After the usual and now traditional roll-out of faux lineups popping up everywhere, Coachella finally made it official with the announcement of its 2013 lineup. Is it the best ever? A 90′s wet dream? Lacking in depth? In need of bigger head-turners? You can debate it one hundred different ways, yet it really just comes down to preference. There is one thing that you can’t argue, though, and that is what is truly missing.

The original Coachella Val­ley Mu­sic and Arts Fest­iv­al launched in 1999, housing four stages and welcoming 35,000 people per day. Single-day tickets were $50 and featured Beck, Rage Against the Ma­chine, Tool, Moby, and more than 50 oth­er acts. A decade and a half later, tickets are $349 for a three-day pass and the festival is expected to draw over 150,000 people. This will also be Coachella’s second year of splitting the festival into two identical weekends in order to accommodate its multiplying audience. Keeping a festival and its lineup unexpectedly fresh and inviting under the scorching desert sun for fourteen years running is no easy task. Yet the people keep coming out in droves, indicating that Coachella is doing something right. Clearly, there is a reason why the event continues to grow.

This year’s headliners for the two weekend festival are Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Never failing to keep the anticipating attendees on their toes, Coachella 2013 has obviously cranked a hard left away from the headlining star power of Madonna, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Prince that populated the lineup over the course of the last ten years. Though a few weeks ago, with the usual speculation growing, it seemed they were about to drop a mega star name once again. Especially when this twitter picture…












…got everyone believing (a stone rolling through the Indio grass) that it was a teaser for the inclusion of The Rolling Stones. Hell, the Stones even seemed in on it as their official smartphone app briefly listed a tour date that matched the Coachella dates! So, let’s just say that the big guns are all set… that’s still not what’s missing. There is always going to be some debate over who is picked to headline, and remember, I’m talking about the undisputable here.

Variety and a wide breadth of musical style definitely isn’t it, either. That, without doubt or argument, has always been Coachella’s strong point. And this year, once again, ponies up three solid days of talent. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lou Reed, Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels, New Order, the Violent Femmes, The Descendants, Jurassic 5, Social Distortion, and The Wu Tang Clan are just a few names scheduled to play. Yet, there are close to 60 bands per day, for three days, and still very little sign of what could make the West Coast’s (and some say America’s) largest and best festival truly shine.

No matter what your preference–mainstream or underground, big names or smaller acts–let’s get down to the glaring hole in Coachella’s lineup:

Where is the representation of local music? Where is the tent (or stage) for local bands?

Indio is located between Los Angeles and San Diego, so why isn’t a stage that rotates local talent from the two surrounding areas not featured? This is the biggest West Coast festival of the year, yet there is very little musical representation from San Diego–one of the largest West Coast cities.

And what a shame that is! With talents like Transfer, Little Hurricane, The Silent Comedy, Dead Feather Moon, The Burning of Rome, and The Heavy Guilt coming from the local SD scene, these are just a few acts that would fit right in, not to mention deserve an opportunity at Coachella. And that’s just a start. I could easily name another 10 acts that would fill out the three days on a dedicated stage.

So, Coachella, while I admire you for your creativity and longevity, for the well-organized, damn good time you roll out, and for understanding that variety is the spice of life, no matter who your headliner is, until you give some of our indisputably talented local bands some play, to me, your festival will always be lacking.

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