The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival undergoes a fundamental transformation this month, expanding to two consecutive weekends hosting two identical lineups. The move has some music cognoscenti questioning whether or not the year's biggest festival has finally grown too big.
"Instead of duplicating one lineup, it should have included bands that wouldn't normally have the platform at all. As it is now, it's just given bands that already have a platform a second platform. "
D.J. Pangburn, editor, Death + Taxes magazine
"I thought [Coachella was] overreaching, but it booked Radiohead, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Both weekends sold out instantly. The fact that it doubled the time commitment from these huge acts tells me Coachella isn't losing stature."
Sean Highkin, editor, Beats Per Minute
"But it hasn't evolved. The only things that change are the lineups and cost of attending. Its influence—if it ever really had one—is on the wane."
"Coachella has evolved; it just doesn't have much indie cred anymore. Of course it's going to cost more money every year. And if the price of admission for three days of music includes one day of music that I'm not necessarily that interested in, I'm fine with it."
A version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.