and anticipations were high. Housed under HYBE Labels, the same company as superstars BTS and self-producing idols SEVENTEEN, the girl group was expected to put on a show that fans would remember for years to come.

And, well, they did—just not in the way fans hoped for. Though they definitely shined with their flashy choreography and stunning visuals, their biggest downfall was their vocals. Their vocals were often unstable and shaky, likely due to the nerves they were feeling. Additionally, as the setlist progressed, they appeared visibly exhausted.

7. aespa

aespa made their Coachella debut in 2022 as part of 88rising’s “Head in the Clouds Forever” showcase. At the time, aespa had only been active for less than two years and were still considered rookies, which meant the pressure to perform well was on. While the girls’ live vocals shined, their setlist left much to be desired.

Often times, they couldn’t hide how nervous they were, which would cause their voices to tremble. Additionally, some festivalgoers claimed they lacked stage presence and charisma. Considering how new they were to the music scene at the time, it’s totally understandable. Maybe they could be invited back in the future?

6. Epik High (Both 2016 & 2022)

Epik High was the first K-pop group to ever grace the Coachella stage, doing so way back in 2016! They were also the first Korean group to ever be invited to the festival. They were originally on the lineup for 2020, but the festival was canceled due to the pandemic. Epik High was then re-invited for the 2022 weekends.

On their 2016 date, Epik High shined with hard-hitting Korean raps and flashy lights. However, their set was relatively simple, likely due to the fact that they weren’t as well-known at that time. Their energy was felt throughout the crowd, but as a three-member group, the stage did feel empty at times.

Their 2022 performances featured a more diverse setlist as well as a bigger crowd, thanks to their increased fame and the rise in K-pop’s prestige in the music market. For this stage, they embraced the fact that they were not just rappers but DJs, as well. It’s definitely a stage that needs to be experienced live; videos just don’t do it justice.

5. The Rose

Besides LE SSERAFIM and ATEEZ, another Korean group performed at Coachella this year, and that’s The Rose. Though they definitely didn’t make as much noise on social media as the two aforementioned groups, The Rose still managed to shine on the Coachella stage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlP7CMrItRw

Unlike most of the groups on this list, The Rose performs as a traditional band, with some members in charge of vocals and others in charge of instruments. Their soulful vocals showed off their unique color, and the members flaunted immense stage presence despite being held back by their instruments.

4. 2NE1

Originally marketed as just CL on the lineup, many were shocked when 2NE1 reunited on the Coachella stage, performing together for the first time in six years since their supposed disbandment.

The girl group shocked festivalgoers with their performance of “I Am the Best,” which is considered their representative track. BLACKJACKs (2NE1’s fandom name) were understandably touched at the surprise reunion, and 2NE1’s performance went viral among the K-pop community. The only drawback is the fact that 2NE1’s reunion completely overshadowed the previous songs CL performed by herself.

3. BLACKPINK (2019)

In 2019, BLACKPINK made history as the first K-pop girl group to be invited to Coachella. This performance is considered one of the factors that led to BLACKPINK’s eventual rise to stardom, as Coachella helped launch BLACKPINK to a mainstream audience.

Expectations for their performance were high, and they did not disappoint. Everything from stage presence, styling, and dancing to live vocals was flawless. The only drawback was that, at the time, BLACKPINK had a limited discography, which made their setlist feel short. Additionally, only Jennie had a solo stage, as she was the only member to debut as a soloist at the time. It would have been nice to see all the members have their own little moment.

2. ATEEZ

ATEEZ’s Coachella stage earned them international acclaim, and it’s not hard to see why. Besides performing shirtless and making the already hot atmosphere even hotter, their energy never faltered despite their hard-hitting choreography.

Additionally, the group earned praise for their vocal prowess, hard-hitting raps, and flawless choreography. As the first K-pop boy group to hit the Coachella stage, ATEEZ did not disappoint. Their performance definitely left a mark with festivalgoers. The next boy group to be invited has some big shoes to fill!

1. BLACKPINK (2023)

Taking the top spot is none other than K-pop’s “It Girls,” BLACKPINK, with their 2023 Coachella stage. At the time, they achieved a new milestone: They became the first K-pop group to headline Coachella!

Their performance was so well-loved that Coachella was dubbed “PINKCHELLA” in 2023. Everything from their charisma to the way they hyped up the crowd to their solo performance was perfectly executed. This time, all the members were able to perform solo stages, as they had all debuted as soloists. Additionally, their setlist for this stage was noticeably longer, as they had released their first full-length album in 2020. It’s a stage that every K-pop fan has to have seen at least once!

(featured image: Adrián Monroy/Medios y Media/Getty Images)


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Author
Alexandria Lopez
Alexandria "Alexa" Lopez (She/Her) is a Freelance Writer for TheMarySue.Com. She graduated with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific and has been writing online since 2017. Currently residing in Metro Manila, Alexa has been a fan of K-pop since she was a child, and this is a phase she will likely never outgrow. Besides that, Alexa loves video games, anime, and keeping up her Duolingo streak.