As you might know by now, the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival (Coachella for short) has become one of the most sought-after tickets in all of music each year since its inception. A multitude of artists pack the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California, to experience music at its finest.
Now, six major acts that have each been touring for about 40-50 years are coming together for a “mega-Coachella,” “classic rock Coachella,” or, as many have so aptly named, “Old-chella.” It’s called “Desert Trip!”
Goldenvoice, the organizers behind Coachella, have officially announced their next megafest. Taking place October 7th – 9th at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Grounds, Desert Trip will feature performance from six rock ‘n’ roll institutions: Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young will all share the same stage for the first time ever. (Consequence of Sound)
First off, let me state that this is a killer lineup. This is damn-near unprecedented. I would love to pay some decent coin for a festival like this. Full sets, legendary status and out in the wide open desert? Seriously, what’s not to like?
One of the huge positives about festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, CMA Fest, Outside Lands, Austin City Limits, and many more are the special guests that could appear. Think about this for a moment. How cool would it be for Roger Waters to bring out David Gilmour for a few songs? I’d love to hear them bust out a 10-minute rendition of “Comfortably Numb.” Wouldn’t you love to see Bob Dylan bring out Eric Clapton and do a duet of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” followed by “Sunshine of Your Love” or “Layla”? Perhaps “Jammin’ Me” with Tom Petty thrown in a mix with “American Girl?”
How about The Who, who has traveled with Zak Starkey in the past, bringing down the house with Ringo Starr (Zak is Ringo’s son) on “Baba O’Riley,” “Who Are You,” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again?” Holy crap, would that be awesome! Maybe Ringo hooks up with Paul and there’s half a Beatles reunion. The Rolling Stones are the Rolling Stones. Is it possible that Neil Young brings out the whole Crosby, Stills, and Nash group and have a memorable reunion themselves? Certainly!
I know that’s a lot to take in, and there are so many different possibilities. What matters is if this is the only installment of its kind. There’s no excuse for one to miss out on it. One drawback would be that it’s only these six bands/artists for this particular festival. The greatness of the likes of Coachella and others comes from seeing a bunch of different and up-and-coming artists with whom you may not be familiar.
The second drawback would be for fans to miss out on buying tickets because they sell out so fast. I get that. Also, understand that wandering out in the desert is not for the faint of heart. I can’t imagine a great swath of people who lived during the prime and early years of these artists will, or be able to, withstand walking 10-15 miles daily for three days in a dry heat. I could be wrong, though.
I feel, not necessarily a disturbance in the force, but a strong feeling that many are going to want to cash out early on their 401Ks or IRAs in order to see this once-in-a-lifetime experience. My father raised me on the best music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. He taught me how this music not only shaped its generation then, but how its influence is ever-so-present today. If you get the opportunity to go, don’t waste it.