April 10-12, 2015
Coachella, Weekend 1
Weekend one was my first time at this fabled event known as Coachella. I was skeptical and excited. I expected a crowd of too high for their own good teenagers rolling around in the dirt at the Polo Fields in Indio, dehydrated and acting the fool. What I found was the opposite – the Coachella promoters, every single worker at the event, the talent, and the crowd (yes, the crowd) were totally amazing.
I woke up on day one, wristband firmly attached and activated and prepared myself for the fifteen hours of heat that lay ahead. What I found was an excited, fun, and eclectic group of Coachella regulars and a shuttle crew that was happy, welcoming, and helpful. At the event, the air of enthusiasm was escalated by the smiling, clapping, and laughing security team (which included the very happy to be there Indio police force; they were so cool!) to the perfectly organized venue that took the effort to ensure watering stations, cell phone charging stations, a variety of food for every need (I’m vegetarian and had no trouble finding good vegan eats), and clean and well-stocked porta potties. Every single face was smiling and welcoming from the opening of the gates on day one to closing on day three. I also commend the promoters for keeping the alcohol under lock and key in a fenced off area, ensuring that ‘amateur hour’ was not the Coachella take away. The crowd, likely encouraged by the diverse line up of acts, was a mix from every age and every walk of life. There was an overwhelming amount of things to do for everyone with acts that ranged from Steely Dan to Drake and tents pumping dance music from the hottest DJ’s around. The party was in full swing from opening to close every day and I did not see a single person who was not pumped. The air of Woodstock meets Lalapolozza, with plenty of hipster and rave fashions mixed with fabulous performance art pieces kept the event constantly entertaining. Coachella exudes the air of brotherly love and coexistence; a pleasant and welcome surprise and I cannot wait for next year!
Advice for first time Coachella goers:
- Wear a bandana to wet down during the day and to cover your face in the dust storms at night.
- Wear really good tennis shoes (screw fashion, you are standing and dancing for twelve hours a day).
- Excuse yourself of any obligations that demand either curfew at night or early mornings because this is way too much fun to leave early and your mornings are going to be SLOW!
- Take Monday off (for sure!)
- Bring a phone charger (or turn off your wi-fi to conserve the battery)
- Get a locker for your sweatshirt on day one (it gets cold at night, bring one) lockers sell out fast.
- DO NOT try to dupe the most professionally run security and event staff I have every seen (if you are under 21, you are not drinking; if you do not have a VIP wrist band, you are not going into that area, etc.) Be happy just being there, it is amazing regardless of your level of clearance.
- Finally, see a bit of every thing. Resist the temptation to sticking to what you know. This is a wonderful opportunity to see new things and to try out new experiences; do it! (I was a skeptic when I walked into the tent featuring a DJ named Alison Wonderland. I walked out blown away!)
Sarah Tonin –
13 Stitches Magazine Reviewer