It’s that time of the year again when festival season kicks off with fun celebrations all over California and the country. The king of all festivals is Coachella, a three-day event located in Indio just a few miles east of Palm Springs. Through the years, I saw Coachella evolving from a small indie festival into the biggest music event on the planet. It started off as a one-day festival in 1999 and was lucky enough to be one of the few cool kids attending it in 2001, when no one knew it even existed. It gradually added more days but, besides the main headliners, the majority of the bands and DJs were still bona fide indie. Then, the festival added more big bands, more money was charged, and single day tickets were gone. Although, I was able to attend Coachella for free most of the times (and VIP, LOL) I thought and I still think that the policy of charging for the whole three days without offering the option of a one day pass, is a little lame.
For the first time this year, the festival is going to be held for two weekends in order to accommodate the wide demand. Wow, what’s going to happen in the future? Is it going to be a month-long festival? No hard feelings, Coachella, I just miss the early innocent days. I have great memories and despite all, I wish I was there now. The atmosphere is always so cool and magical especially at sunset when the sky turns pink and awesome bands perform against the magnificent setting of the San Jacinto Mountains and tall palm trees. The giant grassy polo field transforms itself into a colorful open air circus with art installations all lit up and music pumping from every corner.
I saw many of my favorite bands at Coachella (including Faith No More, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Massive Attack, Blur, etc…) and many new emerging ones (The White Stripes, The Strokes, Bloc Party, etc..) but the performance that really surprised me was Madonna’s in 2006. I would have never imagined in a million years to see the Material Girl herself performing inside a tent in the desert! It was very special — this is the stuff Coachella is made of: unexpected music acts and great memories.
Below is my Coachella memory lane with the years I attended: