This year I got to finally cross something off of my bucket list. That would be attending the holy grail of all music festivals…. Coachellaaaa!! (basic white girl voice) I have been wanting to go for years and it was a long time coming for me to attend. When I first saw the lineup drop in January, my heart dropped. Not only was Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar headlining, but the undercard was so good. From Bon Iver to the legendary Hans Zimmer, I knew I had to go no matter what. Finding a group was hard to put together but luckily I got a great group of people that were all for the lineup as well.
The minute I was in queue to get a pass, I was excited. That rush of wondering will you be able to grab one or not was all apart of the experience for me and I was so happy to get one without having to put in extra money or stressing trying to find one at a decent price. Once my group got passes for weekend 2, I knew I was all in. From there, I was trying to get that coachella bod and was thinking about everything we needed even though it was only January. haha. Our group decided to camp, which according to my other friends, you have to camp as it is apart of the whole Coachella experience. It was then announced that Lady Gaga was replacing Beyonce. One of my friends dropped because of it but I thought to myself there are so many other acts on the bill besides Beyonce. While Beyonce was a big factor into me going, I was not going to let that stop me.
Fast forward to the night before, everything was set, and I felt well prepared thanks to the Coachella reddit page. Our group got to the campgrounds thursday night and once we passed security, I knew that this was gonna be a weekend for the books. Security was pretty tight when checking in for camping. They search in and out of your car thoroughly and pat you down as well. Luckily we did not have anything thrown out.
It took about a hour to set up our site and once we finished we immediately started to party. They had this incredible silent disco party for campers and fun activities and tents to explore until 2-3am.
6 hours later, everyone was up and my friend and I hit up the showers at the campsite. When I was researching information about the showers, people were saying that it takes forever. I did not have that experience. Maybe because guys don’t take that long when showering. The most I waited was 20 minutes and that was peak time when everyone is up and wanting to shower, which was about 9-10am. It felt like I was in college with a communal bathroom so it was not as bad for me. After getting ready, we got to meet our neighbors and they were awesome. Very laid back and some came from South America. One of them actually has attended Coachella for 13 years! We all played some drinking games, ate some food and had a great time. Our group had some other friends in tent camping while we were car camping, which I forgot to mention haha.
The difference between the two is car camping you can camp out of your car while tent camping is where you park your car in a lot and take your camping stuff to another area, which is not as convenient obviously. They met up with us at our tent and joined the party. At around 2pm, we decided to go into the festival. It was very convenient to just walk to your campsite from the festival incase you wanted to eat and drink at your campsite and not pay a lot of money for food and drinks inside. I thought it was cool that you can re-enter the festival as many times as you want compared to other festivals.
The minute I got inside, I immediately went to the merchandise stand. I wanted some Travi$ Scott and Kendrick Lamar merch as I was afraid that they were going to run out of my size. That was one benefit of gong weekend 2 because people from weekend 1 post pics online and you know what you want to buy. I met back up with my group at the Sahara tent and man is that tent compact. It was wild and once I figured it out, I knew that I would be standing outside listening since I wanted an easy way to leave and see other acts.
Another part of the experience I realized is YOUR GROUP! My group did not have the same music tastes as me, so I left them and did my own thing pretty much all three days lol. I learned that after the first day as I missed two acts that I really wanted to see ( BANKS and Mac Miller) It’s all good as since I bought a ticket to see BANKS in Santa Ana. As I was moving from stage to stage, I realized that buying a water pack was kind of a waste, especially the first two days. The lines were long and it go to the point where I missed the beginning of some sets because of it. I eventually just started buying $2 water bottles as it was quicker and the colder. Also I got discover some artists that I have never heard of and they put on amazing shows. I got to discover Tycho and Justice, who both put on greats shows and I listen to them even more now.
One show that I really enjoyed was Sam Gellaitry, a new and upcoming DJ with a unique and chill sound. His set started right after midnight and the crowd a was perfect. Enough room to dance and people just vibin to the music.
As the last day approached, it got to be bittersweet. I was sad that it was the last day as did not want to leave, but also looking forward to a good shower and an air conditioned room. The last day I got to experience the Heineken House, a small tent in the festival grounds. The minute I walked in, the A/C was on full blast #blessed. My group got to take some cool pictures and I discovered another DJ, JSJR, who was awesome. That day I go to see Porter Robinson and Madeon, Lorde and of course Kendrick Lamar. Lamar ended the festival with a bang and his whole set was one to remember.
Coachella definitely lives up to the hype. The productions, art and people make all of the money worth while. One last thing I learned is that when looking at the lineup, you have to look past the headliners. There are potentially other acts that you can see if the headliners are not what you wanted/ expected to be. I will definitely be attending next year and cannot wait to see who is on the lineup!