On November 5 1993, Pearl Jam were preparing to escalate their assault on American concert outlet, Ticketmaster. The grunge veterans would subsequently file suit with the U.S Justice Department, alleging that the ticket giant was monopolizing the concert market, gouging music fans by continually inflating prices, and giving bands no alternatives but to perform at Ticketmaster-approved venues.
As a means of proving they could survive playing auditoriums outside Ticketmaster’s vice-like grip, Pearl Jam put on a show on the undeveloped desert lawn at the Empire Polo Club Field, located in the arid, blisteringly hot Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, attracting an audience of 25,000.
On October 9, 1999, almost six years after Ticketmaster crushed Pearl Jam’s attempt to wriggle free from their control, the same venue played host to a weekend-long music festival with a line-up headlined by Beck, Morrissey, The Chemical Brothers, Rage Against The Machine and Tool. Medical professionals treated numerous addled audience member for heatstroke and the promoters ended up making an estimated $800,000 loss.
On April 15 of this year, the sixteenth Coachella Festival begins a two-weekend run. 100,000 attendees per day are expected, each of whom will splash out $375 on admission and considerably more on refreshments, merchandise, transport and accommodation.