The Evolution of Coachella and Growing up Next Door

Feature photo provided by Coachella

With everyone reflecting on the past decade, it’s only fitting to take a look at how far one of the biggest names in music festivals has come. The evolution of Coachella has sky-rocketed, especially in the past ten years. This comes to you from someone who grew up ten miles away from the Indio Polo Grounds. Emerging in 1999, The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival began as a two-day, one weekend event. Some quick math will have you saying ‘wait, 1999? That’s 21 years!’ but after a one-year hiatus in 2000, Coachella resumed, making 2020 the two-decade milestone.

In the beginning, the festival featured musicians and bands of mostly rock, alternative and hip-hop genres. Take a look at the first-ever lineup, and you’ll spot this year’s Friday’s headliner, Rage Against the Machine. With such a deep connection to the festival’s history and the classic songs of a legendary band, this will definitely be a performance you won’t want to miss out on.

Every now and then, you might run into a person who didn’t know Coachella is an actual place and not just a music festival. Growing up in the Palm Springs area, I doubt anyone would have guessed that this festival would have ever become this gargantuan, iconic event. Annually, both weekends bring hundreds of thousands of people flooding into the valley. There once was a time you would stand in line to buy classic paper tickets, with stubs you’d save forever; but we’ve come a long way since 1999.

With the explosion of the festival industry, people worldwide are now able to purchase all kinds of packages. These can range to anything from simple shuttle rides to fully set-up campgrounds waiting for you at your arrival. On top of being an unforgettable experience for thousands, Coachella is also a great opportunity for us to watch small businesses grow. The Do Lab is a great example, and it’s awesome to see the amazing and beautiful work they create.

Photo provided by Coachella

For myself, Coachella has been the source of some of my most important music experiences. During my first adventure in 2007, my sister and I got tickets (for $20, somehow) to see my favorite musician, Rufus Wainwright. In 2009 I was lucky enough to be able to see Paul McCartney, The Killers and DJ AM. Then, in 2010, we saw the addition of the instantly recognizable Ferris Wheel. 9 years later in 2018, I got the chance to watch David Byrne perform some of my favorite songs live.

With every passing year and lineup, I, along with countless others, have found new music and artists to fall in love with. This year I’ve got my eye on artists like Whipped Cream, GG Magree, VNSSA and Detlef. Of course, everyone as their own personal taste, but this year’s lineup is a hit for me. With the festival turning 20 this year, I can’t wait to see what Goldenvoice has in store!

For more info on the fest, check out all that Coachella has to offer here!

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