Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
March 5, 2003 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Best. Festival. Ever? The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA is back this April 26th and 27th with a ridiculous array of talent...but the return of Manchester, TN's Bonnaroo Festival on June 13th, 14th and 15th could give Coachella a run for its money. [links via Pitchfork]
posted by boost ventilator (17 comments total)
Looks great. Here are my favorite festivals -
posted by idixon at 8:41 AM on March 5, 2003

I've been to the Coachella Festival. It's huge.

The lines to get food and drinks are huge. The hike to get to the porta-potties is huge. The distance between you and the main stages is huge. The walk from the parking lot is huge.

Still, I had a blast. Being in the pit for Rage Against The Machine was seriously intense.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:53 AM on March 5, 2003

To add to y6y6y6: do NOT order tickets by will call. I waited in a two hour line last year just to pick up my tickets. (Jurassic 5, Queens of the Stone Age, and Cake were mucho good.)
posted by thebigpoop at 9:12 AM on March 5, 2003

Wow, that is a nice line-up. And actually, $75 a day doesn't seem unreasonable. Must be nice for those that are going.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2003

Talent at Coachella is AMAZING. But $5.00 water, $7.00 for beer, disgusting bathroom facilities, and no shade in the middle of the desert...ugh, I can only do this once in a life time. Something should be said for the quality of the environment of the festival, not just the acts that perform there.
posted by erynew at 9:32 AM on March 5, 2003

for whar erynew and y6x3 mentioned, festivals (like arenas) are a decidedly sub-optimal way to hear music. I'd rather hear one or two bands with decent-length sets than 40 minutes each from twenty good bands.
posted by Vidiot at 9:38 AM on March 5, 2003

As much as I was irritated by the dust, lines, and oppressing heat at the first and third Coachella festivals I attended, this year's lineup is so good that I'm seriously considering it. The chance to see Badly Drawn Boy, Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Cat Power, Gomez, the White Stripes, Ladytron, Tortoise, Sonic Youth, Polyphonic Spree, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Mouse on Mars, RJD2, El P, Amon Tobin and Stereo Total at a single event is awfully tempting.

Then again, if I paid an average of $10/ticket to see all of those artists individually, it'd still cost less than a weekend in Palm Springs.
posted by waxpancake at 9:41 AM on March 5, 2003

Cat Power is worth seeing, either because her music is moving or for sheer snarky entertainment value. (Her shows are hit-or-REALLY-miss.)

posted by Vidiot at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2003

The artist curated festivals of All Tomorrow's Parties run closer to my liking. Generally much smaller venues, with less popular (but arguably better) acts than the big fests. Last year's Sonic Youth curated weekend in LA featured the Youth, Stereolab, Sleater-Kinney, Aphex Twin, Big Star, Television, Wilco, Eddie Vedder and Cat Power, among others. This year has an LA festival curated by Matt Groening (Simpsons) and a NY fest curated by Stephen Malkmus (Pavement).
posted by hanqduong at 10:07 AM on March 5, 2003

Water was only $2 last year.
posted by jgilliam at 10:18 AM on March 5, 2003

Maybe we need a MeFi meet at Coachella this year........

And yes, water is a problem.

"decidedly sub-optimal way to hear music"

Any rock concert is a sub-optimal way to hear music. If you want optimal stay home and save for a $40,000 stereo. I've loved all the festival concerts I've attended (starting with Altamont). If you want comfort and great sound, heading to the desert is a non-starter. Duh.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:54 AM on March 5, 2003

How big was Coachella last year that it had all those problems with lines, disgusting portapotties, etc? I went to the Bonnaroo festival in TN which had 75,000 officially but probably closer 100,000. I never waited more than 2 minutes for food or water or vending of any kind (albeit, there was a 13 hour traffic jam on the way in...). The bathroom facilities were usually decently clean. And, needless to say, the artist line-up was every bit as good as you Californians got.
posted by krakedhalo at 11:50 AM on March 5, 2003

boost ventilator, it was a cruel thing you did there, telling me about this festival. Now I find myself looking at $300 of tickets, $700 of hotel, and two days of absolutely ridiculous music.

Thank you for being so cruel.
posted by mosch at 12:03 PM on March 5, 2003

Thanks for that ATP link, hanqduong. I'd not heard of that before. Looks like Matt Groening has pretty good taste in music.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:09 PM on March 5, 2003

I went last year and will be going again!

I had a great time despite intense heat, freezing cold and a bunch of loony Bjork fans trying to crush each other to death in a mad rush to get that much closer to her...

Of course you're gonna get gouged on the water and food... that's what the concert experience is all about...

Aren't portapotties by their very nature disgusting?

But yes I will agree that most bands are better heard in a club or smaller setting... But still a fun line up
posted by davros42 at 12:09 PM on March 5, 2003

I agree with hanqduong, I'm flying from Seattle to go to the All Tomorrow's Parties in England in a few weeks and couldn't be more excited about it. I'm finally going to see Coil.
I'm also planning on seeing the LA version as well with Matt Groening curating it.
As far as bumbershoot is concerned, after going to it for 14+ years, I've giving up on it. It's a dying festival.
posted by rooster at 1:06 PM on March 5, 2003

I went for the first time last year, and it was incredible. The Chemical Brothers show was possibly the best outdoor experience (let alone concert) I'd ever had. Really, there wasn't a bad show the whole weekend (poor Bjork getting blown around aside), and Cut Chemist blew my mind. Despite since moving to Portland, I'm still making the trip for this one.

Too much good in one place is worth the headache, not that I have any complaints from last year. Line to get in was incredibly long, but then again, I remember getting off to a late start (missed Mixmaster Mike, but whatever). The heat wasn't bad at all last year - late April is still spring in the desert - but at night, it was worth lugging around a sweatshirt all day to keep from freezing. Then again, this year my honey's coming along, so maybe I won't be needing layers after all.

Hope to see you there!
posted by birddog at 5:10 PM on March 5, 2003

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