In the huge build up to Coachella I must admit I wasn’t completely sure that this would be the festival for me. Compared to events that I had attended previously Coachella seemed like it was made for more of a glamorous crowd. The pictures I had seen of the punters who attended the festival before all seemed to be wearing flower crowns and some form of bright, reflective ensemble carrying a handbag branded with a label that just screams pretentious wealth. However, these preconceived judgments of America’s most famous festival have all now been shattered.
We arrived in Palm Springs, California very early in the morning as we had heard horror stories of people being stuck in traffic on the drive inland from L.A. We departed before 6am and ended up getting to Palm Springs at around 9am which ended up being a bit of a problem as we arrived to our resort to find that we couldn’t check in until 4pm. We used this time to turn our hired jeep into a tiny four-person bedroom and attempted to get some sleep in some deserted shopping complex car park before returning to the hotel to prepare for the first day of Coachella.
It’s difficult for me to actually differentiate between the three days of Coachella. The whole weekend became one of those drink, sleep, rave, repeat situations (only with less sleep). We got the shuttle on day one from our hotel to Indio, which is where Coachella was based. Due to the fact that I had about six or seven Bud Lights before the bus departed I was desperately busting for the bathroom. By the time we pulled up Katie and I were the first two people off the bus making a desperate dash for the porta-loos which lined the walk way to the festival entrance. After the amazing feeling of relief washed over me I was ready to head into Coachella for the first time.
At the gate the security guard didn’t make any attempt to search me for concealed weapons or booze. Instead she gave me a high five and screamed, “Welcome to Coachella!!!” This put me in the greatest possible mood to start one of the best weekends of the year.
As stated previously the three days of Coachella blurred into one which makes it difficult for me to recap exactly what went down that weekend. So to try and capture the best bits I am going to do a little bit of summarizing with some highlights:
Unfortunately when the line up was released I had little reason to get excited. There was hardly anything on the long list that I hadn’t seen already or desperately wanted to see. However, there was still a lot of great musical moments. These were my highlights:
Azealia Banks – because nothing beats dropping some foul language loudly in a big crowd of people.
Tame Impala – New music was amazing. Was great to see some hipster-esk guys from straya feel overwhelmed by the support from an American crowd.
Jack White – Perhaps one of the best living rock musicians alive (big call I know). I danced alone to this guy and by the end felt as though I needed a neck brace. Black Math was a definite highlight of the entire weekend.
The War on Drugs – I saw these guys last time at Meredith Festival. It was quite a contrast to see them on the main stage at Coachella. Amazing.
The Weekend – Never gave this guys music a chance as I felt his genre or style was something I would never need to give a chance. However, The Weekend was actually pretty good.
Kimbra – She was the first act I managed to see at the festival. Was pretty cool to hear a New Zealand accent on the microphone.
Lykki Li – Hands down the best thing I saw over the weekend. After listening to her most recent, rather dark album I thought her show would be a bit of a sad sober fest. It was the opposite. The crowd loved her and rightly so.
Gawd I hate talking about the weather. But I actually feel for once in my life that this is actually a rather big factor involved in making Coachella the festival it is. Due to the fact that Palm Springs is in the middle of the desert you can count on it being bloody hot. Unlike Glastonbury and countless other festivals that usually get a good dousing of rain, Coachella remains bone dry which means no wellys, no rain ponchos and NO mud.
OMFG! Never in my life have I been exposed to so many stars mingling with the plebs like me. As we had paid extra for VIP tickets we spent a lot of the weekend in the special area drinking beers in the shade watching bands perform on the main stage. To enter the festival from the V.V.V.V.V.I.P area you needed to walk right by our spot. This resulted in us seeing Paris and Nicky Hilton, Samantha Ronson, Brooklyn Beckham, Patrick Schwarzenegger and a collection of Victoria Secret models.
No. Not all them hussies walking around with their totally unique flower crowns (sarcastic) and their edgy gold tattoos (also sarcastic). I’m talking about my girls, the ones I went along to Coachella with. I could not have picked a better group of lovely ladies who could have contributed to the weekend in a better way. I’m a pretty selfish person when it comes to festivals and will always make sure I see the bands I want to see regardless of what is on the others checklist. Katie came along with me to many a band which I knew weren’t her cup of tea, but she danced along with me and even discovered a few new rock bands to add to her established Spotify playlist of only hip hop and 90’s girl bands.
After leaving the festival on the final night all alone (yeah-sorry Drake. I don’t know ya). I was pretty devastated that Coachella was over in what seemed like a heart beat. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed a festival which I thought would be a glamorous affair targeting teeny boppers. Maybe it’s me who is the one that has changed. Maybe I’m getting past that point of enjoying camping festivals and would now rather prefer the luxury life of hoteling it? Maybe I’m getting old…