A massive music festival that takes over the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival attracts major names across a wide range of musical genres, as well as huge crowds that... ... read more
A massive music festival that takes over the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival attracts major names across a wide range of musical genres, as well as huge crowds that more than double Indio’s normal population of 75,000 residents.
Now held in two installments – typically during the second and third weekends in April – Coachella first debuted in 2001 with a lineup that included Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine. Not too shabby for an inaugural event.
Since then, Coachella performers have come to represent a veritable who’s who in rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic music, and more. Performers at Coachella hail from a range of musical stylings, from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arcade Fire, to Kanye West and Pretty Lights.
Music isn’t all that’s on hand at Coachella. The destination has also gained fame for its art installations, such as temporary sustainable architecture, towering sculptures, and interactive mechanized displays.
Several stages at Coachella are constructed across the grounds for the live music that plays throughout the duration of each weekend event. The main stages at Coachella include the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Sahara Tent, so it’s doubtful anyone will have much trouble finding the Coachella performers they want to see.
First-time attendees should keep in mind that Indio – located about 25 miles east of Palm Springs in the desert – can get very hot in April, with temperatures well over 100°F the norm. Staying hydrated is even more important than grabbing tickets before they sell out.
Tickets to Coachella are capped at around 80,000 visitors per day and have sold out in less than a week in recent years. Coachella tickets are normally around $400–$450 for a one-weekend pass, valid for general admission. A handful of VIP tickets are available each weekend, entitling pass holders access to a VIP area with shaded areas, picnic tables, couches, extra restrooms, private food and beverage vendors, and a full cash bar, among other perks. VIP tickets to Coachella are around $800/weekend.
Car and tent camping at Coachella is also available at a campground adjacent the polo field. Nearly 20,000 people have filled the campground at Coachella in recent years, which offers both tent and car camping options, and features on-site facilities like a general store, showers, mobile phone charging stations, and an internet cafe with free Wi-Fi. Camping at Coachella is around $85/space per night.
There are also tons of impromptu parties to be found a short drive away in Palm Springs, where fans charged up by the day’s music let loose at giant desert mansions, hotels, bars, and clubs all over town...likely to the chagrin of the many senior citizens who reside in the area.