We’re officially at peak music festival in 2015. They’re everywhere, including one that’s being unashamedly promoted by Chipotle. But before the bloat, there was one pioneer: Coachella. Make no mistake: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival is the alpha in a sea of omegas.
And why? Coachella is one of the few places left for musicians to make international headlines because of their performances. Acts like Feist, Black Keys, Arcade Fire and every spiky-haired, v-neck wearing DJ with a Vegas residence ascended from curtain-jerker to headliner over its 16 years. Long-awaited reunions like Pixies, Iggy & the Stooges, Rage Against the Machine and Outkast finally materialize and if The Smiths ever get back together, Coachella will be ground zero. Nearly every Coachella lineup has also shown Canadian artists plenty of love, with multiple appearances by the likes of Metric, Tokyo Police Club, Tegan and Sara, and Broken Social Scene. All that said, many of Coachella’s lineups have solidly delivered, while some have missed the mark. Here’s our list for the 16 best Coachella line-ups of all-time from 1999 to 2015.
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