Will the great concert experiment in the Southern California desert get a second chance? It's been four months since the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival brought Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Chemical Brothers, Moby and dozens of other acts to a vast, grassy field in Indio, and organizers will be quietly working this week to lay the groundwork for the festival's return--despite losing money the first time around. Officials at Goldenvoice, the show's promoters, have already reserved dates at the Empire Polo Grounds for the two-day October festival and they are now beginning to talk to artists, agents and managers about assembling the talent. The festival's return is not a done deal, but Goldenvoice partner Paul Tollett says the prospects look good. "We're putting tentative feelers out and we've heard from some artists already who approached us," says Paul Tollett, a Goldenvoice partner. "The part that's exciting is we're getting so much positive feedback. The thing is, we wouldn't want to do it unless we're sure it can live up to the first one." Fans and artists did give the show strong reviews for its mix of rock, dance and DJ acts, along with its emphasis on creature comforts. The concert industry trade Pollstar added to the praise last week by naming the show the best music festival of 1999, giving it the nod ahead of Woodstock 99, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and other nominees that enjoy far more tradition and name recognition. So how would a second Coachella show be different? Less sweat. After watching fans wilt in the early afternoon sun, Tollett and his partners say they would start the show later in the day. "It was hot out there," Tollett said.
--Compiled by Times staff writers