Every year, tens of thousands of fans flock to Indio, California in the Coachella Valley to see some of the world’s top musical acts shine. But the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival isn’t just about music. Yes, it is a place to have a good time, but this is a fest▼ with a difference.
The festival, simply known as Coachella, was first held in 1999. Paul Tollett, a concert promoter▼, had previously traveled to another famous fest, Glastonbury, and tried to attract some talent to a new festival he had in mind. This one, he said, would be built on respect for the environment, a positive attitude, and comfort, as other festivals he had seen were accompanied at times by pollution and violence.
About 37,000 people attended the first two-day event, headlined by bands like Tool and Beck. Nowadays, the crowds can top a quarter million. People come for acts like those of Bon Iver and Beyoncé, but that’s not all. The festival also promotes carpooling to Indio, has on-site recycling, and uses wooden rather than plastic signs. It all adds up to a different kind of festival, where safety, environmental responsibility, and, of course, great music come together.