The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicks off this weekend. As they have for the past two years, the annual three-day festival is duplicating their lineup over two weekends: April 11-13 and April 18-20. Headlined by the likes of a reunited OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire, the festival is an eclectic mix of music that sees a bevy of people from all different walks of life kicking up a little bit of dust in Indio, CA. While the festival has become synonymous with success and reigns as the most profitable music festival in the U.S., we’re reminded that the first concert in 1999 actually lost $800,000 USD. Whether you’re attending or not, we dug up 15 obscure facts about Coachella in advance of this weekend’s sonic journey.
1. This year’s festival will mark the West Coast return of The Replacements who broke up on stage in Chicago in 1991.
2. The two Coachella weekends in 2013 brought in a market-leading $67 million, according to data published by Billboard Boxscore. That was a major jump from the $47 million the festivals tallied in 2012.
3. Coachella was canceled in 2000 due to financial troubles.
4. The reenergized 2001 festival was headlined by a reunited Jane’s Addiction who performed “Up the Beach,” “Stop!,” “Ain’t No Right,” “Three Days,” Mountain Song,” “Ocean Size,” “Summertime Rolls,” “Jane Says,” “Classic Girl,” “Been Caught Stealing,” “Ted, Just Admit It…,” and “Chip Away.”
5. Coachella has become known for reunited acts – including Siouxsie and the Banshees in 2002, Iggy Pop and The Stooges in 2003, Jesus and Mary Chain in 2007, Swervedriver in 2008, Orbital in 2010, Big Audio Dynamite in 2011 and Outkast this year.
6. The S.S. Coachella is a 1,000-foot, 122,000-ton cruise ship with room for 2,800 fans that travels to the Bahamas and Jamaica and has featured such acts in the past as Pulp, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells, and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
7. The company that created the now infamous “Tupac Hologram” – Digital Domain Media Group – went bankrupt. In the past, they were responsible for the visual effects used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and won an Academy Award for Titanic.
8. Acts that have defied the so-called “midnight curfew” include The Cure and Paul McCartney who each played for three hours back in 2009
9. In 2009, as soon as the clock struck 12:01, the fine was $1,000 per minute, said Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron.
10. 2004 was Coachella’s first sold out event and included acts like Kraftwerk, Mark Farina, Laurent Garnier, Paul van Dyk, The Crystal Method and Danger Mouse.
11. Rage Against the Machine holds the record for drawing the largest crowd (100,000 people) for their performance in 2007 – their first in seven years – where they performed songs like “Testify,” “Bulls on Parade,” “People of the Sun” and “Guerrilla Radio.”
12. During Pink Floyd’s 2009 set, Roger Waters had a giant inflatable pig float above the crowd which ultimately flew away due to a malfunction. Two days later the pig landed in a neighborhood a couple miles away and those who returned it were given ten thousand dollars and lifetime passes.
13. The ten year manhunt for Osama bin Laden that culminated in his death was announced at the Stagecoach Festival – a cousin to Coachella – where Rascall Flats member Jay DeMarcus told the crowd, “Let’s have a hand for the U.S. military. I hope I speak for everyone here when I say ‘Osama bin Laden, I hope you rest in pieces.’
14. Perry Farrell is the only person who has performed at all twelve festivals to date, having appeared under five different names (Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction, DJ Peretz, Satellite Party, and with Hybrid).
15. Asked “what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at Coachella,” the item with the most upvotes at Reddit said “I was front and center on the gate for Deadmau5 act when he unveiled the new cube thing. I looked to my right and I was like ‘Woah, is that kid dancing with topless chicks? No wait, that’s not a kid. That’s Danny Devito!'”