What can I say about Coachella that hasn’t already been said, made fun of or already written about? Well actually I can say A LOT! This year’s lineup got a bad rap for not having big relevant name acts of today when in fact it did, except they weren’t necessarily headlining.
In past years I have missed a lot of performances because of house parties, sponsored events or basking in the desert sun activities so I wasn’t planning on repeating the bone crushing effect that missing The Specials and The Buzzcocks had on me from previous years. I know a lot of hype surrounds Coachella as being a celebrity driven party event with the who’s who of Hollywood, but really come on? Most of us that go to Coachella live in LA, we see celebrities year round at local pubs, coffee houses, shopping, and for those of us who work in the entertainment business (which is everyone) at premieres. So why do I care if Lindsay Lohan is at the Nylon party? I’ve spent a nice chunk of change to attend the festival and I want what I came for, a ton of memorable live performances. I took a page from Karen O’s, (lead singer of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s) book this year – I spent less time recording the shows and more time actually being present; in turn making a lifetime of memories.
First things First… Lets talk about the music:
Friday’s Highlights: C2C, The Shouting Matches, Polica, The Divine Fits, Of Monsters and Men, Local Natives, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Purity Ring, Jurassic 5, Beach House, Band of Horses, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Stone Roses, Blur, How to Destroy Angels, Bassnectar
My favorite: The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
Saturday’s Highlights: Wild Nothing, Vintage Trouble, Savages, Baauuer, Violent Femmes, Bat For Lashes, Major Lazer, Portugal the Man, Yeasayer, Hot Chip, The Postal Service, The XX, Two Door Cinema Club, New Order, Janelle Monae, Simian Mobile Disco, Sigur Ros, Phoenix.
My Favorites: Bat For Lashes, Sigur Ros
Sunday Highlights: DIIV, The Gaslight Anthem, James Blake, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Pretty Lights, The Faint, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, WU Tang Clan, Dead Can Dance.
My Favorites: Pretty Lights, The Faint
Next… The Fashion:
Did someone forget to give me the memo that wearing every decade’s bad fad was acceptable? I mean, there were so many coordinated 80’s tourist costumes; complete with fanny packs, keds, cut off jean shorts, button down, parrotheads (thanks Florida and Jimmy Buffett) and hypercolor spandex. Is there some underground Coachella electronic forum that people discuss what they are going to wear? I mean this couldn’t be a coincidence. Another fashion trend was a throwback to the 60’s with long flowy skirts with crochet tops and flower crowns around girls hair. Cute, yes. But after I saw 100 in a row, it lost its appeal. The other trend was pool noodles? What? Is this for the Harlem Shake or part of the tourist look? I just didn’t get it.
Coachella Do’s and Don’ts… or festival etiquette:
Do: Make sure you go with a great group of people. A group that doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety. There’s a lot of bands and a lot of conflicts that go on at Coachella which means not everyone wants to see the same shows at the same times. This could even mean catch two shows and miss part of one. Well, if that’s the case, (which 95% it is) make a meeting point when you enter the festival. The charging station, Playstation Tent, Red Bull Speakeasy or Beer Garden are some of the easiest ones.
DONT: Be more than 8 min late to your meeting post. Your friends will be pissed they are missing the show. If you have to stop at the ATM or get food, make sure you text.
Do: Choose your Coachooser with some flexibility and carry a hard copy of the schedule. Using your phone app is just gonna drain the battery.
Don’t: Push your way in the crowd to stand in front of someone shorter than you without seeing if you’re in the way. As a statuesque woman of 5’ft, you’d be surprised that I can actually see the stage with hundreds of people in front of me, but that doesn’t mean plant your 6’5 ass in my face. Also a good trick for those of us who are vertically challenged is standing to the side of the stage. You can see everything there, and get pretty close up. Also people aren’t so compact in there which gives you room to move.
Do: Use the words “excuse me” and “pardon” to get into the spot you desire. Tell them thank you. Have some festival etiquette! We all here for the same reason. Be gracious to your fellow music lover.
Don’t: yell or sing all of the words at the top of your lungs without having the whole crowd doing so. It’s highly annoying, I want to hear Jamie XX not Jane Doe.
Do: Bring provisions: sunscreen, baby wipes, pain reliever, feminine products, deodorant, phone charger. Yes, ladies it sucks that you can’t be hands free but its worse when you’re stuck in a Port O’Potty without TP and a dead phone.
To sum it all up: there is no other festival like Coachella. Remember to leave the drama and heartache at home and celebrate with your friends, cherish the memories you make, the new friends you meet, the bands you love, the music you discover, put down your camera, smart phone and enjoy three days of sun, music and love in the desert. See you next year!