Maximum Performance

The Story Behind That Awesome Coachella Fake Poster Generator

Maximum Performance

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Fake Coachella Poster Jimi Hendrix

In 2011, Austin-based computer programmer Larry Kubin was combing through the Coachella forums when he noticed a thread called "Rumors, Gossip, Wish List." He clicked and saw some amusing fake lineup posters people had created with Photoshop.

"I figured there were other people who wanted to make their own fake poster, but didn't necessarily know how to use Photoshop, get the right fonts and put it together," Kubin told Yahoo Music. "So I said, 'Lemme do the simplest possible thing, which is to generate an image of a poster and make it easy for people to type in their own lineups in these boxes and then type in a link and put it on a message board."

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Kubin used the Coachella promotional poster as a template for his design, and created a font that became smaller as the user progressed down the lineup, just like the actual poster. He bought the domain name createlinup.com and plugged his Coachella Lineup Generator on the Coachella Message Boards and on his own Facebook and Twitter.

At first it was mostly his friends who created and posted their own lineup posters. Then various blogs began picking up on the fake lineup generator, providing readers with the link.

"Over time it must have gotten indexed by Google and a lot more people shared it," Kubin said. "I didn't plan for it to be some viral thing, but more influential blogs started writing about it and eventually someone with 100,000 followers or so tweets about it, and it grew from there."

In 2012, 300 users made fake Coachella posters with Kubin's program. Last year the number grew beyond 1,000 – and so far this year, more than 75,000 users have created posters. Some people have simply generated their dream lineups. Others have been more creative.

"It's funny how there are all these jokes people have made of posters with only dead bands or bands that could never play," Kubin said. "Other people put together lineups that are so big budget that no one could ever book them – like 50 headliners."

So far, Kubin hasn't had any complaints about his lineup generator from the Coachella production team, but that's not why he keeps it going. The time commitment has been minimal and although he hasn't made any money with the program or used it to advance his career, that's not what it was intended for.

"I just think it’s cool to see that people are actually using it," he said. "Sometimes I'll be surfing the Web and I'll see something on a blog with a sarcastic lineup for Coachella and I can look at it and say to myself, 'Wow, I did that.'"

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