The last time I went to a non-EDM music festival was about 8 years ago. I used to go to festivals like The Warped Tour, Ozzfest, and Lollapalooza as a teen and more recently I went to see Muse at the Staple Center for their 2nd Law tour. That’s about the extent of my non-EDM show history. The love I developed for electronic music has been unparalleled for years, so when my friend invited me to join her group at Coachella I was slightly hesitant. My favorite festival, EDC, costs less money for the same amount of days and usually has many more artists I’m interested in seeing. The decision to forego Coachella once more seemed like an easy one. However, I told her if she found me a ticket this year for a reasonable price and I would consider. Well, in the end she found me a ticket and since she went through the trouble I thought to myself, “Damn, I guess I have to go now!”
Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see some of my favorite artists on the line up like Nero, Kaskade and Porter Robinson (all of whom I have seen before), but there were many headliners I didn’t care to see like Drake and Jack White. Since I was clueless about the majority of artists playing this year, I decided to do something I don’t normally do and embrace the experience over the lineup.
We arrived early to Coachella each day and I have to say this was my favorite part of the day. It was such a relaxed vibe throughout the grassy venue. It wasn’t too crowded, people napped everywhere and there were just as many people standing at stages as sitting. It was easy to explore the grounds and take photos without having 100 people taking the same photo in the background. The lines for food and bathrooms were short. This was all probably due to the blazing heat which I just accepted as there was no escaping it.
My favorite daytime set of the weekend was Clean Bandit. I would have never thought to check them out if my friends hadn’t gone, but they were so talented! Their happy go lucky music set the tone for our day.
Even though Coachella has this boho chic/hippy glam theme, by the second day I left my H&M hat and Kimono at home. I don’t know how people go around dancing with their fringe purses and head chains but more power to you guys! Since this is an all ages event I shouldn’t have been surprised to see children, but I was. There were people of all ages. For the most part people during the day were quite pleasant, but once night fell it seemed like all the ratchets came out and people forgot their manners. I wanted to give Coachella a public announcement asking them to learn a couple phrases: “Excuse me”, “Sorry” and “Thank you”. By Saturday I lost faith in ever getting into the clusterfuck they called the Sahara Tent and decided to follow my friends to some calmer stages. We ended up Staying in Mohave for Tycho and SBTRKT and it was surprisingly enjoyable just vibing to some quality music without raging.
On Sunday we arrived early to make sure we would be able to experience everything else the festival had to offer. We took pictures in the Sephora and JBL booth, finally checked out the Yuma tent, made a GIF of ourselves in the Absolute tent, took the cliché picture with a watermelon wedge, and I finally got to experience a set in the Saraha tent when I could actually see the stage! Arriving early enough to be against the barricade for What So Not was one of my favorite moments! Kaskade’s set started as the sun set. Even though Kaskade is an EDM artist, I felt like he was the main event of my Coachella experience. His set drew the largest crowd I had been a part of all weekend. It was exciting to see Coachella’s enthusiasm for one of my favorite DJ’s.
In conclusion, Coachella is no EDC but it was a very positive experience. I was able to go outside of my musical comfort zone and discover new music while enjoying artists I already love. There were so many incredibly talented artists at Coachella this year that were worth checking out. I was delighted to discover acts like Clean Bandit, Kiesza, Tycho, SKTRKT, Duke Dumont, Caribou, Marina and The Diamonds, Andrew McMahon, and Mo. Overall I would say the weekend was a blast and truly restored my faith in non EDM music.