Best Music Festival - 2007
It's in the desert of Indio, but, nevertheless, Coachella has to win this category. Despite profound and manifold flaws, Coachella is the Taj Mahal of music festivals in Southern California. If you can tolerate nearly constant clusterfuck conditions; infernal heat; long waits for everything; and the chronic reek of horse manure, cigarette smoke, human b.o. and, uh, chronic, then Coachella's rewards will resonate with you for years. The organizers deliver strong, diverse lineups, especially for an event of this magnitude, with an enticing mix of mega-stars, cult favorites and promising newcomers. Even picky bastards can find plenty to like in any given hour during Coachella's three days of stimuli overload. Plus, the sound quality is generally very good for an outdoor venue. And if the music on the five stages ain't pushing your buttons, you can partake of the clever, eco-friendly visual-arts exhibits scattered around Empire Polo Field; sample overpriced cuisine of several ethnicities; engage in scintillating badinage with your fellow festival-goers; flirt and ogle; and take awesome photos for your MySpace/Facebook profiles. Coachella is one of those rare entertainments where you're likely to have the best and worst experiences of your life?several times over.