The festival season is officially open with a super-sized Coachella Valley Music And Arts festival kicking off in Indio, California. This year's edition features a historical lineup: Lady Gaga will be the first female headliner since 2007, when Björk took the main stage at the desert festival. Gaga is a late – but anchoring – addition, replacing Beyoncé after Queen Bey announced she was expecting.

Music in the desert

Everything feels bigger in Indio this time around. Known for its art installations and unbearable heat during the day, Coachella has expanded in size and crowds began forming early on Friday, a traditionally sluggish opening day.

Crystal Castles, Father John Misty, Steve Angello, Glass Animals, The xx, Empire of the Sun, and headliners Radiohead are the main attractions on Friday. Bon Iver, DJ Snake, Bastille, Future and headliner Lady Gaga will take the stage on Saturday, the main day of the festival. On Sunday, Justice, New Order, Lorde, and Kendrick Lamar will close the festivities... for the week. The exact same lineup returns to the Coachella Valley next weekend, April 21-23.

Tickets for the festival, which go for $399 a pop, sold out in under three hours this year (it wasn't a record, though; they have sold out in under an hour in years past). The Empire Polo Club grounds will welcome 99,000 festivalgoers per weekend.

But something feels different: there seems to be more diversity this time around.

Eclectic and exclusive

For everyone else who didn't get a pass, there will be plenty of streams to watch – the organization has four different channels featuring a variety of artists on its website, plus a dedicated YouTube channel. To spice things up, the streams will also be available in 360º, for viewers who have a virtual reality headset.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival is one of the world's most famous events, almost since its inception in 1999. Hundreds of celebrities, the coolest artists, and festivalgoers eager to show off their fashion-forward styles (and post them on Instagram) are to be found everywhere.

In 2017, several art installations are featured all around the Empire Polo Club grounds.

Brazilian artist Gustavo Prado will show off his "Lamp beside the golden door," a lighthouse with thousands of mirrors. His inspiration, fitting the social and political environment in the U.S., was his own immigration story. He wants people to see how everything is interconnected – even here, at Coachella, one of the most expensive and exclusive festivals in the world.