Every year, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival draws near one hundred thousand spectators to what is one of the most vibrant music festivals in North America, and even the world. The event, taking place from April 16-18 in Indio, California, will see the likes of a variety of artists; from East Coast rapper Jay-Z, to British alternative rock band Muse, to alternative/electronica animated group Gorillaz, as well as countless other great artists.
There are a few things that will be different this year. First, there are no single-day passes; you must purchase the full 3-day pass, which costs a hefty $269 plus fees. Second, onsite camping is available by renting out 300-square feet areas where you can also park your car.
A few lesser-known acts that are worth mentioning:
Jets Overhead: This Canadian indie rock band has yet to receive the commercial success it deserves. Their first album was released as a "by donation" download over a year before Radiohead applied a similar strategy to "In Rainbows".
Portugal. The Man: The band has slowly been gaining popularity, all while continuing their experimental yet pleasant indie rock sound.
Jónsi: He is the lead singer of acclaimed Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, which has been on hiatus since earlier this year. His first solo album is to be released this April.
De La Soul: This hip-hop group sang in "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz, and are also featured in "Plastic Beach", the latest upcoming Gorillaz album.
Sia: Lovely-voiced Australian pop singer Sia has sang for Zero 7 but has also released three solo albums, with a fourth to be released this April.
A few of several artists (and reunions) that we would have liked to see in the lineup:
Lady Gaga: Let’s face it, she’s one of the hottest artists in pop culture today, and certainly would have been able to attract a myriad of concertgoers on her own.
System Of A Down: Although it could be too soon for a collective return to the stage, Coachella would be the ideal event for a reunion of the Californian band.
Dr. Dre: With an upcoming (and allegedly) final album due to be released this year or the next, Coachella could have been a natural event at which Dr. Dre to perform, also due to Coachella’s close proximity (100 miles or so) from his hometown of Compton.
Pretty Girls Make Graves: Also would require a reunion, this unique yet underrated post-punk revival band played at Coachella in 2004. They broke up in 2007.
Interpol: New York based indie rock band Interpol have reported working on a new album, and although they are set to tour with U2 this summer, Coachella 2010 could have been a good starting place beforehand.
Yes, it will be crowded. As one person worryingly wrote on the event’s message board about how having a large camping site with cars and alcohol could prove to be dangerous if someone were to decide (rather stupidly) to drive their car on the camp grounds after consuming too much alcohol.
But Coachella is bound to be an entertaining weekend to say the least. It certainly is a bit of a financial stretch for those who are on a tight budget and/or don’t live within a 60-mile or so radius (and thus cannot drive back home at the end of each night), but this festival has brought together a myriad of talented artists and is one of the few times and places that one will be able to see supergroups Them Crooked Vultures (John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl from Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age), Atoms For Peace with Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Joey Waronker (R.E.M., Smashing Pumkpins); as well as The Dead Weather which includes Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs), Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), all of those in the same weekend!
So think twice before dismissing attending this unique and promising musical activity.
Report by Frederic Sahyouni, Dotted Music.