Winging It? Why Idris Elba Is Not Rehearsing for Coachella

Idris Elba acknowledges that Coachella is “the biggest music festival in America,” but he won’t let the size of the crowd nor his nerves scare him into over-preparing for his DJ set.

“No rehearsals,” the Golden Globe winner, 46, told Us Weekly exclusively while attending a screening of Yardie, which he directed, at Crosby Street Hotel in New York City on Sunday, March 10. “I’ve got a two-hour set, so I’m just going to bang some great records together. I’m in a dance tent with other DJs who play what I play, so hopefully we’re just going to bring some energy.”

While Elba is best known for his roles in The Wire, Luther and the Avengers films, among many films and TV shows, he has also made a name for himself in the music industry under the moniker DJ Big Driis. He even spun some records at Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s May 2018 wedding reception!

“Deejaying is great, man,” the actor told Us and other reporters. “I’ve had a great few years doing it, doing it where people know more about it, doing Coachella this year.”

Elba admitted that he “of course” feels nervous to perform at the annual Indio, California, music festival, but he is still looking forward to it. “Coachella is a big deal,” he noted. “I’m excited about that.”

The 2019 Coachella lineup was announced in January, with headliners Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande set to take the stage over two weeks in mid-April. Other performers include Janelle Monáe, The 1975, Kacey Musgraves, Solange, Kid Cudi, Weezer, J Balvin, Khalid and Zedd.

Multiple sources previously told Us Weekly that Kanye West and Justin Timberlake were supposed to headline the show but ultimately backed out. One insider explained that the “I Am a God” rapper, 41, decided he was “done performing on limiting stages and feels they restrict his artistic ability,” while the “Mirrors” singer, 38, was forced to pull out due to a scheduling conflict with his ongoing Man of the Woods tour.

Elba, for his part, had no idea that West and Timberlake were originally in the running. “I didn’t even know that,” he told Us on Sunday. “I’m sorry. I live under a rock.”

With reporting by Nicki Gostin

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