Surviving Coachella

April 13, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Southern Californian persuasion, it has arrived… COACHELLA.

And no, I am not going this year. But I figured it was in my best interest to give you some tips about attending. Things I learned. Things you might not know. I’m not an old timer by any means, but I figure I spent three days sleeping in a Subaru behind the Del Taco, so its like I did 2 Coachellas at once. Yeah. Camping is for pussies. So here are things:

1. Sunscreen. I can not emphasize this enough. I for one and am albino, but I can not tell you how many sad looking pink people joined me by Sunday. I turn pink at the THOUGHT of sun, so being in direct sun for 3 LONG days was a stretch. There are maybe 2 places with shade, most of them made out of metal (retaining all of the day’s heat) and the one kind of loungey chair thing is usually covered in half naked coeds wearing those fucking hipster animal hats. You know, the ones made out of raccoon tails and deer ears. Like an MGMT video. But more glitter. And triangles.

2. Backpacks and purses are just one more thing to lose. I rocked a fanny pack. Did not wear it like a traditional fanny pack, but fanny pack nonetheless, and it held everything I needed, which was: my id, a debit card, my chapstick, my sunscreen, cash, a lighter, and I think I rocked some lifesavers or something. Don’t bring a bunch of stuff you MIGHT need. Yes, it will get chilly at night so if you must, bring a light sweater or something. Your shortest shorts will be brilliant for the day, but your enemy at night. However, I made the mistake of wearing jeans the first day because it was going to be cold at night, so everyone thought I was important, because wearing jeans apparently means you have access to air conditioning. In reality, I was just warm (wasn’t as bad as I suspected it would be) and at night I was comfortable. But I definitely drew some attention. EVERYONE LOOK AT HOW PINK I AM!

3. IF you choose to smuggle something into the grounds, put it in your underwear. They WILL frisk you in line (men, especially your pockets). They WILL look inside your fanny pack AND inside your cigarettes AND confiscate everything you’ve got. Asking every sweaty burn out if they’ve got some papers you could bum during the Cold War Kids set is not going to go over well. Bring backups.

4. Get used to the fact that you will be buying $2 water all weekend, and take advantage of the stands out in the middle of the field rather than the ones right near the tents that have really long lines. Do not chug the entire bottle at once even though that sweet sweet nectar might be the best thing you’ve had all day. PACE YOURSELF. The bathrooms are surprisingly large and accessible, but that is no reason to drink the whole thing at once. Those $3 frozen lemonades will do you right also. The food there isn’t too shabby and isn’t that expensive (I’m from New York. It’s not any worse than a street cart or midtown deli) so indulge. You’re on vacation. Ice cream for lunch and french fries for dinner is a great idea.

5. Timing is everything. Be prepared to be sitting in a car line for at least an hour. When you leave, you’ll be lucky if you get out of the grounds in under an hour. Once you enter, you can’t leave (unless you’re camping…) Driving is a nightmare. Also know when to leave a set. if the set starts to slow down, go see something else. You are at a shmorgasbourg of music, and there is no reason to stand in the same tent for 45 minutes bumping into that kid from Charlie St. Cloud. Efron. Yeah. That’s his name. He was there last year with Vanessa whats her face. They were both short and orange. Don’t freak out if you realize you’re dancing next to Kirsten Dunst or Mischa Barton. It will likely happen. A lot of bands enter and exit on the left side of the mainstage, so stake that our if you’re really looking to hug Katy Perry or Earl Sweatshirt. RUN WILD. AVOID ANYONE WEARING NEON. IF YOU ARE TIRED, LIE IN LE GRASS AND TAKE A NAP (stake out a good spot at one of the outdoor stages for a later set.)

This festival is actually a triathlon. I hope you’ve practiced.

Everyone have a lovely time. Don’t overdo it. Dying in the desert isn’t worth it. Also, take a look around. Enjoy the fresh air. You’re in a really beautiful place.

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One Response to “Surviving Coachella”

  1. Vasare said

    brilliant post, really love your writing 🙂

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