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The history of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival dates back to 1993. Eddie Vedder, a member and the lead singer of Pearl Jam, was upset about the exorbitant service charge Ticketmaster charged their fans to see them perform. The band made a conscious effort to boycott any venue that Ticketmaster sold its tickets, and they performed at the Empire Polo Club grounds. It was a one-night concert held in a remote location in the California desert, but it was a successful one. This birthed Coachella, and for years, it was an avenue to celebrate unknown talented performers until it became a cultural phenomenon that brings A-list artists, headliners, fashion icons, and celebrities together to entertain the world.
The first Coachella was held in October 1999 with a modest ticket fee of $50 per day. It caused great loss for concert promotion company, Goldenvoice, which reportedly lost $850,000 for charging so little. Beck and Rage Against the Machine headlined that year’s event, yet the over 25,000 people that attended did not bring sufficient returns for the promoters. These days, general admission passes for the event for its three-day duration cost $429. Even though Coachella is a music concert and festival, no other event is quite like it. It is a one-of-a-kind event that gives attendees and performers a unique experience that stays with them for a long time.
After a year’s break, Coachella returned in April 2001 as a one-day event, and by 2010, it became a two-day event. Over the years, iconic acts like Jay Z, Paul McCartney, Portishead, and Madonna have headlined the event. Although Coachella has seen electronic music as the favored music choice, it has featured top artists in rock, pop, and hip-hop genres over the years. It has also included top and emerging artists. The organizers have also ensured the festival remains fresh every year by rotating the artists for every edition.
Apart from the music performances, attendees also experience art, especially sculpture, and enjoy good food. Coachella became a weekend event in 2007 to accommodate the growing demand. Since its inception, the event has not had many female headliners, and the short list of female headliners includes Lady Gaga, Björk, and Beyoncé. Coachella birthed many behaviors and habits, such as “No Chella,” which is used to describe the act of attending all forms of hotel pool parties taking place around Coachella but not attending the festival itself.
The Coachella Music and Arts Festival event holds in Indio, California, in the Inland Empire region’s Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. The festival itself takes place at the 78-acre Empire Polo Club, and it uses up a footprint of about 642 acres of land use for camping and parking. The Coachella Valley is located about 125 miles from Los Angeles. Over the years, Coachella Music and Arts Festival has provided premium entertainment and brought music lovers closer to their favorite icons while giving underground, unheard artists a chance to perform with the greats.