A day by day recommendation of this year's festival favourites.
Coachella Festival is nearly here, bringing with it one hell of a weekend chock full of great food, exciting entertainment and, most importantly, amazing music.
Arguably California's most eagerly anticipated event of the year, Coachella settles at the Empire Polo Club in Indio once again for the fifteenth year running between April 11th and 13th on the first weekend and April 18th and 20th on the second. It's not unheard of that a music festival was so good they had to hold it twice, but as of 2012 it has become a no-brainer for Coachella. In a nutshell, it is basically a big playground for grown-ups - though of course it is a family friendly event - featuring activities such as the 3 Legged Race, the Beauty Bar, the art studios, dodgeball and the almighty Pie Eating Contest, all while you're munching on a variety of cuisine from around the state and rocking out to some of the best bands you will ever hear.
The ever eclectic Coachella has played host to a range of different artists over the years with previous headliners including The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Jay-Z, Prince, Depeche Mode and Coldplay; and this year the quality is no different.
Friday brings Baltimore duo Wye Oak onto the Gobi stage around 1pm - a mellow way to kick off your festival experience - while Pennsylvania singer Anthony Green follows that up with a solo gig away from his various band projects on the Coachella stage. Aussies Jagwar Ma will then bring some very welcome psychedelia back to Gobi, and from that we'll be rocking straight into the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and their brand of energetic rock 'n' roll. House DJ Duke Dumont is on the Yuma stage; one guy people can't seem to get enough of after his chart-topping single 'I Got U'; before we're back on to Gobi at the evocative sound of Woodkid with his epic cinematic instrumentals. As the evening draws in, the Coachella stage brings us pure fun with mash up artist Girl Talk, but if you're in a bit of a serious mood you can later check out +++ (Crosses) - the side project of Deftones singer Chino Moreno - on the Mojave stage.
If these aren't taking your fancy, there's still plenty more to take a look at. We also suggest: Bryan Ferry, Bonobo, Hot Since 82, The Afghan Whigs, Ms Mr and Tom Odell.
Artist -Time - Stage
Wye Oak - 1.05-1.45 - Gobi
Anthony Green - 1.40-2.25 - Coachella
Jagwar Ma - 3.20-4.10 - Gobi
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - 4.30-5.25 - Gobi
Duke Dumont - 6.15-7.30 - Yuma
Woodkid - 8.15-9.05 - Gobi
Girl Talk - 9.40-10.30 - Coachella
Crosses +++ - 11.55-Finish - Mojave
Now we've whet your appetite, Saturday brings us even more fun and frolics and we suggest you start off with exceptional UK psychedelic rockers Syd Arthur in the Outdoor Theatre; and make sure you stick around after for the matchless Ty Segall as he ups the thrills with a bit of a garage/punk/noise rock mix. Let LA singer Banks captivate you with some hypnotising tunes over at Gobi before you make your way over to the Coachella stage for the infectiously enjoyable Kid Cudi. Synthpop band Future Islands should drag you back to Gobi but don't worry if you miss them - they'll be touring all Spring! Fatboy Slim reigns in the evening at the Sahara stage - always great fun - but then it's time for man of the moment Pharrell Williams and we can't tell you how 'Happy' that makes us (sorry). Round that night off with the most atmospheric music you will ever know from the day's headliners, Muse.
Also worth a look on Saturday if you get bored: Nas, Mogwai, Queens Of The Stone Age, Pixies, Foxygen, Temples and Aeroplane.
Syd Arthur - 12.45-1.20 - Outdoor Theatre
Ty Segal - 2.55-3.40 - Outdoor Theatre
Banks - 3.45-4.20 - Gobi
Kid Cudi - 5.45-6.35 - Coachella
Future Islands - 7.05-7.55 - Gobi
Fatboy Slim - 8.15-9.15 - Sahara
Pharrell Williams - 10.35-11.35 - Outdoor Theatre
Muse - 11.30-Finish - Coachella
If you're feeling a little delicate by the final day of weekend one, check out the amazing semi-falsetto voice of Irish folk artist James Vincent McMorrow on the Mojave stage. Melbourne rock chick Courtney Barnett brings girl power to Gobi later on, soon to be followed by DJ duo Classixx at Mojave offering both lively dance tunes and more chilled out vibes, and then a little bit of Rudimental because we're certainly not bored of them yet. Outdoor Theatre offers a Prince feel with Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes, and then we're back at Mojave for inimitable electronic beats from Swedish alt-pop act Little Dragon. Unfortunately, we've then got a bit of a clash between the phenomenal voice of John Newman at Gobi and truly excellent songwriting from Beck at the Coachella stage but do try and catch a bit of both. Ending weekend one is Montreal indie rockers Arcade Fire with their hugely anticipated headline set.
Alternatives that would definitely be worth a peek on Sunday include Duck Sauce, Daughter, Neutral Milk Hotel, Surfer Blood, Bo Ningen and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
James Vincent McMorrow - 12.15-12.55 - Mojave
Courtney Barnett - 2.50-3.35 - Gobi
Classixx - 3.35-4.20 - Mojave
Rudimental - 4.45-5.35 - Mojave
Blood Orange - 5.15-6.05 - Outdoor Theatre
Little Dragon - 7.15-8.05 - Mojave
John Newman - 8.50-9.35 - Gobi
Beck - 8.55-9.50 - Coachella
Arcade Fire - 10.20-Finish - Coachella
If that hasn't got you lucky Coachella goers super giddy and you unfortunate non-goers dreadfully jealous, then we really don't know what will. Also, it has to be pointed out that those who have to wait a week longer for their Coachella experience, the schedule for weekend two may be a little different - but you'll still get a taste of all of these artists at their very best.