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What is Coachella?

While scrolling through your social media feed, you have probably seen people posting about Coachella nonstop for the past few weeks. Or maybe you're planning on attending Coachella yourself and are wondering what it's all about. 

Whether you know it or not, you've probably heard of Coachella. It's one of the most popular music festivals in the world, attracting celebrities, musicians, and regular people from all walks of life.

This guide will give you an in-depth understanding of the festival and help you decide if it is something you would be interested in attending. Let's get started.

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09/15/2023 02:10 am GMT

What is Coachella?
What is Coachella?

Coachella is an annual music festival held in Empire Polo Club, Indio, California. The festival is one of the largest and most popular in the United States, with an attendance of over 250,000 people each year.

It features various musical genres, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music. The festival is also known for its large-scale art installations and sculptures.

With its proximity to Los Angeles, Coachella has become a popular destination for celebrities and music lovers. The festival has been headlined by some of the biggest names in music, including Beyonce, Eminem, Muse, and Radiohead.

Also, the festival is held over two weekends, with identical lineups each weekend. This allows attendees to see all their favorite bands and artists without missing any.

⇒ READ NEXT: Best Hotels Near Coachella

Origin And History

Named “The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival,” the event has an intriguing backstory. It started when the band Pearl Jam disagreed with Ticketmaster over their service fees. The band claimed that the fees were unfair to both fans and artists. In response, Pearl Jam looked into performing at venues that didn't use Ticketmaster.

Eventually, the band performed at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California – where the festival is still held today. In 2012, the festival became so popular that it was split into two separate weekends. Also, several different stages were set up to accommodate more bands.

How has Coachella Changed Over The Years?

Since its humble beginnings, Coachella has grown exponentially in popularity. What was once a small, intimate music festival has become one of the world's most highly anticipated annual events. In 1999, the festival drew just over 10,000 attendees. This year, nearly  158,387 people attended each day of the festival.

Coachella has also changed in terms of its lineup. The first Coachella featured mostly rock bands, but the festival has since expanded to include various genres, from EDM to hip-hop to pop. In recent years, some of the biggest names in music have headlined Coachella, including Beyonce, Eminem, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 festivals were canceled. However, Coachella returned in 2022 with an impressive lineup that includes Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Kanye West, and Swedish House Mafia.

How Much Are Coachella Tickets Typically?

A General Admission ticket to Coachella costs $549-$649, depending on when you purchase it. If you would like to add a shuttle pass to your order, the cost is an additional $649-$699. The VIP tickets are the most expensive, costing $1,119-$1,399.

How Long is Coachella?

The duration of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is two weekends. The festival is held in Indio, east of Palm Springs, during weekends typically in April. You can expect to see a lineup of world-renowned musical artists, art installations, and exhibits. Also, various food and drink options are available throughout the festival. Whether you’re a music lover, artist, or just looking to have a good time, you’ll find something to enjoy at Coachella.

How Many People Attend Coachella Festival?

The people who attend Coachella are as diverse as the music genres represented at the festival. In 2011, Coachella had an attendance of 75,000 people per day, estimated that 40% of attendees were from out of state. In 2022, 158,387 people attended the event. With an attendance like that, it's no wonder that the festival has become one of the most popular music festivals in the world.

What to Wear to Coachella?

It's no secret that Coachella is one of the most stylish festivals around. With celebs and fashionistas descending on Indio, California, for the annual event, there's a lot of pressure to look good. So, what should you wear to Coachella? Some simple tips:

  1. Hat Is Essential: A stylish hat is a must to protect you from the desert sun. Try a fedora or cowboy hat for a classic Coachella look.
  2. Go Boho: Channel your inner flower child with floaty dresses, paisley prints, and lots of fringes. Also, don't forget to pile on the jewelry!
  3. Keep It Cool: The desert can be HOT, so light fabrics and easy-breezy silhouettes are key. Think cutoff shorts, maxi dresses, and crop tops.
  4. Accessorize: Statement sunglasses, a funky bag, and some fun jewelry add personality to any outfit.
  5. Comfort Is Key: You'll be doing a lot of walking (and maybe even dancing), so make sure your shoes are comfortable. Fashionable sneakers or cowboy boots are perfect for this.
  6. Be Yourself: Ultimately, the most important thing is to wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. After all, you're there to have fun!

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Who Are The Most Famous Artists that Have Played Coachella?

Some of the most famous artists that have played Coachella include:

Beyonce: The American singer headlined Coachella in 2018, becoming the first black woman to do so. Also, her performance was highly praised and is considered one of the best in Coachella history.

Prince: With his iconic purple suit and guitar, Prince graced the Coachella stage in 2008. Sadly, he passed away just a few years later, making his performance even more special.

Daft Punk: The French electronic duo performed at Coachella in 2006, donning their now-signature robot helmets. It was an unforgettable performance, and they haven't been back since.

The Cure: The gothic rockers have played Coachella several times, most recently in 2016. They're known for their long sets and passionate performances.

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg: The two rappers performed together at Coachella in 2012, and it was a momentous occasion. They brought out special guests like Eminem and Tupac (in hologram form), and the crowd went wild.

Kanye West: Kanye has performed at Coachella multiple times, both as a solo artist and with his band, Kanye West and Jay-Z. He always puts on a good show, and his concerts are always highly anticipated.

Pixies: The alternative rockers reunited in 2004 after an 11-year break and played Coachella that year. They were so well-received that they came back and headlined again in 2014.

What Type Of Music Can You Expect To Hear At Coachella?

Coachella is not just about the headliners. One thing that makes this festival so special is the variety of music you can enjoy. The genres include:

  • Hip-Hop: You can expect to hear some of the biggest names in hip-hop at Coachella. Previous headliners have included Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and Eminem.
  • Indie: Indie music has always been popular at Coachella. The festival recently saw performances from Tame Impala, Lorde, and Arcade Fire.
  • EDM: Electronic dance music has become increasingly popular at Coachella recently. Some of the biggest names in the genre, such as Calvin Harris and Tiesto, have headlined the festival.
  • Rock: With headliners like Muse and Queens of the Stone Age, it's no surprise that rock music is also well represented at Coachella.

As you can see, there is something for everyone at Coachella. No matter your taste in music, you're sure to find something you enjoy.

Featuring Art At Coachella

With plenty of live music to enjoy, Coachella is also a hub for visual arts, including installation art and sculptures. The interactive element of many of these pieces provides an extra visual layer of enjoyment for attendees. Recycling art from the annual Burning Man festival was commonplace in Coachella's early years due to smaller budgets.

Now, Goldenvoice- the company that produces Coachella- puts more of an emphasis on commissioning specific pieces for the festival. This allows artists to have greater control over their work and creates a more distinct Coachella identity. Many sculptures are only assembled 10 days before the event, so attendees get to see them come to life right before their eyes.

Also, because of the high cost of re-assembly, only about half of the sculptures are reused at other festivals. This makes Coachella a truly unique experience. The festival has become increasingly important to artists as it provides great exposure to their work.

What To Look For While Going To Coachella?

If you're lucky enough to have tickets to this year's event, here's what you need to know to make the most of your experience.

Plan Ahead Of Time: The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have your tickets in hand. Coachella does not allow entry without a valid ticket, so ensure you have yours well in advance. You should also start planning your transportation and accommodation if you're coming from out of town.

Get The Travel Package: If you're coming from out of town, it's worth considering a travel package. Many hotels and resorts in the area offer special deals for Coachella attendees, including transportation to and from the event.

Dress For The Weather: This one is important. Coachella is held in the desert so that it can get very hot during the day. Be sure to wear light, airy clothing and bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun. At night, it can get cold, so be sure to bring a jacket or sweater.

Check The Schedule: Coachella releases its lineup well in advance, so you should know who you want to see before getting to the event. That being said, there are always surprises in store, so keep an eye on the schedule and be flexible with your plans.

Have Fun: This is the most important thing. Coachella is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so take advantage of everything the event offers. Explore the annual festival grounds, watch the art installations, and most importantly, dance your heart out.

Coachella Lineups Through The Years

Coachella Lineup 2022 Coachella Lineup 2022
Coachella Lineup 2020

Coachella Lineup 2020
Coachella Lineup 2019

Coachella Lineup 2019
Coachella Lineup 2018

Coachella Lineup 2018
Coachella Lineup 2017

Coachella Lineup 2017
Coachella Lineup 2016

Coachella Lineup 2016
Coachella Lineup 2015

Coachella Lineup 2015
Coachella Lineup 2014

Coachella Lineup 2014

With over 250,000 festival attendees, Coachella is one of the world's largest and most well-known music festivals. Spanning two weekends in April, the festival takes place in Indio, California, and features some of the biggest names in music. If you're lucky enough to snag a ticket, you can expect an unforgettable experience with incredible Coachella music, art, and fashion.

We hope this guide has helped you understand a little more about what Coachella is and what to expect if you're planning on attending the festival. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, we hope you have a blast at Coachella.

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