Coachella Valley Festival

The Coachella Valley Festival, also known as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is an annual rock festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, USA. The festival features music on multiple stages, and it began in October 1999 as a two-day event that failed to make money.

The first festival was headlined by Beck and Rage Against the Machine, and more than 25,000 people attended. However, it was held just months after the disastrous Woodstock ’99, and it was unclear if promoters could turn a profit on a weekend-long multistage event. Coachella’s organizers took a year off and brought the festival back as a one-day event in April 2001, with a change in month to avoid high temperatures in the desert heat.

Coachella returned to a two-day format the following April and expanded to a third day in 2010. Although electronic music tends to be better represented at Coachella than at other festivals, lineups have included top names in rock, pop, and hip-hop, with a blend of emerging artists and established performers. Organizers are committed to keeping the festival fresh, and very few acts make repeat appearances.

Headlining artists have included Madonna, Jay-Z, Portishead, and Paul McCartney. High-profile reunions are also a fixture of the festival, with groups such as Pavement, Faith No More, the Specials, and Iggy and the Stooges taking to the stage for the first time in years.

Aside from experiencing music performances, attendees can view art (especially sculpture) and enjoy food and drink. In 2010, organizers angered some attendees by eliminating single-day tickets in favor of full three-day festival passes. Attendance was not hurt, however, and Coachella set a record by attracting about 75,000 people each day.

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