For longtime Coachella-goers, the recently released lineup for the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival may feel like déjà vu.
Electro house's Calvin Harris, dub step's Skrillex and indie rock's MGMT are veterans to the festival, with their most recent performances in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
But that didn't hurt ticket sales. The festival completely sold out Jan. 10, with general admission tickets for Weekend 1 sold out in May during a brief pre-sale period — well before the lineup was announced on Jan. 8 — and within two hours when the last batch of tickets were made available.
“It's just the experience,” said 37-year-old Jharvis Licera of San Dimas.
Licera, who will be attending his third Coachella, said he and his friends never know what the music will be when they rush to buy tickets online each year.
“I enjoy meeting the different people and hanging out with my friends every time. The music is almost more secondary to the experience. Once you find out the lineup, it's exciting at that point,” he said.
General admission passes for the festival, which is hosted two weekends in April at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, sold for $375, while general admission passes plus a shuttle pass sold for $435. VIP passes were even more expensive at $799, but managed to sell out.
“I'm really happy with the lineup because OutKast got back together,” Licera said. “I didn't expect that at all. Having never seen them I'm excited. I've seen Muse before.”
Muse previously performed at the festival in 2010 while fellow headliner Arcade Fire performed in 2005, 2007 and 2011.
Joining the repeat acts include electro funk's Chromeo, who jammed in 2008 and 2011, and alternative rock's Beck, who performed in 1999, 2002 and 2004. Coachella Valley natives Queens of the Stone Age played in 1999, 2002 and 2003 while Dillon Francis just played last year.
That's not to say this year's festival is complete repeat of Coachellas past.
Fishbone, a Los Angeles funk/ska/punk act who formed in 1979 and musicially influenced veteran Coachella performers Red Hot Chilli Peppers as well as No Doubt, will be making its debut at the desert festival this year, along with other newer acts like Lorde, pop rock's Haim and English metal band Motörhead.
“I'm excited about it,” said Fishbone bassist John Norwood Fisher, who said he went to a previous Coachella as a guest of friend of the band Rick Van Santen, the former co-president of Goldenvoice who died in 2003. “It's our turn to take the stage at Coachella.”
Fisher, 48, said he is also looking forward to seeing fellow festival newbies Bad Manners and the reunion of The Replacements, as he never got the chance to watch the band perform despite being on tour with them in the early 1990's.
“Three dudes beat the (expletive) out of me in Austin in a hotel in the early ‘90's,” Fisher recalled. “As police were taking me to jail, (one of the Replacements) said, ‘That's the dude from Fishbone.' I think they tried to help. ... That was about as close as I got to see the Replacements.”
Shaun Carter, product manager for Claremont's Rhino Records, said he doesn't understand why people would be upset with bands who have previously performed at Coachella.
“What do they expect?” said Carter, who last attended the festival in 2011. “Do they expect people to stop making music? Queens of the Stone Age has played three or four times, but they just put out a great album. Why not have them play new stuff for people who might not have heard of them? It's ludicrous to be upset when they're playing a festival because there's 200 other acts playing. There's a lot of groups. If you're upset that you're seeing a band playing again, go see somebody else.”
Chance Foster, manager for Fingerprints in Long Beach, said he was unsure if he would go this year because of money issues, but he felt the festival was ultimately worth the cash.
“I think it's worth it because of the reunions, like the Replacements and OutKast, but the other bands I think are just more or less festival mainstays,” Foster said. “It seems like you can predict some of the bands just because they're loved by all the festivals.”