One of the most popular and famous music and arts festival is the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It is an annual festival occurring over two weekends for three days each weekend, and is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The festival features different types of music genres, such as electronic, hip hop, indie, and rock. During the festival, several stages feature a variety of artist performing throughout the day. The main stages are the Mojave Tent, Gobi Tent, Coachella Stage, Sahara Tent, and Outdoor Theatre.

Throughout the years, the festival has featured many different popular artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Oasis, Duran Duran, The Killers, Arcade Fire, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters.

Coachella09MainStageBigViewThe first Coachella festival was on October 9, 1999, which was three months after Woodstock ’99. In this inaugural festival, several headlining bands played including Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine. Although the first Coachella festival was mainly a success, there was no festival held in 2000. However, the even organizers decided to hold another festival in 2001. Although the lineup was rather small and did not have a headlining act for a while, the organizers arranged Jane’s Addiction to play. The festival proved to be a success and returned in 2003.

With each returning year, the festival became more popular and featured a larger variety of musicians. In 2010, it was estimated that 225,000 people attended the music festival, which had surpassed previous records for attendance. In 2011, it was announced that the festival would move to be two weekends long instead of one weekend and that this change would take place the next year. The Coachella 2012 Festival proved to be the most popular yet, with the festival selling out within hours. Many popular artists such as The Hives, Radiohead, Eminem, M83, Bon Iver, The Shins, Awolnation, Zedd, and Squeeze performed.

The lineup for 2014 looks promising, with acts such as Arcade Fire, Muse, and OutKast headlining the shows. The Replacements, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nas, MGMT and Foster the People are other acts set to perform at the festival.

Detail of Helix Poeticus by Poetic Kinetics Photo by Mike Wang

A less-known aspect of the festival is dedicated to visual arts, like sculpture and installation art. Many of the featured pieces are interactive, which can provide a visual experience to festival-goers. Some of the art pieces were also featured at Art Basel and Burning Man. Previous artists that have been featured include Robochrist Industries, The Do LaB, Cyclecide, and the Tesla Coil.

In 2003, the festival started giving attendees the option to camp on the grounds. With each year that passes, more amenities are featured making it easier for campers to enjoy their festival experience. In 2012, showers, WiFi, and on-site facilities such as showers and a general store were added.

Although other concert festivals have occurred through the years and some have been a disaster, Coachella continues to be a festival that gains popularity each year, proving that music festivals can work and be a success.

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