‘Oh my God, is Geoff dying? He looks like he’s coughing up a lung.’ Next to me, a concerned fan in a bikini top tried to look over the crowd at the main stage of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Fans were able to faintly hear Thursday’s lead singer Geoff Rickly’s coughs as he bent down next to the kick drum microphone. After what felt like five minutes, he got up as the crowd applauded.
Staggering back to the stage with his foot on a monitor, Geoff dramatically said, ‘We’re going to finish this set.’ He coughed. ‘It’s such an honor sharing this stage with bands that I’ve admired and have influenced us so much. The Cure, The Pixies, Radiohead, Kraftwerk … I apologize for my voice, but we’ll finish this set.’
I was baking in the 112-degree heat, but as I listened to their set, I was thoroughly impressed and shamed. Why am I complaining? I’m not coughing up my insides. Not yet, at least.
Geoff’s little speech epitomizes this colossal music festival. It’s the coming together of influential bands of today as well as those who have made their mark decades ago.
May 1 and 2 marked Coachella’s fifth birthday. This two-day festival has been setting up shows with groundbreaking artists since 1999 and have included memorable appearances from Blur, N.E.R.D., Sonic Youth, Bjork, Morrissey, Sigur Ros and Weezer.
This year, however, marked a milestone for Coachella. It is the first year that the festival has been sold-out, leaving many fans kicking themselves for not buying the $75 presale tickets (plus an extra dollar that was donated to one of three charities).
Upon glancing at the lineup for these two days in May, it’s easy to see why it’s sold out. Saturday’s lineup consisted of the ever-evolving Radiohead, Germany’s Kraftwerk, The Pixies, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, France’s Stereolab and many others. This international lineup compelled fans to sell out this first day of Coachella by April 15th.
In two weeks, the Sunday date sold out as well