You know that lovely time of year when performers begin to announce their attendance at Coachella? When celebrities and influencers begin to dress in fringe, crochet, and flower crowns as though they’re getting ready for Woodstock? And your heart hurts a bit because everyone else appears to be going to Coachella but you. Coachella has essentially become its own fashion season. This was not always the case. So, who founded Coachella and how did it get started?
These are critical topics to consider if we want to comprehend the true cultural consequences of Coachella on society. Let’s take a look at how Coachella got established and what the festival’s founders had in mind. Then we’ll talk about where it is today and where it may go.
How did Coachella begin
Everything has to start somewhere, and Coachella, like many modern cultural forces, has modest origins.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was founded in 1999. It was started by partners Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen, two promoters who headed Goldenvoice, the company that produces Coachella. It was designed after European festivals and marketed as a celebration of art rather than radio success.
Coachella was founded by promoters Tollett and Van Santen. They put on their festival only a few months after the total and unmitigated disaster that was the 1999 Woodstock festival.
Since Van Santen had passion to spare for punk and alternative, it makes sense that their original lineup included bands like Rage Against the Machine, Beck, and Morrissey. Goldenvoice intended for Coachella to be a display of talent rather than celebrity.
When Van Santen and Tollett started Coachella, they wanted it to be a quality show that featured groundbreaking and interesting artists and showed a wide range of genres. After the dust cleared, they were successful but far from lucrative, having sold just one-third of the tickets required. Fortunately, times have changed, and Coachella is now one of the greatest names in music events.
When was the first Coachella
Coachella is already a household brand, although it hasn’t been around as long as other well-known festivals.
The inaugural Coachella took place on October 9th and 10th, 1999 at the Empire Polo Club in California. It attracted little attention, which is why it was discontinued in 2000 before being reintroduced in 2001. It has only grown in popularity since then as a result of star guests.
The inaugural Coachella festival took place in 1999. As of the writing of this article, Coachella is 23 years old, which means it is old enough to drink and vote. Yet it seems like it’s been around forever because of how productive and popular it has grown.
We’ll get to Coachella’s departure from its origins later, but for now, let’s get the facts straight.
Why is it called Coachella
Even the word Coachella seems bohemian and elitist. And there is also disagreement over the significance of the word itself. Yet, it is evident why the Coachella event is named Coachella.
So, where does it originate? Nowadays, people tend to believe that marketing teams come up with everything. Coachella, on the other hand!
Coachella is called after the Coachella Valley in Indio, California, where it takes place. Coachella takes place at the Empire Polo Club. The full name is the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival because Coachella isn’t just for music. They’re also famous for Robert Bose’s Balloon Chain and so much more.
How many people attend Coachella
Because Coachella is so many things at once (concert, art exhibit, festival experience, and more), it has a huge draw. So, how many people go to Coachella each year?
Coachella tickets were sold in excess of 250,000 in 2017. Goldenvoice set a record for themselves, pulling in around $115 million in sales according to Billboard. In general, attendance has ranged between 150,000 and 200,000 people. In 2020 and 2021, the festival was canceled due to Covid-19.
Numbers aren’t formally published for 2020, and 2022 hasn’t wrapped up yet, but considering tickets were sold out again, we can assume the same numbers. The number of attendees at Coachella 2022 is expected to be approximately 200,000, not including digital experiences.
Coachella will launch a new feature dubbed the Coachellaverse in 2022, which will provide ticket holders with access to internet material. There’s also a Fortnite integration with costumes that look like fashion you’d see at the festival and a few more perks listed on their website.
At the moment, it seems that the majority of features are only accessible to ticket holders. Would these privileges be available for purchase to non-attendees in the future? If so, it could blur the line when it comes to their numbers just like streaming has blurred the line for movie releases at the box office.
Coachella 1999 lineup
Let’s take it back to the original Coachella 1999 lineup. Who was present?
Coachella’s 1999 weekend program includes several well-known performers. Beck was the headliner, and some other artists include Morrissey, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Moby, and Modest Mouse. There are a lot of DJs and alternative artists, owing to their punk and alternative leanings. There is a lot more pop nowadays.
1999 Coachella Setlist
- The Chemical Brothers
- Perry Farrel
- Art of Noise
- Rage Against the Machine
- Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
- Gus Gus
- And more!
Coachella’s website has released all previous setlists. There’s been everything from chamber pop to hardcore punk, and everything in between. Check them out, and let us know in the comments which one you’d go to if you had a time machine. For us, it has to be 2008 only for Prince.
Coachella 2022 lineup
Incredible performers will perform at Coachella this year. The well ran empty in 2019 and 2020, but the artists have returned in full force. Let’s speak about who will be attending Coachella this year.
Harry Styles will be the headliner in Coachella 2022. Billie Eilish, Carly Rae Jepsen, and rappers such as Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion will also perform. Some artists who trend less pop include legendary composer Danny Elfman, Mongolian metal band The Hu, Nathy Peluso, and Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys.
To summarize, this year’s Coachella lineup has a lot to enjoy.
Is there anybody else you believe should have been included? Build your dream lineup in the comments, and tell us who you’d love to see at a festival – the more obscure, the better!
Fun facts about Coachella
These are some interesting facts about Coachella. Leave your thoughts in the comments! Did you recognize any of these?
- Hologram Tupac first appeared at Coachella in 2012.
- In 20 years, the price of a ticket has almost tripled, from $50 to over $500 this year.
- Coachella’s success spun off several other Goldenvoice festivals. The Stagecoach Country Music Festival is even held in the Coachella Valley.
Who started Coachella: Final thoughts
In 1999, one of the most legendary music events in the United States had modest beginnings. But, now it’s a who’s-who of cultural tastemakers attended by everyone from celebrities to influencers to plain old fans.
The price of going to Coachella has gone up over the years, making it pretty cost-prohibitive for the average person to have a shot at attending. Yet, with such major headliners and such a significant effect, Goldenvoice would be hard-pressed to come up with a better approach to avoid attendance from spiraling out of hand.
Might there be a remedy in the works? They seem to be ready to test the waters of virtual attendance with the digital experiences being added to this year’s ticket holder perks. Will virtual reality open the doors for more people to experience Coachella? Leave your thoughts in the comments.