Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 >> It happened. It finally happened. I made it to the Coachella music festival for the first time after years of feeble attempts!
I expected the crowds, the heat, the festival 'attire', but what I didn’t expect was that I was about to go from a music-lover to a festival junkie overnight. I’m now committed to attend as many festivals as my bank account and vacation days will allow.
Why, you ask? For starters, the opportunity to see as many bands as you can in a single venue is an experience like no other. Coachella has 6 stages with overlapping set times, which begs questions like: 'Do I catch Lorde, Foster the People or Fatboy Slim and then Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age or Empire of the Sun?'
Decision: 10 minutes of Lorde from the back row [‘cuz I hear her set is gothic and boring], sacrifice Fatboy [#sadface], run up front for all of Foster [since I missed them 2 years ago andit’snotgoingtohappenagain], mad dash to Pixies to catch the entirety of 'Where Is My Mind?' and take the long way to Empire so I can hear half a song from QOTSA on the way.
BOOM! Adrenaline rush! Planning like a champ. BUT… Empire’s set is so unbelievably entertaining I had to miss the beginning of Pharrell and catch the star-studded performance from a distance while drinking and dancing in the beer garden, where I finally found my friends and put on some psychedelic glasses they handed me which they later admitted they found god knows where [not like there’s anything sanitary after five minutes at the festival anyway!].
Somehow, there is an oddly inviting bonding experience you share with thousands of random people over mutually sweaty, dust-encrusted, dehydrated bodies because you’re all in it together for this blessed celebration of music. But I digress.
What I truly loved about the festival is when I was smiling and wandering around by myself, feeling safe and tranquil on a warm sunny day in my bikini top and short shorts, enjoying the gusty wind and a cold bottle of water, watching some of my favorite bands perform songs I have been waiting years to hear live.
I loved having a circled-off dance party with my group of 10+, yelling 'YEAAAAH!' the second Outkast started playing another hit single [and communally wondering why they played all the duds in the middle].
I loved meeting up with my friends in the beer garden talking about nothing in particular while listening to Carnage playing it up in the not-too-distant Sahara tent.
I loved being introduced to a young man whom I’d later make out with under the stars while Lana Del Rey serenaded us to her new track 'West Coast'.
I loved getting my makeup touched up after the peak heat at the Sephora tent and feeling glamorous [or at least less nasty] the rest of the evening.
I loved getting only a few seconds of video for Aloe Blacc because my co-worker friend danced too much in front of the camera.
I loved making swaying peace signs while lying on the grass rocking out to Haim.
I loved seeing my friend’s face light up when she finally got to see Bombay Bicycle Club up close.
I loved my own face lighting up after working my way to the front of the stage to watch Muse perform, after trying for over a DECADE to convince someone to see a show of theirs with me.
And I loved standing there among thousands of people singing a cappella with Arcade Fire when their set went past midnight and the microphone got shut off, holding on to that moment as long as I could knowing it would never happen again.
That, my new friends, is why I have turned into a festival junkie. It’s all about the moments that make it matter.
Next stop: Outside Lands 2014.