the annual arts and music festival held in Indio, California – dates back to 1999. What started as an attempt to break away from the mainstream, big-budget concerts organized by large promoters has itself become one of the most in-demand and noteworthy festivals on the planet.
The headliners of the first iteration of Coachella – held in 1999 – were Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey and Rage Against the Machine. The festival was extremely well received, with critics noting the high level of musicianship among the lineup, instead of only featuring the artists that were getting the most radio airplay at the time.
The festival only grew from there, with 2006 being a watershed year, one that would prove to have far-reaching impacts on the electronic dance music genre. Daft Punk’s performance in the Sahara Tent is frequently cited as the festival’s most memorable of all time, with the artists performing on a pyramid-shaped stage decked out with LED Panels. With its perfectly nostalgic mix of old and new samples from the duo’s catalog, the visuals synced perfectly with the music and provided a clear narrative structure, with a beginning, middle and end to the set. It was, arguably, the first time that the visual component of the show was on equal footing to the music itself, wherein the visuals got the audience to connect emotionally to the music and the performance.
The 2006 Daft Punk performance was a game changer in the electronic dance music industry, forcing every other artist in the genre to rethink their approach to live music performance. It led to other memorable set designs such as Amon Tobin’s 2011 show, where the artist deployed sci-fi visuals projection-mapped on a landscape of cubes, and Deadmau5’s mind-blowing cube stage.
Starting in 2011, YouTube has offered live streaming of the first weekend of the festival, allowing non-festival goers to experience both the music and the visuals from their own laptop or phone. So now, the live performances and the visual artistry have to look good in any medium: live and in person, or scaled down to a smartphone-sized screen.
This underscores how important visuals are in a music performance. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that we actually judge music performances based more on what we see (body language, movement, etc.), and less on what we hear.1 This is why suppliers of LED Outdoor panels such as Matrix Visual are increasingly in-demand; they’re seen as partners in creating an all-encompassing audio/visual experience. Matrix Visual understands the need for a flawlessly executed video and light show, and has stayed ahead of the curve by providing artists with the latest technology to bring their vision to life.
This is Matrix’s 3rd year of involvement at Coachella, and their biggest presence yet. Their displays will be seen at three major performances:
Sometimes called Young Gerald, G-Eazy is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer who hails from Oakland.4 G-Eazy is no stranger to outdoor music festivals, having performed at Lollapalooza and the Vans Warped Tour. He’s also opened for notable performers like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dog. G-Eazy’s most recent album went to number 3 on the US Billboard 200, which catapulted him on a sold-out tour in 2015 that spanned 50+ tour dates across the globe. Matrix Visual is providing a stunning LED wall for G-Eazy’s performance this year at Coachella, using 5mm Outdoor LED Panels.
Halsey is being called one of the “emerging artists you must see” at this year’s show.2 In the past year, she has performed with The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Her shows are hailed as “an experience,” a high-energy production teeming with costumes, lights and visuals.3 Following the designs of Vita Motus, Matrix Visual constructed a combination 30k Barco Projector setup and an LED wall featuring 7mm panels.
Matrix Visual’s work can also be seen at The Chainsmokers’ show. The American duo’s recent song “Roses” reached #6 on the US charts and will no doubt be a highlight of their set at Coachella. For their show in the desert, Matrix Visual is supplying 7mm LED Panels in multiple layers of decking, with a set designed by Vita Motus and structure built by Gallagher Staging.
Additionally, Matrix has donated an LED wall to Basecamp, a pop-up mini-city/camping village that includes parking, camping, showers, food vendors, a swimming pool/lake, shuttle service to the festival, refreshments, merchandise and more. Their lakeside lounge with cabanas and bottle service, plus hot air balloon rides, art compound and other surprises will be an incredible addition to the festival weekend.
See more of Matrix Visual’s work here, including other pioneering visuals for concerts, festivals and more.