Los Bunkers first Chilean band to play Coachella Festival in US

The rock group from Concepción will be among 185 acts to play at this year’s edition of the festival, one of the largest and most influential in the United States.

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Los Bunkers will be the first Chilean band to play at California’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States. They will appear on the third and final day of the festival along with major acts like The National, Ratatat, Duran Duran, and headliners The Strokes and Kanye West.

Though the individual members of Los Bunkers had played in various groups before, the band formed under its current name in 1999 in the southern Chilean city of Concepción where they attracted local fame through performances of some original songs mixed with covers of artists like The Beatles, David Bowie and The Who.

The band moved to Santiago in 2000 where they immediately began giving concerts in venues around the city, garnering enough attention to record their first full-length album just one year later. Over the last ten years, Los Bunkers have released six studio albums, most recently Música Libre (Free Music) in 2010. In that time, they have become one of Chile’s most popular rock bands, drawing on the major bands of American and English classic rock traditions, as well as the most influential songwriters of Chile, from beloved folk icon Victor Jara, to popular 90s band Los Tres.

Since its inaugural concert in 1999, Coachella has become one of the most prominent music festivals in the country. In 2010, Coachella’s 11th edition (there was no concert in 2000) drew an astonishing crowd of 225,000 people in the course of three days to hear major headlining acts like Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and seminal 1990s rock band Pavement.

Visitors camp on the grounds for the three days of music, while avant-garde performance and installation artists contribute their works, which are spread between the five main stages and several smaller performance venues.

The 185 performers set to play April 15 and 17 of this year represent an incredible diversity of genres and backgrounds, from electronic, to hip hop to rock, from major, internationally known musicians to smaller, up and coming performers just beginning to reach a larger audience.

For Los Bunkers, and for the larger community of Chilean musicians and bands, this appearance at Coachella represents a major step toward international fame and recognition of one of Latin America’s most vibrant alternative and independent music scenes.