You are my best adventure.
We’ve been planning Coachella since last May after our friend, Jackson, bought presale tickets. We didn’t go last year because we were more intent on going to Tomorrowland and Europe, but we decided nonetheless that we wanted to go to Coachella in 2015. Anyways, Jackson booked a place and a group of us was able to score tickets in January.
Instead of flying into Palm Springs, it was cheaper for us both to fly into LAX and rent a car. We flew in Wednesday night before the festival and stayed the night in Pasadena with Jon’s relatives. His aunt makes the best bun rieu. Next morning, we grabbed coffee at Intelligentsia (my favourite) and breakfast at McDonald’s before hitting the road. We stopped in Indian Wells first to pick up will-call tickets and then hit up the Costco and Walmart in the area. Finally, we made our way to Palm Springs where we settled into our little vacation home complete with a fabulous pool and AC. I could write an entire post about our time at the house, but I won’t. Let’s talk about the festival, shall we?
Forever 21 dress & flower crown; Free People sunglasses; Aldo sandals
We didn’t make it to the grounds most days until 3pm. It was partly to avoid the harsh noon sun but mostly because we wanted to enjoy more time in the pool. We caught an Uber to the shuttle location and from there, it was another 45 minutes. Then security, locker drop off, and water station. Our first show was Sylvan Esso, an indie pop duo with an eclectic sound with its mix of pop, jazz, folk, and dance. Their music totally puts you in that midsummer day groove.
One of my most anticipated shows of the weekend was Kiesza, who is from Calgary in case you didn’t know. Her voice is really something, and even more impressive is she can really sing live. And her dance moves… SO GOOD. I can’t stop feeling the song Vietnam, which was my favourite song of her whole set. Is there any wonder I like it because it’s about love and war? I also love Giant in My Heart, Sound of a Women, The Love, and of course, Hideaway… “Taking me higher than I’ve ever been before.” Her show was definitely one of my top three.
We missed Keys N Krates, who we already saw at Tomorrowland before Steve Aoki, but those guys put on a good show. The rest of the evening was pretty chill. Hung out by the Main Stage for The War on Drugs, followed by Interpol, which surprisingly was my favourite show of the weekend. I’m a rock and roll girl at heart, and everything about Interpol’s set was so perfect. Imagine dancing in open space while the sun is setting and the wind is blowing lightly through your hair, and all you can feel is the electric guitar moving through your soul.
We finished Friday night at the Sahara Stage for DJ Snake (turn down for what?) and Porter Robinson. When I’m in #danceparty mode, all I want to listen to is EDM (which stands for ‘electronic dance music’ for those still living under a rock). We planned to stay for Alesso but left within five minutes because he sucked. We caught a bit of AC/DC only because we were walking by the Main Stage, trying to find a charging station. The album Back in Black always brings back memories of when I lived with Sonny, and while I was initially eager to see them, I didn’t care for the Main Stage crowd at the end of the night. Overall, first day of Coachella was a success.
All of the lights.
When we got to the grounds on Saturday, we met up with some people at their campsite and chilled under their tented area for a couple hours. As such, we missed Clean Bandit, Lights, Milky Chance, and Cashmere Cat (who we saw briefly at Sled Island last year; love the song Mirror Maru) but to be honest, I was glad to be out of the sun. You can get so dehydrated and fatigued when you’re in the sun for too long. Plus, hanging with people is part of the music festival experience. We made it to the Main Stage in time for Hozier (who was only okay in my opinion), and then grabbed food and caught a bit of Belle and Sebastian (who I didn’t really like). I think our group was alt-ogether for alt-J, another awesome and memorable show; I love me some indie rock slash electronic – didn’t know that was even a thing. I also danced during their whole set.
We stopped to rest and stayed for maybe one Jack White song before we ditched to find a good dance party. We made our way over to the Outdoor Theatre for Flosstradamus, which was a wicked show for its mix of hip hop and trap, and Axwell^Ingrosso kept the party going (can’t hold us down) before we ended the night at Annie Mac. The last string of shows made for the #bestdancepartyever. Also #bestbirthdayever for Jon and #bestjonsbirthdayever for Claire.
Sunday was another slow start. Our first show was St. Lucia. Unfortunately, I missed Marina and the Diamonds, but I did hear her singing Froot from afar… “Living la dolce vita. Life couldn’t get much sweeter.” Definitely my summer lovin’ song for this year. Then our group went to see Madeon. I love music for so many reasons, but one in particular is how it makes me dance. Kaskade unlocked something in me, and I never danced so hard in my life. I love his song Atmosphere… “All my life I’ve been a star.” Can’t wait to see him again at Chasing Summer this August.
I wanted to see St. Vincent but really didn’t want to miss Florence, so Jon and I stayed put at the Main Stage while our friends took off to different shows. Unfortunately, David Guetta was scheduled the same time as Florence, which was the biggest conflict of the weekend. Florence broke her foot during Weekend 1 (WHYYY?), so her set was reduced to 30 minutes, however she did sing Cosmic Love first and it was BEAUTIFUL. I heart Florence so much, and getting to see her live was so dreamy just like her voice. Then it was off to David Guetta to catch the last half of his show, and sadly, he already played Lovers on the Sun (last year’s summer lovin’ song). Even more sad was the show was not all we hoped it would be. We didn’t care to see Drake even though he was the biggest headliner, so we saw Kygo for a bit and then headed to the shuttle early to beat the crowd. And just like that, the weekend was over.
All in all, Coachalla was a lot of fun. Mostly because the music was really good and we got to share the experience with friends. However, I prefer the crowd at Tomorrowland, which is much more diverse with people from all over the world. While I like to think music festivals are a judgement free zone, I have to say there’s a lot of annoying things about Coachella, such as girls who are only there to look good. I mean, do they even like music? Plus, some of the stuff people wear is so impractical. For me, it’s all about maximizing the music experience, so I can’t stand anything that gets in the way, especially when dancing.
ASOS cropped top; vintage Levi’s cutoff shorts; Forever 21 flower crown
I planned my outfits for months but packed basics just in case. In the end, I felt most comfortable in a tank, cutoff shorts, and chucks. I was obsessed with finding the perfect little white dress with crochet detail, but man, was it ever uncomfortable to move/dance in. I’m a flower child at heart, so I loved wearing a flower crown with every outfit. It actually proved to be quite practical in that it kept hair and sweat out of my face. I tied a bandana around my wrist as arm accessory and breathing protection from dusts and second-hand smoking. I made the mistake of wearing open-toe sandals on the first day, and some girl totally stomped on my feet and cracked my big toe. I also wore a floppy hat to protect from the sun, but kept it in the locker otherwise. So awkward seeing girls dance in floppy hats. I didn’t take an outfit picture on Day 3 simply because I was caught up in the fun. Actually, I didn’t take much pictures at all.
It was surprisingly easy to get around, and 6 stages is much more manageable compared to the 12 stages at Tomorrowland. All the shows start and end on time which I really appreciate. I’m not crazy about the flatness, but the fact that the weather is near perfect with zero chance of rain is pretty amazing. This time we didn’t fight to get to the front and decided to hang out closer to the back instead. This allowed for ample dancing room (priorities, you guys) and easy exit to get from stage to stage.
Initially, I was unsure about the lineup, but I’m glad this year’s acts were less mainstream. Music festivals are great for seeing some of your favourite artist(s), but it’s also a place to discover new music. I don’t listen to Drake and I wasn’t going to attend his show just to say I saw him. We could have flocked to the Main Stage when we heard Kanye West was a guest appearance at The Weeknd, but the dance party at Axwell was just too good and Annie Mac was a solid finish. You must know I am the biggest Kanye West fan (#teamkanye), but I wanted to stay where we were because I was totally feeling the music. Never follow the crowd, same rule as in real life. Whatever people’s reasons for going, whether it be the fashion or the parties, music remains the primary reason for me. No, I didn’t see any celebrities.
We’re not sure if we’ll go next year. It will depend on a lot of things like who’s going, the lineup, and what our travel plans are for next summer. It’s also expensive (#richkidfestival), and there are better music festivals that we would like to go to eventually (#cantstopwontstop). Coachella was good to experience at least once, but going every year doesn’t appeal to me. Now I realize this is the longest post I’ve ever written, so if you made it to the end, you are the best. Thank you for following our adventure, and I appreciate your readership.
Photo by Alan P.