Coachella Festival: Growing bigger and better since 1999

In Opinion

The last weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival wrapped up yesterday. Some of the biggest names in music like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Radiohead and The Black Keys, just to name a few, came out and enthralled hundreds of thousands of fans through the course of both weekends.

There’s been a growing feeling from some individuals that festivals like this are becoming too popular and going away from their “indie” roots. Just because they keep on growing and obtaining commercial success, it doesn’t necessarily make them too big for their own good.

More musical acts are given an opportunity to showcase their talents and more fans are given an opportunity to discover new acts and enjoy some of their favorites already.

Coachella 2012 tickets went on sale on Jan. 13, at noon Eastern time and were completely sold out by 3 p.m. that very same day. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular music festivals in the United States, if not the world. This puts into consideration the position this so-called “indie” festival holds in the minds of all music lovers.

On Oct. 9 and 10, 1999, the first annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was held. An estimated 25,000 people were in attendance, still no small feat. Ever since then, the festival has just continued to grow.

In 2004, the festival reached a monumental milestone, selling out for the first time in its brief history. 50,000 tickets sold for each Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.

The first year Coachella moved into a three-day format was 2007. It was due to its soaring popularity. This year, it has become an absolute giant. An entire second weekend with identical acts was added to the festival.

Yes, there’s a tremendous amount of money being made by promoters and the musical acts themselves, but not a lot of people seem to be complaining. Tickets keep getting sold out and attendees always seem to rave about what an amazing time they had. How could that possibly be a bad thing?

This reminds me of the resentment some fans feel when their favorite act “sells out” by signing to a major record label and releasing an album. Wrong. They didn’t “sell-out,” they just made an extremely successful album.

Festivals like Coachella aren’t getting too commercial; they’re just getting better.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the music and the atmosphere. The quality is what keeps people coming back every year.

If the quality dies, then so will the popularity. I can accept the commercial success as long as the amazing music endures.

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