Last weekend, the 15th Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival took place at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Fields. The crowds were wowed by performances from Outkast, the Pixies, Fatboy Slim, Bombay Bicycle Club, amongst many others.
The polo fields may be 20 miles away from Palm Springs, but Coachella is a key part of the city’s spring events calendar, which also includes fun-packed LGBT gatherings such as the Dinah Shore Weekend and the White Party.
So how did Coachella begin? Grunge rockers Pearl Jam played a memorable show at the Empire Polo Fields in 1993, partly to protest against Ticketmaster’s monopoly over US live music venues. The success of the event led to the creation of a full-scale festival in 1999 featuring such legends as Beck, Moby and Rage Against the Machine.
Since then, Coachella has grown even bigger and better, attracting the likes of Madonna and Paul McCartney. The festival has also played host to the reunions of Outkast and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Originally Coachella only lasted for three days – now it spreads across two whole weekends.
Some have criticised Coachella for selling out to corporate interests – in 1999 you didn’t have stages and parties being sponsored by media and fashion brands. However, you can’t argue with the fact that last year Coachella enjoyed record-breaking attendances and made $67 million – way more than any other music festival in history.
For more info on the exciting history of Coachella, check out this timeline courtesy of Palm Springs’ tourism website.
image source – www.coachella.com / http://instagram.com/coachella / https://www.facebook.com/coachella