After months of speculation about which artists would be present at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in Indio, California, the wait has finally come to an end. The much anticipated lineup was released on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and tickets went on sale the following Friday. In under three hours, the festival was sold out. This is just months before the actual festival takes place for two weekends on April 11-13 and 18-20.
A general admission ticket to the festival is almost $400, which begs the question, “is it really worth it?” For a three-day experience of music and the opportunity to see as many as ten musicians or more in a day, the hefty price of attending seems worth it for those who bought tickets.“There are only a few bands on the lineup that I am super stoked to see, and spending that much money on it seems a little bit too much,” said Tony Son, a senior at USF and a pass holder for this year’s festival. “’I’m hoping it is all worthwhile.”
Having gone to the festival a few times myself, I think the atmosphere of sharing a musical experience is what makes it so special. Even though the festival takes place in the hot desert, secluded from the city, everyone is in good spirits and the live music sets off a high energy in the crowds.
Across the festival grounds, there are all sorts of activity booths and food being sold. Big companies set up tents every year for various activities like photo booths, arts and crafts, and most importantly, phone charging stations and air conditioning. Heading over to sponsored tents also allows for bands to do meet and greets with fans.
When walking between stages, you can marvel at the enormous art installations placed around the grounds. When I went in 2012, there was a massive orchid sculpture that doubled as a photography station. A photographer sat in the petals of the flower and moved it around to take pictures of the festival grounds, high above all of the action. There really is never a dull moment at Coachella, between the art, the activities and of course, the music.
The lineup is really what pulls people in to spend half a thousand dollars on this annual event. Coachella showcases popular musicians, emerging artists, and even groups that have come out of hiatus and have reunited.
Muse is coming back to head- line this year’s festival again after their last appearance at Coachella in 2010. The English band’s performances are some of the most memorable and still talked about to this day. A new headliner on the bill is Outkast, who is reuniting and making its debut performance at the festival. Outkast has announced a tour of over 40 different festivals and shows all over the world to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a group, and they are kicking it off at Coachella.
Other music groups that are reuniting are the Knife, who is known for its weird, dramatic music, and Neutral Milk Hotel who has not played a show together since 1997. Neutral Milk Hotel, an indie/folk/ experimental band, has somewhat of a cult-like following and fans are making the trek to Coachella Valley to see them exclusively.
Aside from the headliners, there is a long and extensive list of other performers who will be playing at the show. Some stand out artists are Haim, the kick-ass trio of sisters who have blown up since Jay- Z signed them to his record label, Queens of the Stone Age, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Beck, and Lana Del Rey, just to name a few.
With the rise in electronic dance music, there is an abundance of electronic music artists performing at the Sahara tent, also known as the “rave stage.” A few of the big names are Zedd, Skrillex (who made the genre of dubstep what it is today), Calvin Harris, Flosstradamus, Adventure Club, Disclosure and Krewella, who will be headlining at our very own Don-A-Roo this February.
Although a few bands with new album releases like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand did not make the cut, it seems to be a promising lineup of music superstars and up and coming artists.
Jasmin Rezaie, a current sophomore at USF said, “I really do love the lineup, but as a college student it’s really hard to justify spending that kind of money. I would love to experience it someday though”.
For a college student budget, the cost of Coachella is pricey, but after going in 2010 and in 2012, investing money for this event is worth it. For those interested in going to Coachella in the future, even if you only want to see a few of the people on the bill, the shared musical experience with thousands of other people in the desert, and the no- table spicy pie pizza will make the travel and costs all worth the hype.