The DeetsNorth America: California, Southern California, West Coast
Pros:View Larger Map Epic Lineup, Unique Art, On Site Camping (Limited)
Cons:Cost, Ticket Availability, Heat, Distance from Major Airport
Coachella is one of the best music festivals in the world and continually redefines the limits of what a great music and arts festival can bring. Although a bit expensive, it is an experience that you will never forget.
oachellais one of the largest music festivals in North America and is notorious for it’s cutting edge lineup of fresh talent in the genres of Indie, Folk, Electronic Dance Music, Dubstep, and Hip Hop. The festival is put on by Golden Voice, and features nearly 200 artist performances over Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the second and third weekends of April. The festival has 6 venues that continuously host performances throughout the day and night from 11:00am – 1:00am. Each venue has a corresponding name as follows:
- Coachella Stage (the main stage)
- Outdoor Theater (2nd largest stage)
- Gobie (smaller stage, equivalent to the Mojave stage)
- Mojave (smaller stage, equivalent to the Gobie stage)
- Sahara (EDM and Dubstep stage)
- Do Lab (Continuously launches water into the crowd when the weather is hot.)
- The Heiniken Dome. (Small air conditioned EDM venue)
Coachella typically has 3 large headlining acts on their Main Stage over the weekend, typically an EDM artist on Friday, Indie/Rock on Saturday, and Rap/Hip-Hop on Sunday. The majority of the festival is focused on the genres of Indie/Folk, however the festival has grown to include the Sahara Tent, which is exclusively Electronic Dance and Dubstep throughout the weekend.
he idea of Coachella was born in 1993 out of a protest of Ticketmaster’s domination of performance venues in the United States. Pearl Jam joined the movement and helped organize and headline a concert at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California. While the event was not branded ‘Coachella, it gave birth to the idea that the Empire Polo Fields could support a large-scale event, especially given Indio’s centralized 2-3 hour proximity to major populated cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
he first branded Coachella Music Festival came about six years later in 1999. The 1999 event acquired only 25,000 attendees and was a financial disaster, nearly ending the annual festival before it could grow into the massively popular 3 day weekend that exists today. The fiscal issues of 1999 carried over into the next year, what would have been Coachella 2000, but never took place. The Coachella Music Festival was again attempted in 2001, however due to more funding issues only took place on one day. The event has many organizational issues including the absence of a confirmed headliner until just a few weeks before the 1 day festival. This hurt sales and the music festival was once again mired with financial troubles, however Golden Voice was able to regroup in 2002 and throw a full 2 day festival with a lineup including acts like a reunited Siouxsie and the Banshees, and other acts like Björk and Oasis that finally proved the Coachella concept could work. 2003 was the first year that Coachella received eager attention when the festival featured headliners like the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This proved that the Coachella Music Festival could establish itself as a yearly function and ever year since has been a financial success.
he following year was the first time Coachella sold out of tickets after releasing an epic lineup that included the recently reunited Pixies, Radiohead, Kraftwerk and The Cure, however it continued to be a two day event until 2007, when it expanded into the full three day lineup that currently exists. 2007 broke the previous attendance record when headliner Rage Against the Machine attracted over 100,000 attendees. Coachella continued to be a success and in 2010 began it’s expanse into becoming a music and arts festival. They began featuring one-of-a-kind large-scale sculptures and electronic artistry, which is now one of the defining attributes of Coachella. This was also the first year that the music festival ceased to sell single day tickets and made the event exclusively 3 day passes, however the change didn’t hurt the festival’s attendance as over 60,000 weekend passes were sold, with headliner acts like Jay-Z, Muse, the Gorillaz, and LCD Sound System.
he 2011 festival was the first time Coachella sold out after the 3-day passes were enforced, however there was a large outcry from Coachella fans that the festival had been bought out by scalpers. In response, Golden Voice (the organizers of Coachella,) announced that the 2012 would feature 2 full weekends of the festival, each weekend having the exact same lineup. This proved to have no effect on sales, with both weekends selling out in under 45 minutes. This made the 2012 Coachella Music festival one of the most attended festivals in the world, with over 120,000 three day passes sold in a matter of minutes to see acts like the Swedish House Mafia, the Black Keys, Radiohead, and Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre (with an infamous resurrected Tupac Shakur hologram.)
2012 set a new standard for the popularity of Coachella and was one of the first years where international attendance represented a significant portion of ticket sales. With the massive attendance and financial successes of 2012, the festival has become one of the most notorious in the world. The upcoming 2013 year will likely prove to be another record breaking season with pre-sale tickets already sold out. One of the great qualities of Coachella is the vastness of the performance roster and their attention to up-and-coming artists. For the past few years Coachella has proved to select one of the best performance lineups of any festival, and their ability to tie the whole weekend together seamlessly with music, arts, and culture have proven to raise the bar on what to expect form a music festival.