Coachella turns 20 this year. Here's how the festival has changed since the beginning. - Deepstash

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The first Coachella

The first Coachella

The first-ever Coachella was held in October 1999 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California. The hope was to attract 70,000 fans with a wide-ranging lineup of artists.

The first Coachella lineup spanned multiple genres with standout performers like Beck, Rage Against The Machine, and Tool but was not profitable, selling only about 25,000 tickets. As a result, the festival was cancelled in 2000 but returned in 2001.


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It now runs across two consecutive weekends, but it used to only be one day

It now runs across two consecutive weekends, but it used to only be one day

When the festival returned in 2001, it featured a one-day lineup with audiences coming to see headliners like Janes Addiction, Weezer, The Roots, Paul Oakenfold, and Fatboy Slim.

In 2012, the festival expanded to two weekends for the first time. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg conjured a holographic version of the late Tupac Shakur. The added weekend earned Coachella a reported $47.3 million in gross revenue that year.


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The festival was originally held in October

The festival was originally held in October

Coachella wasn't always held in April. It was first held on October 9 and 10 in 1999 but reportedly topped 100 degrees each day.

Since then, the festival moved to spring so that audiences can enjoy more tolerable weather. It typically falls in the middle two weeks of April.


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Coachella 2019 reportedly sold out in under an hour

Coachella 2019 reportedly sold out in under an hour

Coachella sold out for the first time in 2004, drawing a crowd of 120,000. The 2004 festival was held across two days in May and featured acts such as Radiohead, Pixies, The Cure, and The Flaming Lips.

Over the years the festival has incorporated interactive activations and installations for photo opportunities, including art exhibits, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, and brand-sponsored tents. In the last decade, Coachella has also provided a live stream of the first weekend of the festival to viewers on YouTube.


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The festival is now a haven for brands and celebrities

The festival is now a haven for brands and celebrities

Coachella has become a marketing opportunity for brands and celebrities.

The first occurrence of the festival was barely publicized. But since the festival is covered so extensively, many major brands have used Coachella as a launchpad for social campaigns.


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