A desert is a barren or desolate area, devoid of both life and rainfall. Perhaps every other time of the year, Coachella Valley is just that, but in the sweet spring month of April, it breaks off from reality. The Coachella Music and Arts Festival is life, color and deliriously dreamy. Find life in more than the people around you. Find life in the lights, the art, the stages, the sets. Find rainfall in tears of joy, beads of sweat and trickling condensation. Coachella is a paradise.
It’s Friday. The sun is blazing, along with the diverse group of friends a few feet away from me. I step out of the car and there’s already sweat between my boobs. Nice. I drop a pin to avoid getting lost in this almost comical sea of cars, briefly question my dependence on technology and I’m on my way.
MAGNETIC RECOMMENDS:Jay Z's Made In America Festival Coming To LA
I step inside to the Ferris Wheel I’ve seen far too many Instagrams of and girls dressed in crochet and patterned pants taking pictures of themselves. Nothing unusual here.
I miss Tom Odell by a few minutes and head to the Beer Garden, where I can hear Anthony Green at the Coachella Stage, to get a tour of the Absolut Little Sun Space. This insulated art bar provides a place of refuge for the overheated, the intoxicated and, with $14 drinks, the financially secure. After listening to my own personal tour guide talk about how the Little Sun project aims to bring their miniature solar powered lights to millions of people living off the electrical grid, I thought about how not a single person in the room knows that. I step over a few girls passed out on comfortable looking bean bags and leave.
I stop by the Media tent to get a water, chomp on some Red Vines and take advantage of the free wifi. I look up from my phone to see the angelic face of Flume and it’s all blank from there. I think he saw my hand shake when we took a selfie together. I’m embarrassed.
I watch HAIM tear up the Outdoor Theatre and head over to Duke Dumont at Yuma to watch him remix them. Good timing. I catch a little bit of Ellie Goulding on my way to The Glitch Mob. They were worth every second I didn’t see of Goulding, but before I could leave to get a glimpse of Chromeo, a swarm of people trapped me as they prepared for Martin Garixx. As a result, I saw the kid against my will and left with a few bruises.
It’s 9:30 p.m., you know I’m at Flume. The Aussie unites us all under the Gobi tent with “Drop The Game,” which morphs into “Sleepless,” and introduces an incredible remix of Lorde’s “Tennis Court.” I’m still waiting for the track to surface the internet. Expect that to be on my Top Ten Free Downloads of the Week.
I’m not discussing anything after Flume. It just doesn’t compare. Moving on to Saturday.
I wish WoodysProduce didn’t have a crack of dawn set time or I would be there, but it’s 11 a.m. and I’m definitely at KFC. No, that’s not a DJ. I am actually at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It’s 1:30 p.m. and I’m waiting near a string of Black Escalades waiting to shuttle the press to a private location for the Sonos House Party. Upstairs is a bedroom and a tub full of champagne, downstairs are somewhat attractive servers with plates of surprisingly good hors d’oeuvres and outside is a pool, a few hammocks and EDM culture's Diplo. I hop on stage and we eat some couscous together while he DJs from an iPad.
I’m back on the festival grounds and jam to Kid Cudi with some girls I just met. We head over to Dillon Francis at Sahara, then RL Grime at Mojave and shuffle things up with Future Islands at Gobi. Jared Leto walks past me and doesn’t acknowledge my existence. It’s sad. Empire of the Sun draws an uncomfortably large crowd, but enough people disperse to see Pharrell Williams and his hat for me to stick around. I am blinded by dust for the rest of the night and that concludes Saturday.
It’s Sunday and I skip Flight Facilities to interview Big Gigantic. It’s their first Coachella and they’re stoked to be here, mentioning that a local high school marching band will be joining them on stage. They talk about their steady climb and reminisce on the days where they were just roommates messing around with beats in their downtime. At the same time, I think about how just a year ago I jammed to their music and never once thought I’d ever have the opportunity to interview them. The world works in mysterious ways. Cool dudes.
I skip Alesso for AlunaGeorge and have no regrets about it. I head over to Calvin Harris to join friends and bond over songs we’ve all heard far too many times. He was good though. I leave early for Big Gigantic's set and have the time of my life. With plenty of room to jam, we all get a little funky together.
It’s 9:35 and I’m at the Outdoor Theatre with Disclosure. One of the weekend’s best sets with plenty of guest appearances, including AlunaGeorge and Mary J. Blige. Some standouts include the obvious, “You and Me,” “White Noise” and, of course, “Latch.”
I catch a little bit of Arcade Fire before buying two T-shirts and heading home. In a few weeks, the Astronaut won’t be hovering the masses, the stages wont be bursting with music and lights won’t be shining on thousands of mesmerized faces. The only thing left behind will be dust and my right contact lens. It already feels like a dream.