(Sorry in advance if you saw the lineup and thought “this is awesome!”…It’s not).
The lineup for 2011’s Coachella Festival in Indio, California was recently announced, and people are excited. That is…people who don’t remember the days when festivals were filled with three days of great music, friendly people, and psychedelic art. Nowadays the festival scene is slowly turning into a haven for pop acts and large corporations looking to exploit the rising popularity of live music (since CD sales don’t mean squat anymore).
Every year another established festie takes the plunge, and now it’s Coachella’s turn. Not to say that I didn’t see this coming: This California festival has had mainstream acts for a number of years, but always maintained a healthy portion of underground music. But just like Bonnaroo before it, this year is all about popular music: Kings of Leon, The Arcade Fire, and Kanye West are headlining the three nights of the festival. A combination of Indie, Pop and Rap acts populate the list of musicians (short of the old days when rock bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, or DJ’s like Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold took the stage), and I’m sure the crowd will reflect that (check out the full lineup in the poster below). It’s definitely not the kind of music I imagine partying to for three straight days (for the most part – there are a few winners in there, but they’re almost too small to read).
See what I mean? Out of all of that, the only two acts I can imagine being true festie acts are The Chemical Brothers and The Strokes (along with a few select others, but once again, they’ve been reduced into nearly unreadable fine print). So, you’re looking at a poster filled with all those artists, but you might as well be looking at this poster (below), which is actually a much more accurate description of what you’ll experience…If you still decide to go, even despite my warnings.
If you’re looking for a festival that hasn’t been diluted by pop culture yet, don’t fret: There are still plenty of untouched musical utopias, and every year a new one pops up to replace one of its fallen brothers. Check out Wakarusa, All Good, Nateva, Camp Bisco, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp, and Gathering of the Vibes, as well as countless others across the country.