0700 am- Arrive at the festival grounds. It’s my first Coachella. Excited to be getting paid to see Eminem!
0715 am- My partner for today is Pineda, who was a medic for the Army in Afghanistan. I offer a handshake, but Pineda just asks “Did you bring enough water?” while counting epi-pens in his bag.
0717 am- Did I bring enough water?
0800 am- EMS briefing & assignments. Pineda & I will be in a tent over by the Heineken House.
1000 am- Festival opens to public.
1006 am- Treated 22yo female for allergic reaction to flower crown.
1123 am- First bad drug trip of the day. 24yo male, says he took an edible at breakfast, then took another one approx. 1100 when he didn’t feel high yet. Shaking, cool & clammy. Pineda just shakes his head
1240 pm- 19yo male patient came into tent incoherent, screaming about bad molly. Knocked over my bag, pills everywhere. Not sure which are mine and which are his.
1305 pm- Pineda tells 22yo female that no, she cannot have an IV “just to get rid of my hangover, dude”
1337 pm- Tommy Lee Jones comes in the tent with his bodyguard for heat stroke. He seems confused that there’s no country music at Coachella. I tell him that Stagecoach is next weekend. He nods, thanks us for the IV, gets up to leave. He asks Pineda what time Beyonce goes on as he exits the tent.
1534 pm- I did not bring enough water. I had a full gallon for my own use, but we’ve had to get more IV bags for heat stroke victims and I guess while I was gone somebody just drank all of my water.
1544 pm- I’m already very thirsty.
1546 pm- Pineda won’t share his water with me. I hate Pineda.
1553 pm- Broke down and went to the Heineken House looking for water. Closest thing they had was Heineken Light. I’m now working a music festival while being three beers deep.
1620 pm- I can’t smell anything but weed in all directions. 19yo heat stroke victim, on realizing it was 4:20, sat bolt upright and began filling the tent with his vape pen. Could just about make out his silhouette through the smoke, he dabbed as he collapsed back onto the cot.
1645 pm- Now I’m high and three beers deep while working at a music festival. Pineda had the foresight to put on a filter mask before 420. I hate Pineda.
1740 pm- EDM DJ set at the Heineken House next door is giving me a migraine. Take some ibuprofen from my bag to get through it.
1810 pm- WRONG PILLS
1855 pm- While treating 23yo female for sunburn, her arm moves too fast and turns into a snake. It speaks with the voice of my recently dead father, who says that my uncle Claudius murdered him to take his place on the throne of Denmark. I’m halfway through asking Pineda to help me stage a play featuring the death of the king so that I can see the guilt on my uncle’s face before I remember that’s the plot of Hamlet.
1908 pm- It’s getting really hard to tell if these tweaked-out patients’ pupils are dilated when I keep seeing spots like this. I ask Pineda to turn the damn strobe light off in the tent and he just shakes his head and chuckles. I hate Pineda.
1948 pm- I’m getting thirsty again. Back to the Heineken House while Pineda administers our 369th dose of narcan of the day.
2019 pm- I can’t believe I’m working a music festival and I still have to stand in the beer line. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern both agree this is bullshit.
2033 pm- Something’s rotten in the medical tent. That scoundrel Claudius is hiding behind the cloth, I just know it! I pull out my carry knife and try to cut him through the tent wall, but it turns out to just be some kid from Irvine with allergies.
2035 pm- I can’t believe I’m missing Eminem’s set at Coachella to put a tourniquet on a minor I stabbed accidentally behind the medical tent. At least he’s being nice about it. Gave me a hit off his vape. I’m pretty sure Pineda hates me and I’m super fired.
2126 pm- I’m feeling pretty wasted at this point, so I ask Pineda to take over on IV duty. He starts his first drip bag on me. I love Pineda.
by Ian Ager