Warm up your Instagram and bring out your trendiest clothes. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was here! 

Coachella is a cultural trendsetter, a zeitgeist of the millennial era, and interestingly enough — an event that has roots in Cal Poly Pomona.

Paul and Perry Tollett, the founders of the festival, were once both chemical engineering students at Cal Poly Pomona, a piece of trivia about CPP that many students don’t know about.

(Courtesy of Coachella)

“I think it’s so cool that he went to school here,” said Jessie Musacchio, a third-year liberal studies and mathematics major. “It blows my mind because the festival is such a success; it could be the guy sitting next to you in class that could create the next big thing.”

Jake Kim, a fifth-year electromechanical systems technology major, was also surprised, and now he’s interested in learning more about them.

“Well, I think it is great, the fact that we have alumni who are that successful,” Kim said. “I wish he came to our school so that he can share his experience when he was a student at CPP and what led him to where he is today.”

The brothers are also responsible for opening The Glass House, a venue in Pomona that holds numerous concerts and events every year. 

“The fact that he’s [Paul Tollett] kept The Glass House open for all these years is a testament to the city,” said John Halperin, talent buyer at The Glass House. “He wanted a venue for all the kids in Pomona to have a place to go and to have fun.”

And it didn’t stop there. They also began the country music festival Stagecoach, which kicks off this weekend, and took charge of Pomona’s Fox Theater. 

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s first show was in October of 1999 and it was organized by Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Live — the company Paul Tollett worked for soon after graduation, and is now president of.

The music festival traces back to 1993, when Pearl Jam held a concert at the Empire Polo Club. The purpose of this concert was to boycott Ticketmaster and its extremely high prices for venues. The Tolletts then realized that the venue would be perfect to hold large-scale events.

Now, the music festival has grown from being only a two-day event to a three-day event that takes place over two weekends. 

Headliners have come a long way — they’ve ranged from Morrissey and Rage Against the Machine in 1999, to Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire and Kanye West in 2011 to now Tame Impala, Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino in 2019. 

Not only is Coachella known for its artists, but also for its artwork. Coachella features a variety of visual art which plays with different elements and sculptures to create a unique experience for attendees. 

Coachella has become a trendsetter over the years in both music and fashion. The performances put on at the festival are seen as the best of the year — for the rest of the year. It is no question that people are ecstatic to attend every single year. Hence, that’s why tickets sell out so fast.

The distinct outfits that are worn to this event are iconic. Vanessa Hudgens has been considered the Coachella queen by many because of her detailed outfits that never disappoint. 

This year is Coachella’s 20th anniversary and with the balance of various styles of music, Coachella will continue to live up to its name.

People come from all over the world to celebrate the music and groovy aura that come with the festival. 

There really is nothing like camping out, eating a slice of watermelon under the dry desert sun and exploring different music with good friends. 

The Tollett brothers took part in creating something worth millions of dollars and smiles. 

To think that only a few decades ago they were in our position and are now clothed in successes that trace back to the very halls we walk every day. 

In 2017, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival drew more than 250,000 people over both weekends.


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