If not for the coronavirus, L.A.’s streets might still seem desolate this weekend as the annual mass exodus to the desert for the Coachella music festival would be happening right now. Of course, it’s not. And while the YouTube Originals documentary Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert debuting today, wont take its place, it promises to be the next best thing.
The filmmakers are encouraging fans to watch and share their reactions and interactions via the hashtag #COUCHELLA (anti-fest people might want to stay off social media as over-used “chella” wordplay and flower crown selfies are sure to abound this weekend).
As for the doc, it premieres at the exact time the doors of the festival would have otherwise opened – April 10 at 12:00pm PT and it is streaming for free on YouTube. Featuring festival memories, performances and artist interviews from ‘99 to ‘19, the doc will provide some fun, full bodied flashbacks for those of us who’ve attended the festival in the past, but have no desire to go back. Those who are super-bummed not to be there right now will enjoy it too, but with an added helping of acute FOMO.
Want to jog more Coachella memories? Search L.A. Weekly’s music section for great coverage of the festival the past 20 years. I covered Coachella from 2003-2015 for multiple sections of this publication including my long-running party column for the print edition. Just a few of my favorite pieces for L.A. Weekly linked below.