By Whitney Pastorek
April 17, 2009 at 08:13 PM EDT

Good morning, Mixers! It’s 62 degrees and warming here in Indio, California — time to pack the trusty backpack and hit the fields of the Empire Polo Club for yet another exciting rendition of Coachella. I’ll be blogging daily digests from the festival this weekend, bringing you all the excitement of a lineup that is, in my opinion, a bit odd: Paul McCartney, The Killers, and The Cure, supported by Morrissey, Leonard Cohen, My Bloody Valentine, and the Winehouse-replacing M.I.A., who finally gets a spot on the mainstage where she belongs. (Check out the full set times here.) I can’t wait to see how some of this stuff plays, and I’m also curious to see the demographics out there on the grounds: Will turf wars spring up between the young saddos and the old? Will anyone under the age of 30 show up for Macca? Will Mr. Cohen be completely drowned out by Franz Ferdinand? Could someone please explain to me Silversun Pickups?

Most of all: Can a festival be sustained largely by the mystique accumulated over its ten years of operation? This is hardly the greatest, HAVE TO BE THERE group of bands in the history of ever, but Billboard reports that — despite an economy that’s reduced the EW Coachella Coverage Team to just little ol’ me — ticket sales are on par with years past. I suspect fans are dropping their $269 (now payable on layaway!) in hopes of having an experience, not just seeing specific acts — and there are indeed few places on earth better at delivering experiences than this particular music festival. I already can’t wait for sunset. Plus, as the Billboard story points out, it’s cheaper than Hawaii.

What do you think, Mixers? Who’s worth your recession dollars, and does the festival setting make spending that cash any more (or less) enticing? Who should I not miss? And does someone want to volunteer to head up our dance tent coverage, since I can’t really be everywhere at once?

Photo Credit: Whitney Pastorek/