The lineup for Coachella 2018 was just released last week, and I thought what better moment than to stroll down digital memory lane and recap my 2016 Coachella experience for you all? There is no better time than the present, so here ya go..
The year was 2016. I was just let go from my very corporate, very boring job at a Chicago consulting firm & I was ready to get LIT…except getting lit wasn’t a thing yet, so I’m not sure what I was ready to get, but I was headed to the west coast & I was fucking pumped. Coachella had always been a bucket list item for me – more specifically, seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Coachella… but beggars can’t be choosers. That year, the headliners were LCD Soundsystem, Gun N’ Roses, & Calvin Harris, which was still dope & a bunch of other acts I was excited about including Halsey, Alessia Cara, G-Eazy & Chris Stapleton – which were all phenom btw.
I flew into LAX a week before the festival (sans identification – another story, for another time.) to meet my friend Steph who was flying in from Miami to commence what we referred to as the Thelma & Louise top-down-convertible-cruising road trip of our dreams. Except, there was no convertible. In fact, there was almost no car, but we made that shit happen per usual and it was one for the books. Anyway, my west coast road trip of dreams is worth an entirely different post so stay tuned for that.
Back to Coachella. No, I did not camp at Coachella. Everyone knows you can’t possibly look cute at Coachella if you camp out in the middle of the desert with a bunch of freaks for three nights. Instead, my friends & I stayed at what I believe was La Quinta like civilized frugal humans. We shuttled to and from the festival, which was pretty convenient & pretty much your best option. The Empire Polo Grounds are literally in the middle of fucking nowhere Indio so you def don’t want to go through Uber missions or waste your time renting a car & driving when you can simply be driven. Amiright? Get your shuttle pass people. You can probably even get away without having one and still shuttling – I think they checked our pass literally once the entire weekend.
Now for the actual festival. I won’t downplay Coachella. Coachella was a dream. A magical, musical, desert dream of dreams. However, celebs were not frolicking around the grounds like you see on Instagram – at least not on the second weekend, and there was one major flaw that apparently a lot of people aren’t aware of. Did you know you’re not allowed to take your drink outside of the designated beer garden or bar area?! I was shook, and I’m obviously still hung up about this because I’m blogging about it two years later LOL.
But like, seriously? I should have the freedom to drink my drink AND watch a set if I want to. Is that too much to ask for? You basically had to chose to hang out at a bar extremely far away from any stage, or sing along to Ice Cube’s entire set, sober and without a drink in your hand. So wack.
Besides that, the three-day festival is an experience of a lifetime. I’m glad I finally went, but I think my days of three-day fests are over. I can’t finagle my way to the front row of a stage like I used to. I just don’t have it in me lol. Now for my tips & tricks:
- FACEMASKS! This is not a joke. It’s the fucking desert people, which means there’s a shit ton of sand. I highly suggest taking a bandana or something of the sort to cover your face and prevent yourself from eating dirt – literally.
- JACKETS! The desert is a deceiving little bitch. It may be scorching hot when you get there. I recommend going braless or wearing minimal clothing because no one likes sweaty boobs. But at night, prepare to freeze your ass off. The night winds are insane. Take a change of clothes or at least a jacket and store it in the lockers. They’re like $20, but worth every penny.
- BOOTS/SNEAKERS! I think this is obvious if you’ve ever stepped foot in a festival, but there’s nothing more disgusting than dirty feet. So keep yours covered, freaks.
- BATHROOMS! Honestly, kudos to Coachella for having the nicest bathroom sitch I’ve ever experienced. This goes beyond the Royal Restrooms portapotties you see at UF campus tailgates. I’m talking legit bathrooms. Tons of them. It was amazing.