The Evolution of Coachella

The progression of Coachella from a festival of alternative artists to those in mainstream pop and hip hop


Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California (Photo Via Flickr under the Creative Commons License).

   Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California showcases an eclectic mix of both mainstream and indie artists and musicians during two consecutive weekends in mid-spring.

  This is a sharp departure from the early days of Coachella, with it’s inauguration in October of 1999. Over the last five years, alternative headliners, such as Beck and Rage Against the Machine, have been replaced by mainstream artist in pop, urban, EDM, and indie genres, such as Beyonce and Mac DeMarco.

  The success of the festival comes from the resurrection of a Woodstock-like festival and it’s freeing nature of the 60’s hippie era that millennials desire to recreate. Of course there are die hard fans of the music, but there is also an element of escaping into the desert, prime social media posts, and fear of missing out on what will be considered iconic live performances by some of the 21st century’s best musicians.

  Amidst the musicians of the 21st century, there are bands from the era of classic rock ‘n roll, including Guns ‘N Roses, who made a rare appearance as a band at Coachella in 2016. A performance of their classic songs, like “Welcome to the Jungle”, and the complete band, including Axl Rose, made this performance significant for young music fans born after the band’s heyday, as well as previous generations wanting to revive the music of the past.

  Other noteworthy revivals include the “resurrection” of Tupac via hologram during the 2012 performance of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. This hologram projection of the iconic rapper, who passed away from gang violence in 1996, transported the crowd into the mid-1990s while performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”

  This year’s 2017 line-up includes heavy hitters, such as Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar. If interested to attend this event, you can attempt to purchase tickets for an arm and a leg on the resale market.

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