Coachella is quickly becoming the next big music festival, attracting concert goers and bands from all over the world! A few bands that have played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the past are AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails, and who could forget Tupac. We will touch more on that one later since Tupac was reportedly murdered in 1996. Coachella started out in 1999 and continues on every year at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Coachella has been known to bring the biggest names onto their stage, and also be the best place for retired bands to come together for one last reunion show. It not only attracts musicians and concert goers, but in recent years has become the hot spot for celebrities such as Katy Perry, Kendall Jenner, and Justin Beiber. Don’t let Justin Beiber sightings get in the way of seeing your favorite band though. Here are 20 Coachella facts that will make you want to go to this music festival next year, and never miss it again.
1. In 1999, the first year of the festival, they reportedly lost $800,000! That year, artists such as Tool, Beck, and Morrissey performed.
2. When Rascal Flatts performed in 2011, they announced on stage that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. The chant that followed was, “USA! USA! USA!”
3. Coachella, California is a very small city that has only 40,000 residents. So when the festival hits this small town, the local police are in full force ready to arrest as many people as possible. In 2013, they managed to arrest 90 people during the 3 day festival.
4. In 2004, this was the first year that Coachella sold out. Radiohead headlined the festival that year.
5. Tickets to Coachella now start to sell out within a few hours of going on sale, with general admission tickets for the entire weekend starting at $375.
6. Even though they lost money their first year, Coachella is now the most profitable music festival in the US.
7. Thanks to the 1999 Woodstock disaster, fans weren’t allowed to camp out. But in 2003, Coachella organizers decided to let their concert goers put up tents.
8. Starting in 2012, they started to offer recycling, showers, a general store, phone charging stations, and an Internet cafe with free wifi.
9. Paul Tollett is the brains behind Coachella and has since started a promotion company called Goldenvoice. He has been with it since the beginning. When reminiscing about the broke days of the festival he said, “Rage Against The Machine, Beck, Tool. ‘That last payment? Hold on to it’ they said. I’ve never really seen that at other concerts we’ve done… employees were willing to take a paycheck guaranteed to bounce.”
10. Even though it had a slow start, in 2012 Coachella grossed over $47 million!
11. Tupac made an appearance while Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were performing, by bringing out a computer generated hologram of the late rapper.
12. When the festival first started, tickets were selling for just $50 per day.
13. Because of the slow start in 1999, they actually had to cancel the Coachella festival in 2000. It was brought back in April 2001 as a single day event.
14. At the 2008 Coachella festival, Roger Waters’ set included an inflatable pig. This pig flew into the night and ended up landing between two homes in La Quinta, which was about a mile away. They wanted to get the prop back, so they gave these two homeowners $10,000 and free Coachella passes for life. Seems like a good deal!
15. The 2011 festival sold out in six days, and had a record crowd of 225,000 concert goers.
16. Because of the popularity, they decided to expand the festival into two identical weekends.
17. In 2012, Goldenvoice announced that they purchased 280 acres of land in Indio, California. This is where the festival now takes place.
18. The Replacements came back for a reunion show in 2014. They had originally broken up on stage in Chicago in 1991.
19. With the 2012 festival making $47 million, they reached $67 million in 2013.
20. Coachella has been the home of many band reunions and revitalization: Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Jane’s Addiction, and Iggy & The Stooges, just to name a few.
I knew that Coachella was big, but I honestly had no idea it was THIS big! After going to many years of Warped Tour, I might have to make the trip out to Coachella next year to see the biggest and best musicians out there. Hopefully some of these facts will be fresh in your mind when you start making plans to go next year.