Among all the community events that are held around the globe, music festivals have to be one of the tops most popular events you can attend, given their exceptionally high popularity with people and the youth especially. These festivals host a vast number of participating bands, take place over a couple of days (sometimes a full week or even more), so there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. Although there are many music festivals held all around the globe, the Coachella holds a special place in the hearts of fans who make sure to attend it every year.
What is Coachella? Just a large music festival held annually in Indio, California every year, hosting performances by some of the biggest names in the music, fashion, and arts industry. The Coachella may have started small, but over the last two decades has risen to fame and glory to be recognized as one of the best music festivals to be organized on an annual basis.
The Coachella festival, or the “Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival” in it’s full, unabbreviated form (though some people call it the Chella and save themselves a great deal of trouble), is as the name suggests arts and music festival. The event features performances and concerts from musical artists from many genres, including rock, pop, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music. Even though the arts were not originally a feature of the Coachella festival when it first started, they have turned their role from a side-show to the music to an actual attraction as the years have gone by. Today, Coachella is regarded as an excellent showcase for visual arts, including installation art and sculpture, with many of the pieces being interactive, providing a visual treat for attendees. This showcase of visual art has only grown in scale and outrageousness over the years, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
The Coachella is also very famous for its Bohemian theme and how this theme spreads into all aspects of the festival. It’s traditional for everyone attending the festival to be dressed in Bohemian attire (though not mandatory obviously) and the decorations to be themed with light colors and with those 70’s retro vibes. The choice for having Coachella Bohemian themed only makes sense, however, because much of where the Coachella is held in the desert and the light, free-flowing clothing fabrics characteristic of Bohemian attire are perfect for this weather.
What to wear to the Coachella festival? & What is the Coachella Festival? The story about how the Coachella came about is quite an interesting one. It all started with a feud between a venue management company (the guys that rent the venue for an event and arrange to a ticket for consumers) Ticketmaster and a band Pearl Jam that wanted to hold a concert in Indio, California way back in 1993. As it turns out, Pearl Jam was unhappy about the way Ticketmaster was handling the ticketing side of things, saying that the company was outright ripping off both the band and the people who’d come to see the concert. After reaching a deadlock in negotiations, Pearl Jam decided to venture its separate way, calling for a boycott of all venues that were controlled by Ticketmaster at the time.
The result? Pearl Jam took its concert to a new location that wasn’t under Ticketmaster’s control and hosted their concert there. While the concert itself wasn’t something too special, the location where they chose to hold their concert formed the ultimate basis of the creation of Coachella in 1999. The site the band chose was the Empire Polo Club grounds, and they're holding a concert there proved the site’s capability to host a significant music event, thus giving Paul Tollet and Rick van Santen the inspiration to start holding the Coachella festival annually. Today, the festival is managed by Goldenvoice, a company co-founded by Toilet and Santen and a subsidiary of the AED Live group and has grown to house an audience of over 250,000 in over the past two decades.
When it comes to event management, the Coachella is one event that sticks to traditions very seriously. The first Coachella festival was held on the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California, and the venue for the festival hasn’t changed once since the inception of the festival two decades ago. The festival has however grown outwards from this main venue into occupying surrounding areas and branching off its events between these places, to host the maximum number of performances in the least amount of time. The main stages are the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and Sahara Tent, while newer stage areas include the Oasis Dome, the Yuma stage and the Sonora stage.
While the Coachella festival started as a single day festival, the increase in popularity among visitors and growing audience meant that the event had to be stretched out longer and longer, increasing from one day to two then three, until it finally grew so large that it had to be held on two consecutive weekends in its present state. The festival is held at the beginning of April every year and this year’s Coachella is meant to start on the 12th of April.
Given how big the festival has grown over the past 20 years, you can expect a lot of activities at the music festival. Since there are a lot of performances happening simultaneously across the many stages the Coachella occupies, you can always expect to have something to do at the Coachella during any time of the day. Besides music, the festival is a hotspot for art exhibitions and Bohemian inspired fashion shows so you could even give those activities a try if you’re bored with music (as if that’s possible, but whatever). The festival is also an excellent magnet for celebrities who attend it to have a good time so keep an eye out for movie stars and fashion icons; you might be able to get that autograph you’ve always wanted from Leonardo Di Caprio.
The fact that the Coachella is quite expensive to attend ($429 for a three-day pass) when it was high ticket pricing that led to its inception is nothing short of ironic. Granted, you’re paying for a great music and arts experience, but the price is still pretty steep, especially considering that it doesn’t even cover living expenses; the cheapest option you have is car camping, and even that can cost you an extra $100 to rent a car spot.