16 Artists Who Played The First Coachella Music Festival That'll Make You Wish You Could Travel Back To 1999
On Oct. 9, 1999, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was born. Nestled in the bosom of the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, CA, the music festival spanned two days and attracted tens of thousands of rock, hip-hop, and electronica fans. With tickets priced at $50/day, a stunning location, plenty of sunshine to go around, and a lineup that still seems too beautiful be true, the first Coachella must've been a slam dunk, yeah?
Nah, man. Nah.
According to Ancient Coachella Lore, not only was it brutally hot that October weekend (I mean, it’s 100 degrees in Palm Springs as I write this, so I believe the Lore), but that inaugural weekend almost sunk Goldenvoice entirely: According to Businessweek, the first concert promotions company that started Coachella lost $800,000. Headliners Rage Against The Machine, TOOL, and Beck waited as long as five months to be paid; employees' paychecks bounced; and when the folks at Goldenvoice gave it another go in 2001, the festival couldn't afford a headliner, so Jane's Addiction accepted deferred payment. Like water in a drought-plagued desert, the cash was not flowing.
Let's fast-forward a bit, yeah? A few years and some major changes later (e.g., AEG bought Goldenvoice, the festival was moved to the slightly-cooler month of April, there is on-site camping, it's now two three-day weekends), it went on to establish itself as one of the largest music festivals in the world. And yes, it generates serious dough: In 2014, Coachella raked in over $78 million. In the words of a beach ball-sized diamond-wearing Daffy Duck, the festival is now "comfort-a-buh-ly well-off."
The now-lucrative festival didn't have the smoothest of financial beginnings, but do you know what that weekend in '99 did have? A wicked list of bands, that's what. Great glittering ferris wheels, the maiden voyage's lineup is something to behold. Shall we check out some of the notable artists that graced the Coachella stages on the ninth and tenth days of October of 1999? We shall! Onward!