Party Like It’s 1999: Looking back at the inaugural Coachella Music & Arts Festival

Photo via the LA Times

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith this year’s Coachella lineup dominating our news feeds this morning (our small complaint: where is Placebo and/or Primal Scream?) we decided to look back 15 years at the inaugural festival back in 1999.

The idea for a full-scale music festival in Indio, California was planted in November 1993 by Pearl Jam, who played a show that drew 25,000 fans to the Empire State Polo Club. The performance was part of the band’s boycott of Ticketmaster and intent to perform in places not controlled by the ticketing agency. Six years later, the first Coachella would happen, and because it was just three months after the fires and riots of Woodstock ’99, no on-site camping was permitted.

More from the Coachella wikipedia:

About 10,000 people attended the two-day inaugural event, supporting headlining acts Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey and Rage Against the Machine. Other acts included Jurassic 5, DJ Mike Hawk, and Underworld. Originally, promoters had hoped to make the event three days (Friday-Sunday) and even considered the UK band Massive Attack as the third day headliner. The event went smoothly, with the biggest complaint being the blistering heat. Goldenvoice lost more than $750,000 on the undertaking, with prominent bands like Rage Against the Machine, Tool and Beck agreeing to delayed compensation, and leading to the sale of the company to AEG.

The financial hit led to no festival in 2000, but Coachella returned the following year as a one-day event with Jane’s Addiction, Paul Oakenfold, Weezer, Iggy Pop and a few dozen others. The two-day format returned in 2002.

Check out the flyer for the ’99 Coachella, with full lineup and a selection of videos after the jump…

Coachella 99

Full lineup for 1999:

Day 1: Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Morrissey, Perry Farrell, Cornelius, Bis, Underworld, Art of Noise, Breakbeat Era, Roni Size, Die & Dynamite MC, Plastikman, Richie Hawtin, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Spiritualized, Modeski, Martin & Wood, Modest Mouse, Super Furry Animals, IQU, At the Drive-In, Los Amigos Invisibles, The Bicycle Thief, A Perfect Circle, Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, Jurassic 5, Mr. Scruff, Nightmares on Wax, DJ Food, u-Ziq, Tomas, DJ Rap, The Wiseguys, Bassbin Twins, Sandra Collins, Christopher Lawrence, and Simply Jeff.

Day 2: Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Pavement, Cibo Matto, Money Mark, Moby, Gus Gus, Thievery Corporation, Lamb, Esthere, Fantastic Plastic Machine, BT, Banco de Gala, The Angel aka 60 Channels, DJ Shadow, Carl Craig Innerzone Orchestra, Spearhead, Gil Scott Heron, Raluzel, Ugly Duckling, Kool Keith, LTJ Bukem, Blame & MC Conrad, Slipmaster J & MC Conrad, Mixmaster Mike, Q-Bert, A-Trak, 4 Hero, DJ Cam, Scratch Perverts UK, Raymond Roker, Jun & MC Question Mark, Neotropic, Luke Vibert, Autoclire, Bola, Jega, Andy Maddocks, Rob Hall, Mira Callix, and Push Button Objects.