Every year, Coachella is a new and fantastic experience, made even better by incredible music and the greatest of friends. The festival runs so cleanly that there really isn’t any guess-work when it comes to organization. Here are the pros, cons, and tips (for those of you going to weekend 2) that I’ve learned from weekend 1.
THE BEST PERFORMANCES
I certainly don’t consider myself an EDM snob, but I was going in with pretty low expectations for Garrix. He performed later in the evening on Friday, and I was, quite literally, blown away by his performance. The songs he chose were amazing, the remixed and transitioned perfectly, and the lights and lasers were exceptional. Needless to say, this “Animal” is not just a one-hit wonder. Given what I saw, he has a very bright, 128BPM future ahead of him.
Earth to everyone, her ridiculous vocal range is not auto-tuned. She belted out a lot of fan favorites, as well as some newer and less famous singles. Because she was on the main stage in the mid-afternoon, it was fantastic to just lie on the grass, listen, and watch the clouds roll by. She closed out her set with “Burn” and it was unreal. I’ve never considered myself my of a Goulding fan, but clearly that opinion needs to be reconsidered.
Dillon’s skills over the past few years have been insane. He performed last year as well, but this year’s was exponentially better. He even had guests appearances, including Diplo (and yes, in case you were wondering, I lost my shit.) He even had a funny little bit where his alter ego Hanzel came on the screen and talked to the crowd in his German accent. A remarkable show, only made better by Diplo appearing and Dillon’s fantastic mix of “Bubble Butt.”
Honestly, I hadn’t heard much of CHVRCHES music before this past Saturday, but I really enjoyed there show. Similar to Ellie Goulding’s set, me and my friends just laid in the grass and listed to the music. They were just as good, if not better, than their studio recordings. Let me tell you, enjoying a frozen strawberry lemonade while listening to soothing indie tunes is not a hard life. Not at all.
I was not pleased to see him performing on the main stage in the day time. Swedish House Mafia two years ago was amazing, but it was the closing act. By the time Calvin started, it was dusk. Luckily the sun set quickly and the entire fair grounds turned into a bumping night club. He played all his hits (which is a lot because, well, he has a shit ton of hits.)
This guy started early in the day, so we had to hustle our asses out of bed, but it was well worth it. Obviously he played “Ode to Oi,” but he also played a ton of bangers by other artists. Aside from the heat and the dust, this was easily one of the best sets at Coachella.
THE WORST PERFORMERS
I hate to have to break it to y’all, but Outkast should have really let their legend live on. They blamed their terrible show on their mics, the speakers, literally anything but themselves. When they sang “Hey Ya,” they weren’t even facing the audience. I left early because I figured if I wasn’t enjoying myself, I may as well get back to the condo and get another hours worth of sleep in before a busy next day, and boy was I glad I made that decision. Everyone else that stayed said it was just plain awful. Sorry Outkast, but you’ve been casted out.
Duck Sauce performed a few years ago, and it was pretty good. Their hit “Barbara Streisand” had just come out and people were really stoked to see them. So why did Coachella choose them to close the Sahara tent on Sunday night instead of the many talented artists that performed earlier? We may never know. Needless to say, their performance was fun, but the lights and graphics were really underwhelming. With all the amazing EDM acts that covered the rest of the weekend, you’d think they would close with an epic performance, but that sadly wasn’t the case.
Get a bus pass:
I actually got a bus pass last year, but I can’t tell you how convenient they are. Camping is the most draining activity (believe me, I’ve done it.) This year the sold “Any Bus Any Time” passes, so even if you end up crashing somewhere you didn’t plan to, you’re still able to get there without hassle. The system moves really well, we never waited on the bus to get to or from the festival, and there were clear directions as to where to go to get on your bus line. Luckily we stayed in La Quinta, only a few minutes away from the festival grounds. My heart goes out to the poor souls staying in Palm Springs (1 hour ride.)
Make sure you consistently eat during the day:
Ok, ok, this seems like common sense, but with the heat and the music and the dancing, you sort of forget how quickly time passes without eating. I couldn’t figure out why my stomach felt like it was on a roller coaster late in the day until Sunday, when I deliberately set meal times and had plenty of snacks.
Pro tip: Hit up a bunch of different food stands, they actually have really good food. You should also stop and get food when you are on the way out of the festival. If you’re staying at a hotel, you will be truly devastated to find that Dominoes is open the latest out of any restaurant and they close at 12:00 a.m. WHOMP WHOMP!
Go to the last stall in the portapotty lines:
I found out on Sunday that they have commenced building permanent, flushable bathrooms. By being in the right place at the right time, I was actually one of the firsts to try the first real bathrooms on site. While this tip may not be pertinent next year, for those of you going this coming weekend, it’s safe to say the cleanest portapotties are at the very, very back. Though this year they’ve separated the girls and guy, which has helped us ladies tremendously.