Pillow talk commenced with a friend with benefits and we broached the topic of prior relationships. I launched into a dismissive rant about an ex who, after futilely pleading with him to experience the magic that is Coachella, got his invitation rescinded when he reluctantly obliged months later.
“My friends and I went to Vegas for a whirlwind 48 hours and he completely whiffed it. Hell no was he going to bring his wet blanket, sit-out-day-3 ass to bring down the entire vibe of the house,” I stated resolutely. “If you’re gonna be with me, you’d better be excited about going to Coachella.”
“It’s funny that you use Coachella as this particular use case for relationships.”
This post isn’t going to focus on why Coachella is the premier music festival, what makes it so magical, nor the best moments over my six years of attendance. This isn’t a love story with Coachella, but rather why the pillars that make Coachella must be applied to my love story.
Why is this festival such a mainstay in my life for me to go seven consecutive years? Because it encapsulates so many aspects that bring me the most happiness.
The first year I went was 2013 and it was me and my ride or die chick Christina. We hopped on a flight out of Austin Thursday morning at the crack of ass, almost missing it due to oversleeping, and landed in Ontario, California. I had just turned 21 three days ago, barely legal enough to rent the car we needed for car camping, hence the decision to go weekend 2.
That whole weekend was just the K/Christina’s taking on our first Coachella. Going on the grocery store run for the weekend’s provisions stocked in Styrofoam coolers with dry ice, walking around the campgrounds on Day 0 meeting the most spirited people, waking up at 8 AM because the tent is an oven by then, taking trailer showers, eating our first slices of this infamous spicy pie, riding La Grande Wheel, struggling to keep our phone batteries alive, and obviously enjoying the music.
These experiences of my first year served as stories to evangelize my dearest friends into experiencing the greatest festival for themselves. What started as a two person venture expanded to three, four, five, then ballooned to 12, and most recently 20.
Every April, friends from all over the country converge in Southern California for four days of laughter, debauchery, escapism, and (yes, I’m aware I sound like a basic bitch) the best vibes. Everyone is so happy you’re here! The feeling of being around the most carefree and animated versions of your friends creates atomic levels of love and positivity, and this weekend guarantees that. There’s no way I’m missing out on that.
So if you squad up with the coolest of them, you better be showin’ up and showin’ out.
I mentioned debauchery, right? Thursday after the group arrives and settles into into the abode for the weekend is when the Day 0 party starts. And if you know anything about me and my friends, it is a motherfucking party. We got party favors galore, concoctions to put you on the floor and then resurrect you off of it, blizzards on the forecast, booze flowing like the Nile River, man oh man. And you know what the best part is? You wake up exhausted from the day before and you do it all over again.
So if you run with the rowdiest of them, you better put your Nikes on. Because Coachella is a long run test of endurance. For four days straight.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that I forgot that Coachella is a music festival. Why of course it is. There are few things in life that get me as excited as seeing the artist/band I squealed at when I saw them on the lineup and have been listening to on repeat. When I finally hear the beginning riff, notes, chords, croons, indications of that song, I jump up and down wearing a ridiculous grin because my excitement is unbridled. In my early years, it was usually the first time I’d seen them perform. Nowadays, I’m pumped to hear and belt the words to their newest jams.
Actually, the discovery process is one of the funnest parts of preparing for Coachella (definitely beats getting that Coachella bod). There are numerous undercard acts I’ve discovered a penchant for. While the headliners, second, and some third liners are major draws, if an artist is good enough to get booked at Coachella, they’re probably worth expanding your audio horizons for. And then you have reminders in your music library of how glad you are for discovering them and how awesome they were at Coachella.
(Nearly) every artist brings their A game to the world’s most renowned music festival and (usually) the performance is knocked out of the park. You’ll chatter with your friends about how sensational or maybe even transcendent they were. You’ll reminisce on that mind-blowing set for years to come. Or you’ll barely remember bits and pieces of the songs you were amped for, but hey, you remember it was lit and that’s good enough for you.
So if you geek out to the grooviest of them, you better buckle in for the most auditorily blissful ride. It doesn’t get much better than this.
If gathering with your greatest friends to bask in each other’s company, turning up like you’ve never turned up before, and listening to your favorite artists absolutely kill it all sound like your shot of liquor, then you need to come to Coachella. After all, I wouldn’t take two vacation days + one sick day (vacay schemers you feel me) off every year of my scarce PTO if it wasn’t a trip worth taking. And if you cite cost as a barrier to entry then you can crawl back to the impoverished, destitute hole you came from.
So if you’re someone who can hang with the best of them, then I better be dancing with you on the Polo Fields.