The polo fields of Indio in the Southern California desert transform each spring into one of the world's most sought after musical playgrounds when The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival comes to town.
The main draw has always been Coachella's pull as a music festival, with a diverse lineup ranging from the hip and upcoming to the absolute monsters of rock. Today, this hot festival has become a monster of its own, typically described as just "Coachella."
It's a little bit of everything from large-scale art installations, which double as creative ways to beat the merciless sun, to the infamous dance marathon Sahara Tent and the main stage where the next day's music news is made.
Festival junkies, attendees, and travelers turn out in masses with a distinct vibe that is uniquely Southern California which are incognito Hollywood stars and models, tattooed hipsters, light wired ravers, and flip-flop-wearing beach bums who are all there to soak up the desert sunshine.
The seed for the first Coachella was planted when the festival's current venue, the Empire Polo Club in Indio, hosted a Pearl Jam concert that saw 25,000 attendees at the remote location, braving scorching temperatures to join their favorite band who had ended up in this desert outpost seeking alternatives to venues linked to Ticketmaster.
There was no festival in 2000, but the event returned in 2001, opting for April and making it one day instead of two, with a headlining performance by a newly reunited Jane's Addiction. Things continued to look up, and in 2003, with great headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys, the event became profitable and was at last regarded as a boon to the community. International recognition grew and in 2004, thanks to the reunited Pixies and world famous acts like Radiohead and Kraftwerk, the festival crowd doubled. In 2007, the festival grew to three days. With sellouts becoming routine and the roster of potential performers so substantial each year, the event expanded to two long weekends in 2012.
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