Okay… so I never thought I’d be writing this- I went to Coachella.
I wouldn’t say I was a Coachella-hater, but I will say I didn’t really understand it. The crowds, the heat, the price– and do the performers even play more than a few songs each?
I had heard so many negative things about it in the past, and I thought I’d never fall victim to the hype. Then, my friend tweeted about selling his ticket for Sunday, the day Ariana Grande was performing.
I texted my sister, half joking, and asked if she wanted to go. To my surprise, she said yes. I started taking the idea seriously, and with the discounted “friend” ticket price we were getting- we couldn’t pass it up.
Our problem was it was already Saturday, so we’d have to leave the very next day. Our other issue was we lived almost five hours away, and I had work at 10 am on Monday. We decided we would leave Sunday morning, and drive back after it was over on Sunday night. It sounds crazy, and it was.
After trying on everything we owned, we found our Coachella-worthy outfits, packed our stuff up, and headed out. The drive was about four and a half hours, and we ended up stopping a few times on the way for the bathroom, food, and some dinosaurs.
The famous Cabazon Dinosaurs were right on our path, so we stopped to take some photos and marvel at the giant figures. It was a quick stop, but definitely worth it if you love taking IG pictures.
We got to the house my friends were renting through Airbnb, and since I’d done my makeup in the car, we were already ready to go. I braided my sister’s hair into two french braids, and we headed for the car again.
We parked at a hotel where the shuttle would take us to the venue. The busses were really lovely (and air-conditioned), but the ride was almost thirty minutes. It wasn’t a big deal, but it could’ve been if we were in a hurry.
We got to the grounds and walked the long walkway up to the entrance. We were already being mesmerized by the prime people-watching opportunities. We saw people in crazy clothes, glittery clothes, and hardly any clothes. It was Easter Sunday, so we saw a lot of guests dressed like bunnies. We even saw a mom with her two young children in a stroller.
I was amazed by the first look at everything. There was just so much stuff– food, art, booths, people, sculptures, stages. Everything there was so grandiose; it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
Now bear with me while I use this word… vibes. It’s so cliche, but the vibes were amazing. It, of course, costs a ton of money to be there, so everyone there truly wanted to go. You could tell most people were having the time of their lives. Everyone was dancing around and complimenting each other.
That’s not to say it wasn’t also laden with too-drunk and dehydrated people, but luckily those seemed to be outnumbered.
Our first stop was the Mojave stage to see Lizzo. We didn’t know what to expect from our first Coachella performance, but we were definitely not disappointed. I could write an entire post on Lizzo. She was incredible. The showmanship, the confidence, the talent- it was just unrivaled.
The crowd for her was incredible. Like I mentioned, everyone that was there really wanted to be there, and with such an incredible artist on the stage, there wasn’t anyone not smiling. Even my sister, who is much more subdued than I, couldn’t help but dance.
I’ve been to more than my fair share of concerts, from small ones to massive, and I’ve never experienced a better crowd than at Coachella. Groups of friends, couples, families, and for us- sisters- danced and sang their hearts out. After all, we spent hundreds of dollars to do just that.
The next thing we wanted to do was walk the entire grounds and see all of the art. This was photo shoot time. We took most of our Coachella photos then, and we checked out all the fantastic installations.
We didn’t spend much time walking around because we had our main priority on the horizon- Ariana Grande. We wanted to get as close to the front as possible, so we went to the main stage pretty early. We ended up seeing Zedd and Khalid while we waited. They both surpassed expectations. It really seemed like everyone brought only their absolute A-game to the Coachella stage.
Zedd brought out Alessia Cara and Marren Morris. Khalid brought out Ty Dolla Sign and John Mayer. They spared nothing to make sure they gave the performance of a lifetime. I knew a few of their songs, but I wasn’t a die-hard fan of either. I would easily call myself a fan now after seeing them.
During Zedd we were near the middle-back, then during Khalid we got up to the middle of the crowd. After Khalid ended and Ariana Grande was up next, the crowd started to get insane. I was being smushed like I’d never been smushed before. I don’t think sardines have been packed as tight as we were, but we were determined to get as close as we could to the front.
We waited over an hour, packed shoulder to shoulder, after Khalid for Ariana. She finally came out at 10:30, and she performed until midnight. She looked and sounded beautiful. She played all of our favorite songs. The choreography and set was amazing and enticing. She even brought out Justin Bieber to perform “Sorry.”
After the show was over, the mad shuffle of people started to move towards the exit. We were herded like cattle to the shuttle that took us back to our car.
The entire drive home we switched off driving and sleeping, but it was all worth it. Which answers the question- Is Coachella worth it?
I would say 100%, yes. The artists are incredible and their sets are shockingly long, and everyone brings their best performances for Coachella so it’s truly a once in a lifetime show. The crowd is so fun, and the outfits are so exciting to observe. The art sprawled across the venue was marvelous; you’re basically paying for a museum as well a hundred different concerts.
If you ever have the opportunity, I would say everyone needs to go at least once if you love music. If you really hate crowds and being around a lot of people- it’s probably not the place for you. But if you love music and pop culture, there is truly something there that everyone will enjoy.
I plan on saving up money for the entire weekend next year and camping on the grounds. It was an experience I’ll never forget.https://whereisshaaylo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/coachella.mov