2005 was more pleasant (great camping buddies, Dresden Dolls signing, perfect weather, not overcrowded, lots of free booze and pot, VIP, I ran into a lot of people I knew so I wasn't too lonely), but the absolute worst scheduling (half the good bands were playing at exactly the same time as the others, so lots of downtime)
2006 had the most solid lineup (never a dull moment), but had miserable conditions (more overcrowded than ever, the Iron Curtain incident on Sunday, late divas ruining everyone's plans, inconsiderate fans of one-act-only)
I'm going to go with 2004. Sure, it was the hottest year ever, and I was only able to attend the first day because of stupid midterms, but Radiohead + Pixies = priceless, and there's no time like the first time. And Camp Atease was really great.
On Sunday, half the grounds were roped off because Madonna was soundchecking or whatever. So, no entry to the Mojave tent, Sahara tent, AT&T myspace tent, or that beer garden until after noon. I was actually planning on checking out the Sahara tent from noon-1pm, too. Oops. I wonder when the acts that were supposed to go on at noon actually played. I was so hot frying under the sun at high noon that I just chilled in the AT&T tent, where it was nice and dark and cool.
2004 was a dream lineup for me. My favorite 2 bands are radiohead and flaming lips... to have them both at the same festival was INSANE. And the Pixies are probably in my top 5 favorite bands as well... and Air probably top 10... and it was my first time seeing the Lips play live (I've seen them 5 times since then)
To be honest, I probably had more "fun" last year though (2006) because I was with a bunch of good friends, we stayed at an awesome party house, etc.
But I gotta go with 04. I have a hard time believing anything will ever top it
I've been going since '02; and, '04 and '06 are actually tied, for different reasons. '04 had awesome headliners and a lot on the undercard that I loved - Pixies reunion...says it all! But, 2006 was the first time I did not camp and stayed in a killer hotel in Palm Springs (due to being surrounded by a bunch of frat/military type asssholes who wanted to start a fight with everyone or be ridiculuously loud until 5 in the morning in '05). Also, I researched bands I've only heard of or only listened to on a limited basis, and it made for a great time and listening experience - though it was hard to schedule. '03 was alright, but I did ask my wife (fiance at the time) to marry me about an hour before The White Stripes went on.
"Yeah chicks go nuts for that... the male camel toe."
"Yea yea! The camel tail."
I've only been to '04 and '06. I went with '04 also. Highlights were getting to see the Pixies again, discovering the Black Keys, and the Air sunset performance. I loved the line-up for '06, and was able to plan my time better because I had experienced Coachella before (not to mention the fact that I had familiarized myself with more of the bands), but damn that first time was amazing...
I have been to every one. 1999 tops the list, well, because you never forget your first - plus there was under 20,000 people per day, talk about your comfortable surroundings (although GV lost money on Coachella that year)
1999 also had a KILLER lineup, Morrissey, Rage, Beck, Tool, Underworld, Chemicals, DJ Shadow, Lamb, Pavement, Moby, Spiritualized, etc...
I'd give 03 and 04 the next spots, although 04 was too freakin hot and too freakin crowded.
06 was the most fun for me because I had tons of friends there. i enjoyed 04 more musically and 05 was great, but 06 was just more fun.
my thoughts exactly! i didn't go with friends last year, but my onsite campmates became great friends.
the lineup of 04 may never be topped.
my 05 experience was subpar. arcade fire saved it from being a complete disaster.
2004 was just epic. It was wicked hot, but we drank plenty of water, and bathed in sunscreen, so no worries. That lineup was sick, from top to bottom. I saw so many great bands, and missed so many others!
I've enjoyed every one, but I would have to say 2006 was my least fave (but it was still a blast).
There have been moments of sublimeness at every event I've been to, but the sun going down, the air becoming a tiny bit cooler while lounging on the grass listening to Air and Belle and Sebastian were among the best "it" moments.
I cant Believe nobody mentioned Daft Punk along with their support for 06. I been 04, 05, 06, because I live in drunken walking distance of the venue. In my opinion 04 and 05 were more relaxed and chillen. 06 was the year to go all out. Me being an EDM fan, had a fucking blast. To name my favorites of last year would be in order. Daft Punk, Damien Marley, Depech Mode, Coldcut, the list goes on.
04 was my first festival adventure, and between the AIR set, Wayne Coyne's unveiling of his plastic ball for the first time, and meeting a really cute girl on the plane ride home I kind of changed forever. I guess that makes it my favorite.