The States might have hundreds of festivals each summer, but few can compete with the gargantuan lineup that descends on the desert each April for Coachella Festival. It might have a reputation as the fest for celebs and posers, but throughout its 19 year history, there’s no doubt that Coachella’s consistently pulled together a pretty impressive array of artists. Want to relive some of its past magic? Enter our Coachella time machine and kick yourself about the ones you missed.
As inaugural festivals go, a headlining duo of Beck and Rage Against The Machine is tough to beat – especially with Morrissey, the Chemical Brothers and Tool not far behind.
A drought in 2000 meant the festival was postponed for a year, but they bounced back a year later with a slightly scaled-back lineup with Jane’s Addiction headlining the one-day event.
The two-day event was back in 2002, with Bjork headlining the Saturday, and a mammoth run of The Strokes, Foo Fighters, The Prodigy and Oasis on the Sunday.
The mainstage was dominated by big names like Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The White Stripes – but it was also one of the first opportunities for US music fans to witness the shambolic beauty of The Libertines as they headlined the Mojave Tent.
Radiohead made the first of many headline appearances back in 2004, with The Cure, Pixies, Kraftwerk and Muse all appearing across the weekend.
Just months before their massive third album ‘X&Y’ was released, Coldplay cemented themselves as one of the world’s biggest bands with their first ever US headlining slot. Also appearing lower down on the bill were future headliners all over the globe – Arcade Fire and Kasabian.
Depeche Mode and Tool were the mainstage draws, but it was French duo Daft Punk’s comeback show in the Sahara Tent that proved to be the weekend’s most memorable moment.
The festival’s first three-day event saw the return of previous headliners, Bjork, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine, but an undercard of Justice, Arctic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys made this jaunt in the desert one to remember.
Jack Johnson and Roger Waters may seem like slightly limp headliners, but when you get an unannounced slot from Prince on Saturday night – that’s easily forgotten. His legendary headline show has gone down in history as one of the festival’s finest sets, partly in thanks to his daring cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.
Time was an issue for headliners in 2009 as Paul McCartney played a whopping 54 minutes over curfew and The Cure’s set was cut 30 minutes short on the Sunday. The Killers were bang on time on the Saturday, mind. Good lads.
In 2010, the festival got rid of day tickets for the event, offering only three-day passes for attendees. Response was mixed, but 225,000 punters still turned up to headline sets from Gorillaz, Jay Z and LCD Soundsystem,
The festival expanded its grounds slightly in 2011, and that expansion was reflected in the bill – with huge acts like Kings of Leon, The Strokes, Arcade Fire and Kanye West all taking the top slots. Blimey.
In 2012, the festival first trialled its two-weekend event with identical lineups performing a week apart. Radiohead were back to headline alongside The Black Keys – but it was Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg’s joint performance that provided the story of the weekend as they utilised a 3D hologram of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur in their set.
Brits ruled the 2013 edition as Blur and Stone Roses co-headlined on the Friday (to modest crowds), with Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers topping the bill on Saturday and Sunday. It also featured one of the final festival appearances from Lou Reed before he died in October 2013.
Hip-hop heroes Outkast returned in slightly half-arsed fashion, but it also became the year EDM took over, with Calvin Harris, Disclosure, Skrillex and Netsky all taking massive slots across the festival.
Tickets for the 2015 edition sold out in less than 20 minutes and no wonder, boasting a headlining collective of Jack White, AC/DC, The Weeknd and Drake. The latter’s set was of course most remembered for Madonna’s guest appearance, and the rapper’s meme-worthy response to a peck on the cheek.
Palm Springs played host to two huge reunions last year as LCD Soundsystem got back together and Axl Rose and Slash buried the hatchet to perform as Guns N’ Roses for the first time in decades.
After Beyonce’s withdrawing from the festival because she’s pregnant with twins, Gaga stepped up to take on her Saturday night slot, with Radiohead returning for a third time and Kendrick Lamar makeing his first headline appearance.
It’s out! The long-awaited Coachella 2018 lineup announcement came last night and it’s as star-packed as ever. Beyonce is set to headline the Saturday night after dropping out last year. She’s joined at the top of the bill by The Weeknd (Friday) and Eminem (Sunday). Solo artists snag the headline slots this year then, but there’s plenty of bands lower down the order – The War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Haim and alt-J to name but a few. Roll on April.