Category: Coachella

Coachella reveals 2013 dates, raises prices

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The 2012 summer festival season has barely just begun, but on Thursday, Goldenvoice will begin selling tickets to the 2013 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, once again slated to be held over two consecutive April weekends in the desert city of Indio, Calif. The Thursday morning on-sale will allow participants to partake in the seven-month payment plan.

The just-completed 2012 editions of Coachella brought about 80,000 ticket-buyers per weekend to Indio. Coachella next year will take place over the weekends of April 12 and April 19, 2013. The dual 2012 weekends largely sold out in advance.

While the lineup has yet to be announced, new for 2013 is an increase in ticket prices. A three-day general admission wristband will sell for the all-inclusive price of $349. That total includes any added service fees. A weekend pass during the 2012 presale came to about $315, once fees were factored in, meaning this is a general admission price hike of $34.

2012 Coachella 360° tour

There are a host of options to bring that cost even higher, however, including $399 for a ticket and shuttle combo, and $799 for the VIP experience. The latter option comes with a more significant price hike, as a 2012 VIP ticket sold for $661 plus fees, which brought the total to about $710. 

Car camping will sell for $85, and those who opt to drive can spring for a $150 VIP parking pass, which provides for a pain-free exit. Remaining tickets will go on sale once the lineup is announced, typically near the start of the new year. When passes went on sale last summer, they were priced at $269 (plus service fees), and the non-presale wristbands were priced at $285 (plus service fees). 

Coachella is considered the start of the annual summer festival season and has positioned itself as one of the premier music events in the country. It's also a little more costly than some of its competitors. Lollapalooza in Chicago, for instance, sold three-day passes in 2012 for $230, while four-day tickets to Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., are currently going for $259.50, plus fees.


Coachella 2012: Dr. Dre says Tupac 'hologram' a one-off

Grimes, Cults, Grouplove to headline free Make Music Pasadena

Nite Jewel, Dntel, others to honor Kraftwerk, 'German cosmic music'

-- Todd Martens

Image: Sundown at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

Coachella's multiple 2013 weekends expected to be unveiled Monday

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival promoters Goldenvoice/AEG Live have said repeatedly that they could have sold out a third weekend. In fact, "we probably could have added two more Coachella weekends," Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, earlier told The Times. Could a full month of Coachellas be in the cards for 2013? Unlikely, but Goldenvoice on Monday is expected to provide some clarity on its 2013 plans. 

The promoter on Friday posted one of its now-customarily cryptic pre-announcement announcements. There was little information released, and Friday's Twitter/Facebook bulletin essentially amounts to a press release hyping a press release, but the local promotor promised news at 10 a.m. Monday. It's expected that Goldenvoice will announce the dates for the 2013 event, which has already been booked, confirmed and green-lighted with the desert city of Indio. 

2012 Coachella 360° tour

Coachella in 2012 cloned itself into twin festivals, with identical lineups, spread over consecutive three-day weekends. It's widely believed that Goldenvoice will stay the course for 2013, as more than one manager or agent for a 2012 Coachella performing artist has said all indications are that the festival will return as a two-weekend event.

Photos: Faces of Coachella

Of course, many were taken by surprise at Goldenvoice's announcement last May, so something more unexpected -- a whole other festival somewhere else, perhaps? -- shouldn't be completely ruled out. The experiment to copy and double Coachella has been widely viewed as a success. The event largely sold out before a full lineup was revealed and artists walked away with double the cash. 

Coachella in 2012 drew about 80,000 paying customers per weekend. When passes went on sale last summer, they were priced at $269 (plus service fees), and the non-pre-sale wristbands were priced at $285 (plus service fees). Goldenvoice unveiled its 2012 dates for Coachella last year on May 31.


Coachella 2012: Dr. Dre says Tupac 'hologram' a one-off

Grimes, Cults, Grouplove to headline free Make Music Pasadena

Nite Jewel, Dntel, others to honor Kraftwerk, 'German cosmic music'

-- Todd Martens 

Image: The afternoon of weekend one at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

Stagecoach 2012: Brad Paisley talks Tupac image, new album


Brad Paisley, the headliner for Sunday’s closing night of the 2012 edition of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., has always been an unrepentant techno-geek, so he followed with fascination the worldwide media generated the previous two weekends by the "appearance" of Tupac Shakur during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s reunion performance at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The thing is, Paisley beat them to the punch by two years, having pulled off a duet with a virtual partner at the 2010 Stagecoach Festival, where he surprised and confounded audiences with the materialization onstage of Alison Krauss, his collaborator on 2004’s “Whiskey Lullaby,” which generated multiple Academy of Country Music and Country Music Assn. awards.

“We did that Alison thing for a while, and it was as good as we could get it at the time,” Paisley said aboard his tour bus parked near Stagecoach’s Mane Stage, where a capacity crowd of 55,000 was waiting for him to go on after Sheryl Crow finished her penultimate set. “We’ve since then come up with some more tricks. It was interesting when I heard about the Tupac thing. The thing that was so interesting about that, the thing that was so shocking, of course, is that it was someone who was deceased. It’s insane. You go, ‘Whoa!’ But wait till you see what we’re doing tonight.”

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

He was teasing the recurring presence of Carrie Underwood on his current Virtual Reality Tour. After Paisley launched into the opening of their hit duet “Remind Me,” audience members gasped and then cheered when a spotlight went on and there appeared the “American Idol” grad, harmonizing her lines and seeming to trade glances with her singing partner.

But it was an illusion -- like the Shakur "appearance," a realistic-looking video projection, not a true hologram. It's something Paisley touched on before that number, when he told fans: “We call this the ‘Virtual Reality Tour’ because reality is what country music is about. But it can sometimes also take you away from reality. So between the beer and our show, you’re well on your way.”

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Hard Summer books Skrillex, Miike Snow, Boys Noize, James Murphy

L.A.'s own Skrillex and Sweden's electro-poppers Miike Snow are among the many acts that will anchor the 2012 edition of the dance-focused Hard Summer, returning for the third year to the Los Angeles State Historic Park downtown. Reflecting the growth of electronic music and the strength of the festival market, Hard Summer will grow to two consecutive days this year, with opening night slated for Aug. 3.

Other artists set to appear at Hard Summer include Bloc Party, Boys Noize, Bloody Beetroots, Nero, James Murphy, Squarepusher and Bootsy Collins & the Funk Unity Band (full lineup below). Two-day passes are available and start at $119, not including surcharges. Last year's single-day Hard Summer was a sellout with 30,000 tickets sold.

Festival founder Gary Richards said ticket sales in 2012 are between five and 10 times greater than they were at this point last year. Capacity grew last year from about 25,000 to 30,000, and Richards did not yet have final word from the city on whether or not he could expect a similar growth this summer.

Richards said expanding to two days was a no-brainer. "It’s pretty logical to go from one day to two days," he said. "You have to build so much infrastructure –- the staging, the fencing and the power. If you put it all in there for one day, you may as well use it for another day."

It hasn't always been this easy for Richards and Hard Summer. The company is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, but just two years ago the event was caught up in the maelstrom that descended on electronic events in Los Angeles after things went haywire at 2010's Electric Daisy Carnival. Richards had hoped to stage two separate summer events at the park in 2010, but was forced to downsize to one. 

"It’s been a hot-button issue in the city for a long time," Richards acknowledged. "But I think with our operation, everyone likes working with us and we’ve come through on our end to make it as safe as can be."

The mainstream acceptance of electronic music seems to be accelerating at a rather rapid pace, thanks, in part, to Skrillex, who earned a Grammy nomination for best new artist. The recently concluded Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festivalin Indio has placed dance on equal footing with rock since the event's inception, and Swedish House Mafia was one of the mainstage headliners this year. Sunday, Coachella vet Kaskade announced he would be performing a July 27 date at Staples Center.

Despite the recent goodwill toward the electronic community, Richards isn't ready to relax. "Whenever we’re doing an event, we have to bring our A-game and everyone has to be prepared for anything that can happen," he said. "We can’t let down our guard. We don’t leave any stones unturned to try to keep this safe."  

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Coachella 2012: Dr. Dre says Tupac 'hologram' a one-off

Last weekend as the first of two identical weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival drew to a close, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg unveiled a shocking surprise when the pair reincarnated slain West Coast superstar Tupac Shakur onstage in a hologram-like image that rapped and danced along with the two very alive heavyweights.

On Sunday night, people waited anxiously for the moment to happen, again. And for good reason. Following virtual Shakur's Coachella debut, he (or it) has become an Internet meme.

A Twitter feed created for the creation had garnered more than 34,000 followers looking for snarky, and often distasteful, quips from a person posing as a "hologram" posing as the dead rapper; the term “Tupac hologram” pulled up more than 67.8 million hits on a Google search; and crafty people with a wicked sense of humor and nimble Photoshop skills have placed “Halo-Pac” in a number of pop culture references he didn’t live to see, including “Harry Potter” and “Avatar.” Even a duet with Lana Del Rey has been proposed.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

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Coachella 2012: Radiohead's Yorke DJs 'til dawn at the Parker Hotel

What is one to do after playing your heart out for tens of thousands of people at one of America’s biggest music festivals? If you’re Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, you don’t grab well-deserved shuteye. Early Sunday morning, York unleashed one of his epic DJ sets for an intimate crowd of friends and in-the-know types at the uber-trendy Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, taking the decks a little after 4 a.m. and keeping the crowd shaking ‘til dawn.

When word about artist-thrown after-parties starts to spread around the desert during Coachella, it can lead to chaos and confusion wherever the gathering ends up. But the Radiohead party managed to stay very much under the radar, and since it didn’t start until late (1 a.m.), only diehards (on a short list) ultimately made it in.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

The funky, somewhat subversive décor inside the Parker (courtesy of designer Jonathan Adler) was the perfect setting for a soiree thrown by the revered rockers. Held on the back patio of the hotel, with an adjacent dance room, the affair was a chill yet fabulous mix of music and imbibing.

DJ Ana Calderon started the evening with her signature mix of rock, soul and retro nuggets, with Yorke continuing the genre-blend as the night wore on and moving in a decidedly funkier direction, meshing electronic grooves, hip-hop (Snoop Dogg!), Motown (Diana Ross) and James Brown, during which he left the decks and let loose on the floor with killer moves of his own.

Yorke also spun earlier at the Ace Hotel with Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer (whom he notoriously joined at the club Low End Theory in L.A. last year) for a Brainfeeder event, video of which can be found all over the Web. But his own party mix and set, far more magical, was enjoyed by a rapt few, all of whom were more interested in absorbing the vibe and his brilliant selections in the moment, rather than capturing it for a computer, OK? 


PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

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— Lina Lecaro

Photo: Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke DJs the band's Coachella afterparty in the wee hours of the morning at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs early Sunday. Credit: Lina Lecaro.

Coachella 2012: Hotshot the Robot is still my No. 1 man

Two years ago I blogged about my unlikely love affair with Hotshot the Robot, who roams the grounds of Coachella every year hitting on the ladies.

This year was no different, but I was. I had moved on. It was hard, but Hotshot was a distant memory.

Still, as he approached me on his three wheels in the VIP beer garden Saturday night -- wearing nothing but a sexy silver helmet over his sensitive digital screen of a face, I steadied myself, getting ready for the onslaught of pickup lines he was sure to lob at me.

"You're twice as beautiful now as you were in 2010," he said, a cigarette stuck in his metallic jaw, Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" playing low and smooth from somewhere inside his heartless chest.

I swallowed hard. This wasn't going to be easy.

"Were you here last weekend?" I asked, looking shyly up at him.

"Yes, it was like 40 degrees cooler," he said, puffing hard on his smoke. "But I'm a robot so it doesn't really matter."

Yes, that's right, I remembered. He was a robot and he'd never be mine.

"This is my favorite Coachella because it's twice as long," he continued, raising his cold arms to hug me. "And American Spirits are my favorite cigarettes because they last twice as long."

I turned away, crushed. Twice as hurt.

"Coachella is for lovers!" he shouted after me, his Lionel Richie playing twice as loud.


PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

SHARE: Tweet us your stories and photos

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Hotshot the Robot, one of the many art pieces at Coachella, interacts with music fans at the 2010 Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival, on the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio, Calif. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times

Coachella 2012: In pursuit of Oberhofer

At Coachella, sometimes the bands you remember best are the bands you missed. With more than 100 musicians playing during a three-day period, it's easy to find yourself running toward a stage just as a particular artist -- whom you really, really love and swore you wouldn't miss -- is saying  goodnight.

Which is exactly what happened  Sunday as my friend Emily and I found ourselves stuck in traffic in our tiny red rental Fiat, trying to catch the indie band Oberhofer's 1 p.m. set.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

It's not that we didn't get up early enough. We did. It's just that the act of getting ready for Coachella on a super-hot day is a feat in  itself. There is the long shower, the decision to be made about how many -- or how few -- clothes to wear, and whether a swimsuit underneath is appropriate. There is the whining about how hard it is to eat breakfast when it's so hot, and the debate about what kind of traffic you might hit on your way there.

And then you blow it.

For us, missing Oberhofer was a tough pill to swallow. We had  been listening to its CD, "Time Capsules II," on repeat since we drove to the desert Friday. The band's name is the surname of lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Brad Oberhofer, who has barely cracked drinking age, if at all. But his inexperience only makes his tragedy-tinged love ballads all the more poignant.

Your heart breaks best -- and most -- when you're still very young, and if you happen to be Oberhofer, you know how to write about the experience in a way that makes grown women cry.

Which is exactly what we did when we realized we would miss his early set. We'll catch you next time, Oberhofer. We'll never be uber, over, Oberhofer.


PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

SHARE: Tweet us your stories and photos

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Musician Brad Oberhofer of Oberhofer performs during Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2012 in Indio, Calif. Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Coachella

Coachella 2012: Saturday's party mix of mags, rags and swag

If the high heat and been-there, done-that factor diminished the energy on the polo field during the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, it didn’t slow down the party scene. Weekend 2 brought a brand new assortment of branded bashes to the desert, some from music and pop culture publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin and Vice magazines.

But does a music magazine automatically throw a better party than, say, a clothing company or automotive corporation? Not necessarily. Truth is, party-hopping during Coachella weekend can be extremely unpredictable, and when having to choose between two events at the same time, the only way to know for sure is to text a friend there and find out.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

Touted as an eclectic, somewhat artsy happening, Rolling Stone’s shindig was curated by creative collective FAM NYC but was rather staid and casual, at least during the day, with DJ sets and live music from up-and-comers. (We texted our pals on the fence to try the Jansport bash instead.) The party happened both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and Saturday’s saw a mix of sunbathers and music lovers noshing on burgers and playing games in the water and out, as music artists arrived to be gifted with products (Volkswagon merch and Havianas flip-flops) and interviewed in the “Rock Room,” including Ke$ha (who’s been making all the party rounds) in a giant floppy hat and poncho -- a requisite party look this weekend and last.

After dark, the RS parties reportedly turned more lively and clubby with Milk and NYC nightclub impresario Nur Khan joining forces for a hot spot called Electric Milk.

Fashion seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Black Banditz/Vice “Bromance” bash near the festival grounds later that night. With well-prepared attendees obviously hoping to outdo each other, the party was a mass of wild, nonsensical  get-ups including weird disco metallics, loud printed bathing suits and high heels, face paint, woolly masks and desert nomad freak chic that was almost rave-like. The lasers and throbbing electro and hip-hop in the dance room added to the euphoria, as did the exhaustion and intoxication that spilled in from the polo grounds and the day’s festival offerings.

“Wow, this is like Echo Park in the desert,” one bemused lass in a flowered headband was overheard saying while angling for a drink at the overcrowded bar. “So many hipsters here!”

To which her squinty-eyed friend replied, laughing: “No, this isn’t real. It’s all just a hologram!”


PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

SHARE: Tweet us your photos and stories

MOBILE USERS: All you need to survive Coachella

-- Lina Lecaro

Photo: Hipsters swirl around a tree strung with lights, part of the rave-like atmosphere at the Black Banditz / Vice "Bromance" party near the Coachella festival grounds on Saturday night during Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Lina Lecaro

Coachella 2012: A$AP Rocky, Master P pay tribute to Trayvon Martin

Rock and pop stars of all stripes occasionally have found reasons to go political, with mixed results. And that track record couldn’t be more spotty for rappers -- just ask Kanye West, Wyclef Jean or Lupe Fiasco

Late Saturday night during A$AP Rocky’s set in the Gobi tent, the buzzy Harlem rapper decided to get a little serious and touch on what he called “something real important.”

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

The change in tone was unexpected, as his A$AP Mob posse had just made room for another huge entourage as surprise guest veteran New Orleans rapper Master P and his No Limit family, including son Romeo, filled the stage to turn up P’s platinum-selling 1998 anthem, “Make Em Say Uhh!”

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