After what appeared to be the hardest season for music festivals in UK and Europe this year, with Sonisphere’s cancellation or Glastonbury’s hiatus, the situation behind the ocean seems to be very different.
The Coachella festival ended its two-weekend run this weekend. Unlike Sziget in Hungary that used to last for two weeks in the past, Coachella offered its visitors two identical three-day weekends. With its gates now closed it is certain that this unconventional idea, has worked. According to the Indio Police Department, where the festival is held, 80,000 to 85,000 festival-goers were on site each day, compared to last years’ 70,000 to 75,000 people per day, it is a considerable increase regarding the fact that the audience was given the same program both weekends. Coachella organizers are probably festival-goers themselves since they came up with this idea. How many times you didn’t get to see a band on second stage only because you were watching another one on headlining stage? How many times did you carry your trashed mate to tent when he passed out, during a set that you were longing to see for the past year? Or even worse, how many times have you been carried? It’s proper sex drugs and rock ‘n roll when you’re off to a festival and sometimes it would be nice to get a “second chance”. And even if we take the “second chance” factor out of the equation you still build and produce just one festival but you get the profits of two! Not a bad deal in any case. Check out Noel Gallagher’s interview about Coachella from Coachella:
The only thing left to do is to hope for the best weather and make sure to get good enough line-up, to attract the audience. And there is not much that can go wrong with the weather in Coachella Valley of Southern California’s Colorado Desert (with its yearly 127mm precipitations)! Therefore it came as a surprise when the festival kicked off with rain, storms and cold weather as low as ten degrees Celsius. The last weekend was however a different story with temperatures almost breaking region’s fifty years old record.
As to what the music is concerned Coachellas’ thirteen-year history promised the best from current World music scene. 140-plus artists such as Radiohead, Florence and The Machine, The Hives, Arctic Monkeys, Noel Galagher’s High Flying Birds, or the newly reformed At the Drive-in, and many other guest appearances such as Eminem, Usher, Wiz Khalifa or 50 cent took the stage at Coachella, including a “visit” from beyond the grave by Tupac Shakur in the form of hologram during the headline set of Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg, which became the highlight of the festival even for the folks that weren’t there, flooding the internet with countless videos, speculations and reviews, suggesting that we can expect other dead artists to be “revived” this way in the near future. Check out the Tupac hologram here:
A lot of it was also streamed live over Coachella’s Youtube channel over the two weekends and other videos should be yet uploaded. So check out the Coachella live stream trailer for this year:
So it looks like there are still new ways on how to attract people to festivals even forty years after the king of all festivals (Woodstock) took place. And if you try hard enough people will come. It just takes a lot of work and courage to try new things. Oh, and did I mention that it was sold out?