Since 1999 the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been bringing to the California Desert a collection of different genres of music including rock, indie, Hip Hop and electronic music. Located in Indio, California, with a population of 75,000, the annual music festival brings together over 225,000 people over a three-day weekend in April to the vast fields of the Empire Polo Club.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has long established itself as the premier experience for the music and arts community. Coachella is best known for its ability to fix the broken and reunite bands that previously have sworn off the possibility of a reunion. Previous bands that have reconciled for the love (or money) of music and their fans include the Pixies, Pavement, the Stooges, Television, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jane’s Addiction, The Verve, and the Velvet Underground.
More than any other music festival in the world, including Chicago’s Lollapalooza which is celebrating its’ 20th anniversary this year, and England’s Glastonbury Music Festival which is the worlds largest music festival with over 150,000 people daily, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival embraces the interaction that is created through the art that is presented at the festival. The majority of the art and installations are interactive, further bridging the gap between sound and social experience. Allowing the coming together of energies, lives, and memories created through the consequences of sound within the California Desert.
Contributors such as Sci-Arc, Crimson-Collective, the Creators Project, Jonathan Glazer, 3waylabs, and Cal Poly Pomona have brought to Coachella interactive art that combines sound, electronics, lights, and Coachella attendees to create an experience that heightens not only the senses but also the experiences made while at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
While initially most of the art was created for the Burning Man Festival, the success had at Coachella made for the traditional non-repeating musical roster to differ from the repeated artist representation at the festival by having a few of the visual artists, such as Hotshot the Robot, Robochrist Industries, the Tesla Coil, Cyclecide, and The Do LaB becoming some of the annually sought out fixers of the festival.
Since the festival’s inauguration in 1999 it has experienced a constant growth in terms of attendance, magnitude, and cultural relevance. What started once, as a means to boycott Ticketmaster and the control held by the Southern California auditoriums, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has become a cultural Mecca for not only music and art but also, the freedom to express and experience the ability to create.
References: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (1999, 2001-2011) Photographs: www.flickr.com, www.coachella.com