Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival hosted by Goldenvoice April 17th marks the unofficial kick-off of American music festival season and the start of a new chapter in terms of sponsorship, marketing, summer fashion styles, and of course, old and new bands breaking it big.

What’s interesting about the Coachella announcement that came out January 30 with their line-up of 130-plus acts over 3-days in the Indio polo fields neat Palm Springs is their new lay-away ticket plan. Obviously there’s concern of ticket sales and with a 3-day pass costing around $275 (not including the costs for a hotel, although camping at the venue is far cheaper but hotter), in a difficult economy it’s tough for many fans to make the financial commitment. On the other hand, according to our data from North America, there’s also the commitment from core music fans that are saving up for that coveted show when it comes to town as the big event of their entire summer and instead foregoing buying other things such as apparel or footwear.

For example, the Vans Warped Tour, which is the largest and longest-running tour in history is still keeping it’s ticket prices hovering around $25 which gets you into an 8-hour all day festival and the chance to see some 50 bands, if you can run from stage to stage fast enough. There’s also the Rockstar Mayhem Fest, another Kevin Lyman creation, along with John Reece, which has announced that Slayer and Marilyn Manson will be headlining, that attracts metal fans but also music lovers in general thanks to lower than normal ticket prices and the chance to spend an entire day seeing a multiple of bands.

For Coachella, as the first festival of the summer circuit, this is where you’ll see a good chunk of the bands that will be doing the festival circuit this summer. It’s also the place where new up-and-coming bands, particularly in the indie rock genre, electronica, rave, and synth are showcasing for the first time in front of larger audiences, particularly internationally as a lot of these bands will hit up the European festival circuit later in the summer.

AEG Live, which produces Coachella, along with Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazz, Bumbershoot, and many others, is now bundling its festivals together so that sponsors can reach a far broader audience across a multiple of cities. This also allows bands to basically “tour” via festivals without it actually being one tour.

This summer, basically every band is back out on the road as musicians and record labels realize that it’s in the touring -the sales of merch, posters, tickets -that bring in the cash more so often times than sales of music itself. Which is why many of the old timers too, are back out, such as U2, Fleetwood Mac, and No Doubt.

For Coachella, as of today, January 30, here’s the line-up so far:
FRIDAY APRIL 17: Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Beirut, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Silversun Pickups, The Ting Tings, The Crystal Method, Ghostland Observatory, Crystal Castles, The Airborne Toxic Event, We Are Scientists, N.A.S.A., Patton & Rahzel, M. Ward, The Presets, The Hold Steady, A Place to Bury Strangers, Felix da Housecat, Buraka Som Sistema, Ryan Bingham, Bajofondo, Peanut Butter Wolf, Noah & the Whale, White Lies, The Bug, Alberta Cross, Los Campesinos!, Craze & Klever, Molotov, Switch, Gui Boratto, Steve Aoki, The Aggrolites, People Under the Stairs, The Courteeners, Cage the Elephant, Dear and the Headlights.

SATURDAY, APRIL 18: The Killers, Amy Winehouse, Thievery Corporation, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, MSTRKRFT, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Atmosphere, Mastodon, TRAV$DJ-AM, Henry Rollins, Crookers, Turbonegro, Hercules and Love Affair, Superchunk, Glasvegas, Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers, Booker T & the DBT’s, Amanda Palmer, The Bloody Beetroots, Surkin, Para One (Live), Calexico, Liars, Bob Mould Band, Zane Lowe, Electric Touch, Blitzen Trapper, James Morrison, Drop the Lime, Glass Candy, Thenewno2, Gang Gang Dance, Billy Talent, Ida Maria, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Zizek, Cloud Cult, Tinariwen.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19: The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Throbbing Gristle, Lupe Fiasco, Paul Weller, Peter Bjorn and John, X, Antony & the Johnsons, Roni Size, Public Enemy, Jenny Lewis, Groove Armada, Paolo Nutini, Christopher Lawrence, Lykke Li, The Kills, Okkervil River, M.A.N.D.Y., Clipse, Sebastien Tellier, Fucked Up, Perry Farrell, The Horrors, Late of the Pier, K’naan, Junior Boys, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Supermayer, No Age, Vivian Girls, Shepard Fairey, Themselves, Gaslight Anthem, The Knux, Mexican Institute of Sound, The Night Marchers, Marshall Barnes.

Stay tuned from more in-depth coverage for festival and concert tours in the coming months.