This past year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most famous events in the world, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. It was announced last month that the festival would be postponed to October because of the current pandemic involving Covid-19. Thousands of festival goers instead had to trade in their glamorous and exotic outfits for pajamas as they sat at home and watched the premier of the feature-length documentary ‘Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert’.
The YouTube Original, directed by Chris Perkel, was released this past Friday at noon – the same exact time that the festival would have begun. Although it was the first time in the festival’s history that it was postponed, fans instead were able to experience the history and makings of the event told by some of the most famous musicians in the world. Even if you are not a fan of Coachella, this documentary is a gift to anyone who appreciates music.
The documentary offers viewers performances of legends across all musical genres including Radiohead, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse and much more. There are also interviews focused on the cultural movement of the festival such as that told by Pasquale Rotella, organizer of the Electric Daisy Carnival.
Rotella provides insight into Coachella’s influence on the culture of rave as it highlights the events in 2001-2002 involving the DEA’s Crackhouse laws that targeted both venues and event producers. During a time when rave culture was struggling and being targeted by law enforcement, Coachella kept dance music and these producers as a staple of their community when other places would not accept them.
This documentary gives viewers a chance to relive some of the festival’s most iconic moments throughout the years. Even though people will not have the ability to attend their favorite artist’s performances at Coachella this year, or at least until October (hopefully), the documentary reminds fans of the coveted experience that the festival has to offer.
‘Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert’ portrays the importance of the festival as it embraces all individuals and genres of music as it progresses every year throughout its history.
Check out the YouTube Original ‘Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert’ to learn the cultural significance of the festival and its effect on music: