The Coachella Experience
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Since the infamous Woodstock of 1969, young people around the world have been fixated on music festivals with the world’s most famous musicians and hip up and coming artists. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival proves to be one of them. Each year over the course of two weekends, thousands of people flock to Indio, CA to enjoy a weekend of hot sun, large crowds, planned outfits, band attire and of course, music. Coachella 2016 Weekend 2 took place on April 22-24, 2016. The festival attendees included Los Angeles hipsters, international festival goers, middle-aged thrill seekers, celebrities, and anyone willing to pay for high priced admission, hotel, food, drinks, and other expenses one may deem necessary for a weekend in the desert.
The typical day at Coachella Festival begins with a car full of festival-goers, some CarpoolChella (cars decorated by attendees in hope of being selected for a prize), circulating the perimeter and being guided to parking over the course of around thirty-five minutes. Once parked, an attendee can look forward to a forty minute walk to the main entrance with two different security checks along the way. At the security checks, bags were emptied out, water bottles were thrown away, bodies were patted down, and wristband passes were checked.
The gates opened at 11 a.m. each day with temperatures ranging from 90 to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The early afternoon heat was accompanied by the not so popular yet trendy music acts including Frances, Carla Morrison, Phases, and MIntfield. While the VIP area for these acts was mostly empty, some known people can be noticed if one looked hard enough. In fact, Moises Arias, also known as Rico from Hannah Montana could be seen dancing away with dreadlocks to Mexican and Spanish singer, Carla Morrison. Also a pop singer herself, Taylor Swift was seen dancing on the sound stage on Day 3 as her boyfriend, Calvin Harris ended the festival with his EDM hits. Big Sean had a guest appearance, who also had 3 other music appearances throughout the weekend leaving some wondering why didn’t he have his own set.
After some hours into the festival, dehydration and medical issues soon took its toll. People could be seen complaining, passing out, confused, and crying, especially in tightly packed areas such as the Sahara Tent and front area at the main Coachella Stage. Luckily, Coachella took precautions and provided medical treatment in two medical tents. The best decision to make is to pack a backpack or purse with $2 water bottles that are sold prior to entering the stage are, or wait 30 minutes in line to refill a bottle for free. However, some were willing to ride out the pushing, shoving, and heat to see some of their favorite artists and bands of the weekend up close such as Guns N Roses, Ice Cube with an NWA reunion, A$AP Rocky, Ellie Goulding, G Eazy, Of Monsters & Men, Jack U, and more.
Because 2016 is an election year and Coachella was a festival full of Millennials, political ideologies were not secrets. Bernie Sanders tee shirts, buttons, and signs could be seen throughout the festival on each day. This was not restricted to only attendees; in fact lead singer of CHVRCHES and Scotland citizen, Lauren Mayberry expressed that she felt bad for the United States if Donald Trump was to be elected, and referred to him as “stupid”; which was less harsh than YG’s vulgar criticism in his performance with DJ Mustard in the prior weekend. Politics was not the only thing embraced as many musical acts made dedications to the musical legend, Prince, who died only days prior.
Though some might criticize this festival and call it overrated, judge its lineup, and call it a place of “bros” and “trust fund babies”, it still proves to be an amazing time each year for those lucky enough to attend. It is a weekend of fun that many look forward to each year, and the only stress one will have is choosing which artist or band to see next. Whether you are a first timer or Coachella veteran, there are fun and memories to be made at this festival. It is the only time one can be surrounded by palm trees, large art pieces, beautiful people, and the best music acts from the most popular genres, whether it be Alternative, Indie, Pop, EDM, Hip Hop, or Rap. Even if there are long lines, high temperatures, sold out merchandise, and other burdens, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is highly recommended for anyone who fits the music loving, outgoing and fun personality. It is well worth the empty bank account from spending, sore feet from dancing, and the withdrawals that will take weeks to shake off when the weekend is done. For those unlucky enough to not attend, be prepared each year to hear friends, family, or coworkers boast on how great of a time it was.