Hall of Fame
The majority of Coachella attendees fall under this category. Only insane people would willingly surround themselves with chaos, loud noises, bright lights and life threatening conditions. Usually you have to join the army for that. And the whole thing is far from cheap. By the time you’ve paid for a ticket, lodgings, transportation, narcotics, breakfast, a cool t-shirt and sunscreen you're looking at a four digit price tag. But if you can handle crazy, and don’t mind being broke for the second half of April, get involved! I can’t think of a better way to part with hard earned salary or hardened sanity.
Celebrities are normal people just like the rest of us. They pump their own gas, buy their own groceries and do molly dips at 5pm in the beer garden at Coachella. Every year, pictures surface of a famous person doing something illicit with their friends at the show. It’s so sad. Not the celebrities, but the paparazzi that waste perfectly good tickets trying to “bust” people doing drugs. Guess what, photogs? A human being on drugs at Coachella might be the least shocking image you can publish at this point. Show me a picture of anyone reading a book in the middle of this thing. It would blow my fucking mind.
Use any bathroom at Coachella at your own risk. At best, it will be tolerable. More often than not, you just entered the seventh circle of diarrhea hell. It is both confusing and humbling to see where people manage to get their fecal matter in such abundant quantity. I don't personally know the folks who commit these unspeakable acts, but I am certain they’ll be back. One thing they don’t teach you in grade school: if you take psychoactive drugs, there’s a good chance your body will realize something is up and attempt to flush the contents of your stomach at some point mid-trip. So just mentally and emotionally prepare for doing that in conditions that make Vietnam look like Disneyland.
There are some amazing electronic acts coming to Coachella this year and they’re bringing along some of the most annoying fans on the planet. These people think they’re better than you because they buy their songs on Beatport instead of iTunes. And they call them, “tracks,” not songs. They love a group until they’re popular then resent them for their modest success. They think certain styles of dance music are objectively superior to others, but they don’t much care for dancing. Electronic music snobs are the worst, they're basically the latest iteration of the hipster. Look, leaving comments on SoundCloud doesn’t make you a founding member of Kraftwerk and “Future Bass Glitch” isn’t a genre just because you say so. Relax. Maybe just stay at home critiquing Boiler Room sets if you can’t handle hanging out in a crowd without being a smarmy dick.
They’ve been training since February. They know exactly when the drop occurs. Eager to experience a meme in real life, they’ll attend Baauer’s 3pm set with one purpose: do the Harlem Shake. When he plays it, and he will play it, people are going to lose their shit. Literally. Water bottles, backpacks, cell phones- if your friend is dumb enough to toss any of these things in the air over a song, make sure you relieve them of ownership duty before the set begins. That decision might be the only thing that saves you from spending your afternoon looking for car keys.
There’s nothing quite like the Coachella message boards. It’s a hostile environment filled with endless speculation, baseless rumors, derisive comments and lackluster storytelling. It’s like reality TV, except you read it and it’s more entertaining. Once a year, these people take a break from arguing about Daft Punk to go outside and see what the weather is like in Indio. But why devote so much time to something that seems so negative and pointless at a glance? It’s all for the greater good. As far as they’re concerned, every great band booked or positive change enacted happened because of a thread they started or a post they made. Surely the Coachella staff reads every single one! It’s not like those guys have any important work to do or anything.
The Sahara tent is a festival within a festival. Electronic music has spread to every stage at Coachella, but the Sahara will always be a bastion of non-stop and unabashed raving at the far end of field. It’s ecstasy in every sense of the word, especially that sense of the word where you swallow a pill called ecstasy and dance for 8 hours. A dedicated group travels there every day when gates open and they don’t leave until the music stops. Their schedule has no conflicts because they have no idea who’s playing. They’re all committed to the same nebulous mission of sustaining this temporary neon reality while keeping the outside world at bay. I hope they stay safe, stay hydrated and stay employed next week if their friends decide to post Vines over the weekend.
That picture on the left is an “Amnesty Box” the local police set up in case you want to hand over your illegal drugs before entering the festival. It’s a super funny joke and you’ve got to give them credit for keeping it going all these years. Way to commit. Drugs are technically prohibited at Coachella, but everyone who wants to take them manages to get them in. They all use the same method of smuggling. I call it the Underpants Railroad. Every joint you smoke and every powder you ingest at Coachella probably travelled through the gates just millimeters away from a good friend’s genitals. If it makes you feel any better, those high quality substances are the end result of massive cartel bloodshed along the border and child labor in jungles. Once you can get past that, a little ball sweat between pals shouldn’t be a deal breaker for having the best night of your life.