Coachella: From Beginning to Now


Coachella began as a two day festival in October of 1999 in Indio, California to a profit loss, only to come back in 2001 as a one day music festival to small success. Over the past 14 years, the festival has grown into one of the most popular music and arts festivals in the world. As reported by Billboard, ticket prices were $65 in Coachella’s 1999 opening year, raising gradually to what now begins at $375. Add this to the gourmet food trucks, pop up restaurants, craft food and beers, it has also become one of the most profitable in its category.

The accessibility to Los Angeles makes it a convenient destination for celebrities. The festival brings together different genres of music with about a third of the acts falling into the electronic genre. Coachella’s most notable performers have included Paul McCartney, The Cure, Radiohead, Madonna, Prince, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This year Coachella’s most popular acts where Outkast, Jay Z, Muse, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Arcade Fire, Bastille, Broken Bells, and Skrillex. Festival goers also enjoyed the many activities provided by organizers. These included races, dodge ball, and pie eating contests, and even yoga and Pilates. This year the festival also brought in the Coachella Art Studio, where materials where supplied for attendees to create pieces of art, fashion, prints and many more. Coachella also provided areas for onsite and offsite camping, as well as free shuttles that drove attendees to the supermarket, for necessities not available onsite.

Coachella is also known for its defining hippy chic fashion. It is a festival that inspires wild bohemian choices led by celebrities and fans alike. Fashion lovers have Instagram and Pinterest accounts dedicated solely to the fashion of Coachella. Cut-off shorts, kimonos, bold prints, mini dresses, and most importantly crochet and lace are the foundation for the Coachella look. For guys it’s the simpler fashion of tank tops and board shorts.

The festival held in Indio, California is a two hour drive from Los Angeles. With a mixture of music, fashion, proximity to Los Angeles, and an abundance of celebrities Coachella is an advertiser’s dream, among the celebrities this year where Leonardo DiCaprio who was filmed dancing to MGMT. Billboard reports that Adidas, Details Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar are among the many that host offsite events for celebrities and guests alike.

Coachella 2014 did not go by without controversy. LA Weekly reports that on Thursday a 24-year-old resident of Oakland, California died from an alleged overdose. Although deaths at music and art festivals are not uncommon, until this week Coachella had only reported one death in its 14 year history due to an overdose, and that was in 2008.

From its humble beginning to what now brings over 200,000 attendees Coachella is not showing signs of slowing down. The accessibility to Los Angeles, celebrities, fashion and art lovers, as well as amazing musical acts that encompass a multitude of genres, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will continue to be the place to welcome the spring season.

Opinion By Dony Lugo

The New Zealand Herald
LA Weekly 
Coachella Festival

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