Nearly 99,000 music lovers make a pilgrimage to the Empire Polo Club during each identical weekend of Coachella, whether bound for campgrounds or shuttling over from golf resorts and mid-century modern homes. Though its bespoke dining experiences and hotel party scene may try to steal headlines, Coachella remains about the relaxed desert air euophoria of a well-curated music festival. Coachella's all-embracing three-day lineup consistently crafts the pool of performers from which all other summer music festivals borrow. Even in the face of an increasingly predictable pattern—the nostalgic critical bait (this year, Lush), the dug-up dinosaurs (Guns 'n' Roses) and the high-profile reunion (LCD Soundsystem)—it's hard to argue with a fest that finds room for Sia, Sufjan Stevens and Ice Cube atop its bill.
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