Work Diaries: Behind the scenes at Coachella with YouTube Music's Andrea Barbosa
We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience the inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down.
Featured today: Andrea Barbosa joined YouTube in 2018 as a Partnerships Manager for YouTube Music in Latin America. Based in Mexico, she builds and establishes lasting relationships with management companies and artists, and through the years has worked closely with artists like Carin León, Tainy, Yahritza y su Esencia, Peso Pluma and Bruses.
So it’s no surprise how important Coachella is for her each and every year. Throughout the festival, she’s making sure everything goes smoothly for her artists, from tracking down our YouTube content studio to helping capture Shorts and more content for the participating artists. Here’s more from her big weekend:
Day 1: Friday, April 21
Morning: I started the day with a good workout and hearty breakfast, because I know I’d need a lot of energy.
I decided to wear a tank top, loose-fitting pants and comfortable sneakers for the first day. I also brought some essentials: a bandana in my bag to protect from dust, sunscreen, handkerchiefs, money, and a cell phone battery.
First up was a meeting with Los Aptos, a Mexican trio that creates awesome Sad Sierreño Alternativo (if you've haven’t heard them, do it now.)
Afternoon: We started with a strong coffee and met early with Los Aptos, who took lots of photos and videos in the YouTube content studio with our Social team. The trio were guest performers at the Dannylux show so we went to watch them play and picked up some official Merch along the way.
The Dannylux show didn’t disappoint (another special guest was Cuco), attracting a huge audience on the Sonora stage — including many proud Mexicans. The highlight was when he brought his father on stage, who had gone viral with the quote: “The last time I was at Coachella, I was picking up trash. Today I watched my son perform." At the end, we went backstage and they promised to visit us at the YouTube Mexico office.
At 5:30 pm, Becky G impressed with her top hits from her Fulanito, Mayores, and brought up guests like Libianca to sing their People's collaboration and Natti Natasha to sing Sin Pijama. In the middle of the show, she celebrated being Mexican by singing a medley of Selena's hits.
After the show Libianca came to visit us in the studio and filmed Shorts and took magazine cover photos. I loved her vibe!
Evening: One of the things I love most about my job is discovering new artists and festivals are a great opportunity for that. On the Gobi stage I had the opportunity to meet Ashnikko, an American singer who mixes pop, hip hop and rock with a very unique style. She entered the stage with her dancers with bold choreography and attitude. Her stage presence and power mesmerizes you!
Of course, the night ended with Bad Bunny with the highlight of the day and probably of the festival. I loved the surprise participation of Grupo Frontera, with whom they currently have their #1 hit “Un X100TO.” But the best part was that they also sang "No se va" and "Bebe Dame,” top hits on YouTube. The audience was a sea of people and the vast majority sang in Spanish with Bad Bunny. A GREAT end to a great day.
I’m really excited to see Mexican female artists like Bratty growing on the global scene.
Day 2: Saturday, April 22
Morning: Ready for day two! I’m really excited to see Mexican female artists like Bratty growing on the global scene; her participation in Coachella makes me so happy and I get to meet with her today!
Today's look was a bit cooler since we were told that it would be the hottest day of the festival, so I put on my shorts and extra sunscreen.
Afternoon: One of my tasks on Saturday was to find Rosalía's team. She had just received her 10M diamond play button but couldn’t bring it on her flight home. So I asked our teams to mail it to her office in Spain and Rosalía was thrilled!
At this point, Bratty arrived at the content studio with her manager and I congratulated her on playing at Coachella and the rest of the tour in the United States. Coincidentally, one of her favorite artists Snail Mail was filming content, so we were able to introduce them and have them talk about music, Mexico, and more. This is probably one of my favorite parts of my job — seeing artists meet and collaborate.
Then, I received a message from a colleague letting me know that Eladio Carrion would come to the studio to record content. Within 3 minutes, I confirmed that we had space, and went to look for them to take him into the space. This is the main reason to wear comfortable sneakers at Coachella — you never know when you’ll have to run as fast as you can within the festival grounds.
Finally, Bruses arrived. I’ve been working closely with her since she was a Foundry artist in 2022. Her red-and-black outfit was incredible! She had fun creating content and taking photos of herself in our studio and I introduced her to a lot of other people on the YouTube team.
Evening: With work done for the day, I was free to enjoy the festival. We went to watch Sofi Tukker at the Outdoor Theater and then went to the Coachella stage to see Rosalía. It was interesting watching so many people experience Rosalía for the first time, amazed by her voice and her presence on stage. She gave it her all on Saturday. The surprise guest was Tokischa to interpret her very famous hit “Linda” and personally, one of my favorite songs from my running playlist.
I hadn't eaten since noon, so we grabbed falafel gyros, which were delicious and tasted heavenly after walking from one place to the other for hours.
We closed the day watching Blackpink's super presentation with impeccable choreography and elaborate set and lighting design. Undoubtedly the best show of the day, ending with fireworks to celebrate a great end of day 2. And we have one more day to go!
Today's highlight: Introducing Bratty with Snail Mail and the Blackpink show!
Day 3: Sunday April 23
Morning: By the second weekend of Coachella the workload drops, so I had time to watch more shows by artists I was curious to see live.
Since it was the last day of the last weekend, we had brunch with the whole team before going home. There were colleagues from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and we were able to mingle and catch up in person.
Afternoon: Then I went to the festival to catch a bit of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, but the heat was unbearable so I took refuge in our YouTube trailers to hydrate and put on more sunscreen. And luckily I was there to meet Black Voices Fund artists, Tempest. I was able to welcome her to our space and chat a little with her and her team. It's so important to know about all the projects we do globally, you never know when artists who are managed by our other colleagues might arrive.
Later I also met with Feli Colina, an incredible emerging artist from Argentina, who participated in the Fabulosos Cadillacs show. We used the studio to capture content for her channel. She was so comfortable in front of the cameras, I know that the results will be incredible!
Then I watched Romy's shows on the Gobi stage (as a fan of The XX, I was excited to see her with her electronic project) and then, a little further away, Weyes Blood on the Mojave stage .
Evening: Got hungry and I indulged in a burger back to the main stage where Kali Uchis would soon start. She had impeccable vocals and dance moves to go along with her romantic lyrics.
We suddenly received a message that Gordo had arrived at the studio. Luckily I was a quick 5 minute walk away, so I jumped in to help out, represent the Music team and say hello to his team.
Once they wrapped, I returned to the main stage to see Bjork, a beautiful show accompanied by orchestra, with drones in the sky forming beautiful shapes and mesmerizing the audience.
Of course, I had to end the weekend by trying to get as close as possible to see Blink-182. The 14-year-old me was in the clouds singing the classics, “What's my age again?”,” I miss you,” “The Rock Show,” and more. The audience was dominated by Millennials but I was surprised to see much younger audiences singing along to all the lyrics.
After hours of being on my feet, I wondered if I’d have the energy to see Four Tet x Fred again.. x Skrillex. I will always be grateful for my foolishness this year to stay until the end because I not only found energy to stay, I walked out of the show with twice the energy. I danced and jumped, completely forgetting my sore feet as I was infected with the energy of these artists and fans. It was an unforgettable ending to another successful Coachella.
Today's highlight: Blink-182 and the festival’s closing.