Michael Bibi on playing Coachella with “mixed emotions” following cancer treatment: “It actually gives you a sense of purpose again”

“Getting back out into the world and connecting with human beings is a good feeling.”

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Image: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Michael Bibi has opened up about playing his first show at Coachella since undergoing cancer treatment and the “mixed emotions” the experience evoked.

Bibi’s set at the Indio, California event last weekend (13 April) marks his first performance of the year. The London DJ was diagnosed with CNS Lymphoma, a rare form of brain cancer last Summer, and was forced to cancel all of his gigs while receiving treatment.

Prior to the show, Bibi posted on X: “One year ago I was given a 30% chance of survival, today I’m packing to perform at Coachella… Never give up on your hopes or dreams.”

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat after the event, Bibi said: “It was emotional, it was intense – there was happiness, there was some sadness. And there was just a huge range of emotions coming through.”

The musician added that the Coachella gig marked the longest distance he’s travelled since treatment, stating: “That was a big step in itself, just getting on a plane and coming to the US. And then adding on top of that, doing my first show and coming to a festival, it was a lot.”

“But it actually gives you a sense of purpose again, moving and coming back out into reality and seeing people. Because I’ve been kind of sheltering a lot, because of the treatments, I’ve had to kind of isolate myself. So getting back out into the world and connecting with human beings is a good feeling.”

Bibi also shared that while he’s currently “physically well”, he’s still dealing with what he’s been through “day by day”.

“It’s just a kind of a mental processing,” he said. “Just kind of mentally catching up on everything that I’ve been through. Because I think when you get into a really intense situation, you kind of go into fight or flight mode.

“And you just have to get through that moment and period of time and you’re not really processing everything that’s happening to you.”

Elsewhere, Bibi also commented on Grimes’ DJing fluke at Coachella, saying: “Everyone’s been in bad situations when they’re DJing. I’ve been in situations where everything stops working or the left deck doesn’t work and the right deck just doesn’t do what you want to do.”

“You just have to try and adapt and do the best you can with a bad situation, which is horrible when it does happen.”


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