No Coachella For Me
Around this time every year you can expect your instagram, facebook, snapchat, twitter, etc…to be annoyingly flooded with those who are headed to the desert in California to attend the annual Coachella. You can also expect Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and even Las Vegas to be a little less crowded at the bars, pool parties, and nightclubs with hipsters, celebrities, and social media influencers out of town for the next two weeks. What began in 1999 was a music festival that brought very different acts together in one location outside of Palm Springs over ONE weekend. In the last two decades, especially in recent years, has become quite the BEAST.
I drove to Coachella in 2003 from San Diego, and I would have to say, it was not one of my favorite festival/concert experiences. Granted it was much different back then. A lot fewer people (less than a 1/4 of the people attending this weekend), much cheaper, no girls taking 8000 pics of the same basic bitch pose so maybe one turns out ok that they can post on social media, I wore flip-flops and shorts and didn’t have to spend $2K on festival outfits to fit in, and as far as I remember, no VIP areas at all. If you were there, you were apart of the whole experience. Not like the Caste System which has been put in effect by bottle service and such as we have today (more to come on that in my upcoming Bar Star Post). Sounds amazing, right? Whatevs, it was O.K.
Background: Not to be a snob, but I have been going to music festivals and concerts since I was 14, and seeing Steel Pulse, the reggae band was an awesome first concert experience! I attended the first Lollapalooza in Irvine at 15 years old in Irvine, CA while I crowd surfed for my first and only time (yikes) and went on to see the next three years of Lollapaloozas. Lineups were sick; Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, the list goes on….I have been to EDC in Las Vegas, Winter Music Conference in Miami multiple times, Warped Tour, started going to Ibiza in 1999, and been to a shit ton of fucking amazing concerts, Fleetwood Mac being my favorite. I saw Sublime perform twice, once with Gwen Stefani. I have frequented and worked at numerous nightclubs with sick EDM (what my old ass still refers to as House or Techno music) dj’s and even rappers. I saw Ice-T when I was as a kid in 1991, and then got to witness his brilliance again years later, as a bottle service waitress in Vegas. So I have been around the block, musically speaking.
What I remember from Coachella 2003 was it was hot AF during the day, and cold AF at night. It took almost 3 hours to get out of the parking lot after a hot day and a very cold night which obviously sucked balls. I felt like I needed a shower within an hour of being there. They had the f**cking Blue Man Group there. Now I have seen the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas, only because I was forced to, and it actually ended up being somewhat entertaining. But at Coachella, No thanks. I was there Sunday, so we saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers (one of my all time favorite bands), but I have seen them many times before and it was a shit show getting anywhere near the stage/show, so I felt very removed and uninterested. We got to see DJ’s spin in different little tents, which was cool, but I still prefer to see them at a nightclub where I’m clean, not hot, not cold, and a taxi/uber ride away from my place or hotel. If memory serves, they did the same thing there at Coachella which they do at the Life is Beautiful festival in Vegas, in which they have acts playing at the same time. I came to see the Killers at Life is Beautiful and another band I wanted to see was on another stage at the same time. I feel like if that is going to happen at a concert, they should let you know. For example we know we said Daft Punk and the Weeknd are both here, but they are performing on different stages far apart from each other at the same time so you have to pick. I forgot EDC does that too. So not cool. False advertising. Even if they try to work out a performing schedule to appease say a hip hop fan, so they can catch all the acts and there is no crossover, what about catering to a person like me who likes all kinds of different music.
So I will never say never, but I have zero desire to go back to Coachella (watch me go next year and have to eat my words). I was in my 20s when I first went and didn’t mind crowds and traffic AS much. Now I’m older, I absolutely hate that shit. I have even done the whole VIP, don’t mingle with peasants at some of these festivals and it doesn’t make it that much better these days. Maybe a little, nice bathrooms trump porta potties any day. But not enough.
The whole fun of being young and seeing your favorite music artists really has nothing to do with the image that Coachella portrays today as I see it. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m just a grumpy old lady, maybe we just had it way better in the good old days, but if Coachella 2003 was not my favorite, I am pretty sure Coachella 2018 would be worse, by a mile. Do any of these hot girls on Instagram even go to the concert? Or do they stay at their lush rented home with a pool and a glam squad? And maybe show up to the festival for some more “candid” pics. You can not look that pretty if you are dancing around in the heat for hours even if you have not popped a molly or drank a beer, so I don’t get it. But I am pretty sure that having fun in the desert and posting flawless pictures for your social media rarely go hand. But to each their own. I don’t hate, I appreciate. I was just one with a major case of FOMO when I was younger, so I did a lot of things, including going to Coachella when it was a tad more laid back and there was no hidden agendas. Like I said before, it was just O.K. I’m pretty sure I would seriously run from what it has become today.
***If you are Burning Man type of human you are a freak of nature who will not relate to me on this post at all. Just like my mom use to say “I was a clean Hippie,” I am a person who I would consider to be relatively low maintenance compared to some but maybe a little more compared to others, regardless I like my showers.
***My sister went to see “The Prodigy” at Coachella 2002 and I would have put up with a lot to see them, because, unlike most of these acts, I have never been able to catch them anywhere else! She is a good sister though, she called me and let me listen to them perform “Firestarter” from her cell phone. Thanks sissy!