Ariana Grande tied a bow atop her last twelve months Sunday night when she closed out Weekend 1 of Coachella 2019 featuring a set that saw cameos from *NSYNC, Mase, Diddy, and frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj. The performance cemented her role as the newest Pop queen. But no one benefited more than the fans who helped the superstar to her current level as one of the most-followed, most-streamed artists in the world. Doing what only made sense, we walked around the grounds and spoke to Arianators about seeing their numero uno live on one of the world’s largest stages, what they did while they waiting for headline set, and why she deserved to be there.
Courtney, 20, Ridgecrest, California
I got the tickets after [I found out she was going to be here]. When she started making music I thought “Damn, this girl’s pretty dope.” I actually spent 10 hours in the front row [for her headlining set] waiting for her and as soon as Khalid was done, I got pushed and fainted. So they pulled me over the barrier and now I can’t see her from the front row. I’m a little upset about it. I cried in the medic booth for about an hour but I’m ok now. There was another guy who came from Australia and waited to 10 hours just to see her. Coachella, the headliners are kinda becoming the more Pop and Hip-Hop artists… and so with the change of the style, I can’t think of a better Pop artist to headline than her. She’s a bad bitch, honestly. She can be a little rude at times. A lot of people don’t like her for that… If we were that rich and that talented and that famous, we would be the same exact way as her, so she’s a realistic icon. I also waited 10 hours to see Billie [Eilish] and waited a couple hours to see BLACKPINK.
Sage, 28, Los Angeles, California
It’s my first time being at Coachella, I was excited to experience [the festival], then finding out Ariana Grande was headlining was the whole cake and icing. She’s real, she’s hilarious, super pretty and she stands up for a lot of things; rights, equality. I like that about her. She’s well-spoken, she’s educated and she’s using her platform whenever she wants instead of when someone tells her to. And on top of that her voice is amazing. There’s not really many who are vocally talented at this moment. A lot of them is production, a lot of them are auto-tuned. At the moment I think she’s top but if you want to back, there’s Christina [Aguilera], Mariah [Carey], and Beyoncé obviously but Ariana’s getting up there. She’s definitely got the gay vote. I came in and saw Zedd, was hoping Katy came out and she did. I went and saw a little bit of Perfume because I like the whole K-Pop and J-Pop, anime and all that — super cutesy shit.
Morgan, 25, Hunstville, Alabama
I was here last year when she performed for the first time since Manchester. I fuck with her. I feel like she represents so many people. She represents women, men. She’s not judgmental. She’s very honest women when she speaks out, like she’s not fake. And she admits when she messes up. Like when she tweets something and it comes off the wrong way, she’ll admit it. She’ll be like “you know what, I was dumb and I shouldn’t have said that.” And I like that about her.
Alyssa, 21, Tucson, Arizona
I like some other artists too but she was the main one I bought my ticket to come see. Khalid I’m really excited to see. I think she’s an up-and-coming artist and I feel like to see her at her peak is amazing. My favorite song of her’s is “Needy”. I’m going to cry when I hear it.
Ariana & Bri, 25, Newport Beach, California
I’ve been debating like is it Coachella or is an Ariana Grande concert. I feel really basic but I’m excited. We saw Billie Eilish. She was fire! We saw Sean Paul come out with J Balvin. I wanted him to play “Temperature”. He came on for like a half a sec and left, I was like “where are you going?” Trying to go to YG. But a few years ago I thought Ariana was a little basic and then this last album Thank U, Next completely changed my mind. I feel like she get’s deep but has fun. She’s feminine but dark at the same time. I feel like she’s like to entertain and have a good time. This last album took her from a child star to an actual star and that’s why she’s here. Should wouldn’t be here without that album. The whole Mac Miller shit — she’s like I’ve had all this shit happen to me, I’m going to be real I’m going to be open.” She paints a beautiful picture of what life is. If you can ride those ups and downs and enjoy it as best you can. And she does it with a lot of grace for how young she is.
I listen to music. I write about it. I like hot sauce on my chicken.